City calls on jury of its citizens to deliberate on Melbourne’s future

In a political landscape where trust has been eroded and the public are for the most part disengaged and disillusioned, it is refreshing to see state and local governments leading in some areas of policy innovation. A prime example of this is the use of deliberative democracy approaches to support the development of policies and plans.

Deliberative democracy is not a new concept. It was developed in 1980, by Joseph Bessette, as a way of overcoming imbalances of power and conflicts between citizens and government decision-makers. Key components of this paradigm are citizens as an active part of decision-making, deliberation of issues, inclusion of marginalised citizens and consensus.

One of the most interesting approaches to emerge under this paradigm is the citizens’ jury. The City of Melbourne has just completed its second jury to refresh the Future Melbourne Strategy. It successfully conducted a citizens’ jury in 2015 to develop a ten-year financial plan.

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Posted in 21st Century government, Engagement, It's all about people, Leadership.