The Deliberative Wave: Securing a future for democratic politics

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4 March, 2020

Deliberative Wave imageIn Canada, Australia and across Europe, Citizens’ Assemblies and other deliberative processes are successfully tackling some of the most pressing and intractable political issues.

Right now, 150 randomly selected French citizens are meeting over seventeen weekends to develop a national climate strategy. In Scotland, 120 citizens are meeting over six weekends to consider their society’s future. A regional government in Belgium established the first permanent Citizens' Commission, while Copenhagen's City Council will soon consider recommendations from a Citizens' Assembly to pedestrianize a large swathe of its core. Here at home, 32 randomly selected Torontonians met this summer to advise City Council on meeting its climate targets.

Across Europe and North America, Citizens’ Assemblies and Reference Panels are helping to address growing mistrust and polarization while upending assumptions about the ability and willingness of citizens to play a more central role in political affairs.

MASS LBP principal, Peter MacLeod, one of Canada’s leading authorities on public engagement and deliberative democracy, will describe how these processes have begun to reshape politics across Europe and within Canada.

With an introduction by DAVE MESLIN 
author of Teardown: Rebuilding Democracy from the Ground Up.

Peter MacLeod is the founder and principal of MASS LBP, and one of Canada’s leading experts in public engagement and deliberative democracy. Since its founding in 2007, MASS has completed more than 200 major policy projects for governments and public agencies across Canada while pioneering the use of Civic Lotteries and Citizen Reference Panels and earning international recognition for its work.

Peter frequently writes and speaks about the citizen’s experience of the state, the importance of public imagination, and the future of responsible government.

He is the past chair of Toronto’s Wellesley Institute for Urban Health, and currently serves on the boards of Tides Canada, an environmental charity, as well as the Environics Institute and the YMCA of Greater Toronto. He is also an adjunct lecturer at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.

MASS LBP is Canada's home for democratic innovation and public strategy. Since 2007, MASS has led some of the country's most original and ambitious efforts to engage citizens in tackling tough policy choices while pioneering the use of Civic Lotteries and Reference Panels on behalf of forward-thinking governments.

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Toronto  Ontario
Community Capacity Building
Conceptual Frameworks & Approaches
Policy Development & Advocacy