We The Citizens
19 April 2011
A DCU academic is behind a new initiative in deliberative democracy. Dr. Eoin O'Malley of the School of Law and Government is one of the founders of 'We the Citizens'. ‘We the Citizens’ is an independent national initiative with a clear and simple idea. It wants to show how our Republic could benefit by citizens coming together in new ways of public decision-making.
Dr. O'Malley and his colleagues from UCD, Trinity, and UCC were approached by Atlantic Philanthropies to run a Citizens' Assembly. They received over €600,000 in funding which will be used to run a scientific exercise testing theories of deliberation and decision making. The citizens' assembly which will take place in late June will bring together 150 randomly chosen people to deliberate and vote on questions of political reform. These will then be compared to other samples to see if and how the deliberative process has an impact on the participants. As part of the initiative citizens' events are being held around the country and a website encourages people to debate topical policy issues. It is available at http://www.wethecitizens.ie.