An Assembly of citizens for the Italian Municipalities (download full-text in PDF at the bottom of the page) is presented as a programmatic Manifesto aimed at promoting the establishment of a citizens’ Assembly as the second chamber of the Italian Municipal Councils.
Such a reform, which rests on the pivotal element of implementing the practice of drawing lots or sortition into elections for the choice of citizen representatives in the institutions would increase both the confidence of the citizens themselves towards politics and the confidence of politicians and legislators to gain broad public support for their decisions. What the reform proposes is therefore to select a random and representative sample of the population, of varying scale depending on the size of the Municipality, which fulfils the role of representation of its fellow citizens for a period of two and a half years (half of a municipal legislature).
There are two central questions that characterize this proposal, where several possible answers have been proposed:
1. What should the powers of this Assembly of citizens be?
2. How would this be implemented?
The establishment of an Assembly of citizens as second chamber of the Italian Municipal Councils would put these and Italy itself at the forefront in the delicate process of democratic innovation and would make a global example of the involvement of citizens in politics and institutions.
And what better opportunity than putting a similar revolution of our democratic systems into practice, based on the introduction of drawing lots, if not that of starting from a “minimal” experimental application? That is in Municipalities; the territorial entities present for centuries in our country with a minor extension but with great historical traditions of autonomous government behind them.