Citizens Assembly proposal, 2010

In the 2010 Federal election campaign the ALP proposed a 150 person, year long ‘citizens’ assembly’ (instead of a price on carbon, which had become a little toxic, and would become even more so the following year).  There’s an academic paper on this, that’s quite good (John Boswell, Simon Niemeyer & Carolyn M. Hendriks Julia Gillard’s Citizens’ Assembly Proposal for Australia: A Deliberative Democratic Analaysis. Australian Journal of Political Science Volume 48, Issue 2, 2013 pages 164-178
DOI: 10.1080/10361146.2013.786675)
Also, this from Barrie Cassidy’s 2010 book ‘The Party Thieves’.

The mistake was compounded by the disastrous decision to make a citizens assembly a central part of the new climate change policy. As a result, the ‘fakery and flakery’ of Rudd morphed into Gillard. The very image that the ALP should have eschewed was being reinforced by the new leadership. Labor had had a chance to draw a line in the sand and distance themselves from Rudd’s appalling style, but instead they concocted the 2020 summit mark II.

Apparently, the party had forgotten how dramatically the polls changed when Rudd backed away from an ETS without explanation. A far more substantial response was needed, one that committed the government to a fresh timetable and showed a willingness to use all available resources to persuade the world of the need for urgent action. But again, timidity and negativity won the day. The party avoided any option that gave the Opposition a perceived edge, never taking into account how a harder line on climate change might have exposed Abbott’s more extreme positions and brought out the climate sceptics. The Liberal leader avoided revealing almost all of his negatives because the government conveniently thought it was in its best interests to reject product differentiation.
(Cassidy, 2010:240-1)


Dilemmas, disasters and deliberative democracy

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