Real Power To The People

Overview

Real Power to the People describes a unique experiment in democracy that took place during 2004-2005. In this experiment, the government of British Columbia gave its citizens the power to take control of its electoral reform process and make a final decision. This new approach to electoral reform was implemented through a citizens' assembly of 160 randomly selected, nonpartisan British Columbians and a referendum. The citizens' assembly first studied the different electoral options, listened to the views of their...

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Overview

Real Power to the People describes a unique experiment in democracy that took place during 2004-2005. In this experiment, the government of British Columbia gave its citizens the power to take control of its electoral reform process and make a final decision. This new approach to electoral reform was implemented through a citizens' assembly of 160 randomly selected, nonpartisan British Columbians and a referendum. The citizens' assembly first studied the different electoral options, listened to the views of their fellow citizens, and recommended a new electoral system for British Columbia. Later, all British Columbians took part in making a final decision on the recommended new system through the referendum. Dr. Herath was directly involved in the process as one of the assembly members. This unique new approach has gathered attention from political pundits all over the world. There are indications that other jurisdictions will adopt it. The Netherlands and Ontario have already begun to do so while there is a growing movement in California to follow suit. The work first introduces the reader to electoral reform in general, the historic context of the new approach, and its implementation. This is followed by an explanation of the six most critical features of the new approach. The work ends with Dr. Herath's conclusions that include five important lessons to be drawn from this first time application of the new approach and its worldwide applicability.

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Editorial Reviews

Sunday Island
Real Power to the People is a must all for readers interested in electoral reform, and that means everybody who is interested in politics in Sri Lanka....This is an attractively styled and well written book; I recommend it to you.
— Kumar David
Canadian Parliamentary Review
This book adds to the growing literature on the British Columbia Citizens' Assembly on Electorial Reform...the book is devoted to the background and setting up the assembly, the random selection process, the learning phase, the public hearing phase, and the deliberation phase...what makes this book unique is that the author was a member of the Citizens' Assembly.
— Gary Levy, Editor
Sunday Island - Kumar David
Real Power to the People is a must all for readers interested in electoral reform, and that means everybody who is interested in politics in Sri Lanka....This is an attractively styled and well written book; I recommend it to you.
Canadian Parliamentary Review - Gary Levy
This book adds to the growing literature on the British Columbia Citizens' Assembly on Electorial Reform...the book is devoted to the background and setting up the assembly, the random selection process, the learning phase, the public hearing phase, and the deliberation phase...what makes this book unique is that the author was a member of the Citizens' Assembly.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761836858
  • Publisher: University Press of America
  • Publication date: 2/1/2007
  • Pages: 244
  • Product dimensions: 0.55 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Meet the Author

R.B. Herath is an author, poet, dramatist, and a political reformer. He holds a Ph.D. in organizational behavior. He is an advocate for the need for greater citizen participation in democratic rule through his numerous writings and active participation in politics. Dr. Herath co-founded and led a democratic party in his country of origin, Sri Lanka.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 List of Figures and Tables Part 2 Preface Part 3 Acronyms Chapter 4 Introduction Chapter 5 New Calls for Electoral Reform Chapter 6 Creation of the Citizens' Assembly Chapter 7 Learning Phase Chapter 9 Deliberation Phase Chapter 10 Referendum on Electoral Change Chapter 11 Sober Reflection Chapter 12 Conclusion Part 13 Appendix Part 14 Select Bibliography Part 15 Index

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