Today’s Solutions: November 29, 2021

By now we’re all aware that democracy has some pretty big flaws. But that doesn’t mean it’s absolutely hopeless. Just look at Ireland’s bottom-up approach to policymaking, which is helping to spur real change on the country’s most contentious issues. Ireland has what’s called The Citizens’ Assembly, in which 99 randomly selected citizens are tasked with weighing in on a particular issue and creating recommendations for how to deal with it. The Citizens’ Assembly spearheaded Ireland’s vote to overturn an abortion ban in 2018, as well as a vote to allow same-sex marriage in 2015. Now a new assembly, which was given the latest and greatest in climate change research, has put together 13 recommendations for how the government should deal with climate change. How closely the government sticks to these recommendations will have to be seen, but the structure of Ireland’s Citizens’ Assembly could become a model for other nations to create a more participatory democracy—one in which the people have a greater say when it comes to climate action.

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