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Home arrow Political science arrow Evaluating Democratic Innovations: Curing the Democratic Malaise?
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Notes

  • 1 The terms co-governance institutions and empowered innovations will alternate here, as the latter, conceptualized by Archon Fung, share the main features of the former (Fung 2004).
  • 2 Only the four more common ones are presented here, however.
  • 3 A law on ‘proximity democracy’ was passed in France in February 2002, that made neighbourhood councils compulsory in all cities with over 80,000 residents. These democratic innovations cannot be considered co-governance institutions, however, as they are essentially consultative. This law nevertheless embodies the meaning of participatory democracy in this country, primarily understood as a way to increase proximity between politicians and citizens, which has a direct impact on French cogovernance experiments like PBs.
  • 4 In 1996, the British Columbia Liberal Party received fewer seats than the New Democratic Party, despite winning the majority of votes, and was therefore shut out of government for five years. Leaders of the party therefore decided at the time to change such an unfair electoral system and to organize a Citizens’ Assembly when they returned to power. In 2001, the Liberals returned to power with 58 per cent of the votes and won all but two seats - another perverse election result!
  • 5 The STV system is organized around multi-member electoral districts, and uses a preferential ballot, where voters have to rank-order candidates in each district. As a consequence, different candidates from the same party can run for office in the same district, the STV system thus undermining the power of political parties. The STV system is used in Ireland, Malta, and some US cities. It can also be noted that back in the 19th century John Stuart Mill had advocated for a STV system, which was better at reflecting the intensity of voters’ preferences.
  • 6 Rebecca Abers, ‘Learning Democratic Practice: Distributing Government Resources Through Popular Participation in Porto Alegre, Brazil’, in Cities for Citizens, ed. Mike Douglass and John Friedmann (Chichester and New York: Wiley, 1998), p. 49.
  • 7 Harvard University Center for Urban Development Studies,AssessmentofParticipatory Budgeting in Brazil (Washington: Inter-American Development Bank, 2003), p. 10, quoted by G. Smith, Beyond the Ballot, 2005, p. 64.
  • 8 Sources: Ibid.
  • 9 E. D’Albergo (ed.) (2005) Pratiche partecipative a Roma. Le osservazioni alpiano regolatore e il bilancio partecipativo, Rome: Universita La Sapienza.
  • 10 Sources: Ibid.
  • 11 On the importance of facilitation for deliberation see Smith, this volume. We want to stress here that facilitation also allows the learning of certain discursive styles, by imitation of what is defined as a good collective deliberation.
  • 12 Even if in this case it was not enacted considering the results of the referendum in British Columbia.
  • 13 Rawls makes a similar argument: ‘We normally assume that an ideally conducted discussion among many persons is more likely to arrive at the correct conclusion than the deliberations of any one of them by himself. ... No one of them knows everything the others know, or can make all the same inferences that they can draw in concert. Discussion is a way of combining information and enlarging the range of arguments’, in Rawls, J. (1971) A Theory of Justice, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp. 358-9.
 
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