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  • AQA Component Democracy and participation

  • Edexcel Component 1: Democracy: participation crisis

Background: what you need to know

This article reviews the potential of citizens’ assemblies to engage people in politics. Its starting point is the proposal from the Labour Party that such gatherings – randomly chosen from the population – could be used to resolve problems around constitutional reform, devolution and planning. The article argues that they could act as a means of bringing people together to work out practical solutions and in the process regenerate democracy.

Click the link below to read the article and then answer the questions:

Citizens’ assemblies could help repair our toxic political culture

What points does the article make, both for and against citizens’ assemblies?

Question in the style of AQA Politics Paper 1

  • Explain three policies which could be used to address the UK’S crisis of political participation. [9 marks]

Question in the style of Edexcel Politics Paper 1

  • Evaluate the view that citizens’ assemblies have more to offer than other proposed solutions to the UK’s crisis of political participation.

    You must consider this view and the alternative to this view in a balanced way. (30)

    TIP: Think about alternatives to citizens’ assemblies. These could include compulsory voting (as in Australia), lowering the voting age to 16 (as has been done for Scottish and Welsh Parliament elections) and electronic voting (used in the USA, Brazil and a few other countries). What are their strengths and weaknesses?

Graham Goodlad, Portsmouth High School

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