Code Orange's position outline includes citizens' assemblies

Submitted by webmaster on Thu, 17-12-2020 - 23:45

On December 17th Code Orange, the political movement started by local politicians favouring democratic reforms including elements of sortition, presented its eleven-point position outline. The movement apparently concluded that running on only a single-issue democratic-reform agenda wasn't going to be successful, and seems to have rebranded itself to a party that mashes these reforms with positions somewhat resembling those of either left- or right-wing 'populist' parties. This bold and remarkable move has paid off: one of the main polls consistently estimates that Code Orange could win one out of the 150 seats in the Dutch House of Representatives, and allows some potential for growth until the election in March. Also, a number of independent local parties, that were successful in the previous municipal elections, have shown their support for Code Orange, so the movement might actually succeed in entering the House on its first try.

However, what's left of the orginal plans for democratic change? Out of the eleven positions (eleven has the ring of a soccer team going into battle), two of them reflect the movement's roots:
3) The voter decides: binding referendums, citizens' summits, elected mayor
11) Citizens decide on European policy, the budget, and sovereignty

Concerning point 3: Code Orange puts citizens' summits (i.e. assemblies) firmly in their position top-three. The way it's stated - 'the voter decides' - is a bit odd on the one hand, because a citizens' assembly has obviously nothing to do with voters - they may or should consist of citizens drawn by lot - but on the other hand: Code Orange seems to want CAs on a national level and seems to want to hand them decision-making power, if we take their wording litterally, and seriously. Maybe a combination of CAs and binding referendums, the 'Irish model', is meant; we can't be sure until the full agenda is published.

Concerning point 11: the literal wording here is citizens decide, not voters decide, but this is probably meant as voters instead of elected politicians, but again: we'll probably find out more when the full agenda will be published.

According to the polls the Dutch political landscape has become even more fragmented than before. A new coalition will probably be hard to build, because even more than the current number of four parties would be needed for a majority in both chambers, and the parties that would have to work together would differ more widely than the current four parties forming the government.

Source: Code Orange's Eleven Base Players: the Netherlands' best ideas (in Dutch)