Networks for Change

(Published on WorldChanging Canada. Thank you to the editor Mark Tovey for inviting me to join the writing team.)

There is no shortage of articles about how social networking sites like MySpace and FaceBook can be used to support grassroots and progressive campaigns and professional networking sites like Linkedin and XING can help you get connected in your sector, but what about the networking sites specifically created to support social and environmental causes?

An excellent list of governance dialogue techniques

Thanks to Alice Byers of ISEALl Alliance for a link to, which lists a wide variety of descriptions and resources for planning and managing governance dialogue. Visit

Ontario referendum should approve MMP by 84%, but will more likely fail

At the end of their 8 month learning, consultation and deliberation process the 103 members of the the Ontario Citizens’ Assembly voted 84% in approval of Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) over the current First-Past-the-Post (FPP). If we can assume that any other group of random citizens would have done the same, than we can guess an educated public will also vote for MMP in the referendum.

Citizen Assembly process a high point for democratic engagement


Process for developing electoral reform already demonstrates better democracy in action

Toronto - A growing list of political science professors from across Ontario agree that the Ontario Citizens Assembly was an exceptional example of a legitimately democratic public policy development process.

An Evaluation of the Ontario Citizens' Assembly Process

To structure my evaluation of the Ontario Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform I use the proven criteria and suggestions from the popularly cited "Public Participation Methods: A Framework for Evaluation" by Gene Rowe and Lynn J. Frewer, published in 2000 in the Science, Technology, & Human Values journal. You can download a free copy of the article PDF from I also included additional indicators at the end that did not seem to quite fit in the Rowe Frower paradigm but provide useful insight. I end with some potential criticisms and suggestions but a largely positive assement.

About the Citizen's Assembly Monument Project is a volunteer project of Jason Diceman, an independent stakeholder engagement consultant and deliberative democracy researcher in Toronto. He is neither associated to the Vote For MMP campaign nor the Ontario Citizens’ Assembly Secretariat.

Here is the story so far...

A Summary of the Ontario Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform

Starting September 2006, 103 randomly selected Ontario citizens committed to 30-40 hours a month for 8 months to get educated, hear public consultation and deliberate on the topic of electoral reform to make a unified policy recommendation that would be voted on by a binding public referendum.

The public process was mandated by government, well financed and executed in an independent and transparent manner and with great care and consideration by highly respected experts.

The Ontario Citizens' Assembly was Monumental

citizens assembly logoFor the past few weeks I have been researching and writing about the Ontario Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform. I did some outreach and have so far found 13 Ontario political science academics who agree:

More Criteria for Evaluating Participatory Processes

I found this “Practical Guide for Evaluating Participatory Processes” (PDF) by the International Observatory of Participatory Democracy (OIDP is the Spanish acronym). I'm not that impressed in the ambiguity of the criteria, the redundancy between criteria and the lack of reference to foundational research. Instead I would highly recommend “Public Participation Methods: A Framework for Evaluation” by Gene Rowe and Lynn J. Frewer, whose criteria I summarized in a previous blog post.

Syndicate content