PURPOSE - Reform government


The primary purpose of the Assembly is to provide a means for direct participation by citizens in governance of the country.  This structural reform is consistent with citizen participation in other government functions. For example, citizens participate in the judicial branch as jurors and have a key role in administering justice.  If citizens enhance the process of administering law - they should also participate in the process of creation of the laws they will ultimately be asked to administer as jurors. It is a sound and compelling rationale for the Assembly's involvement in the legislative branch.

Presently, the legislative branch allows for only indirect participation through elected representatives and therefore citizen input is diluted by political parties and special interests.  Direct democracy is accomplished by selecting a group of delegates that reflect the overall demographics of the nation.  To the extent the Assembly mirrors the nation, there can be high confidence that its decisions are the same as if all the people had time to research and debate the issue and vote on it. Consequently, the Assembly's power and influence are due to the fact that its decisions represent the will of the people.

The secondary purpose of the Assembly is to mitigate the extremism and polarization that is caused by the two-party system.  At present, the parties focus on pleasing their base - by passing laws the base wants.  A citizens assembly changes the dynamic because parties will need citizens to pass laws. So to succeed with a policy or an issue, a Party needs 'the people' on their side.   

The Assembly is non-partisan.  This is accomplished by disqualifying hard-core party partisans from service as a delegate to the Assembly.  A relatively small number of people are ineligible for this reason.  The goal is for delegates to focus on what is best for the country - rather than what is best for any particular political party.

The Assembly is designed to enable delegates to research and understand issues that face America and to enable free and open debate of those issues and ultimately a vote.  This thoughtful and deliberative approach adds validity to the Assembly's decisions above and beyond what any opinion poll could achieve.

Every person who is eligible to vote in a U.S. election is a potential delegate with some reasonable qualifications and limitations.  Selection of delegates is done by an independent non-partisan organization that uses proven statistical techniques to identify a pool of delegates that reflect all voting citizens of the United States.  Service as a delegate to the Assembly is an honor. Delegates represent all Americans and all Americans should be grateful for the sacrifices they will inevitably make toward "more perfect union."

New Unity's goal is to establish the Assembly as a third chamber of Congress expanding the institution to a tri-cameral legislature.  This structural change is necessary given the size and diverse population of the country.  Effecting such a change will require a constitutional amendment and will likely take many years to achieve. Until it is formalized through such an amendment, the Assembly will act in an informal capacity and use its power as the direct embodiment of the will of the people to positively influence policy debate and the national political discourse.