There is only one person standing between you and every decision in the Bundestag: the MP from your Electoral District.
But who really knows their own representatives? And how can elected representatives represent a diverse society if they have only a few points of contact with people who do not go to a constituency office of their own accord?
Selected by lot.
We bring together randomly drawn people from an Electoral District to spend a day talking to each other. The results of their discussions are discussed with the members of parliament.
This gives participants the opportunity to actively shape politics, which is what we call an Electoral District Day.
The selection by lot has a decisive advantage here: Statistically, the characteristics of the population are distributed roughly the same as in the population as a whole, even in a small group.
And: everyone has the same chance of being drawn. We draw lots from the relevant population registers from the age of 12. Voting rights and citizenship do not play a role.
Hallo Bundestag is not just about bringing people together by lot and working out recommendations together. For us, it's about enriching representative democracy through drawn formats. That's why the exchange between members of parliament and those drawn by lot at an Electoral District Day is a central part of the process for us.
In many procedures, members of parliament hardly have a chance to understand the internal discussions and deliberations in the citizens' council. That's why working together is so important to us. We also know from our pilot Electoral District Councils that personal exchange is most important to both the delegates and the participants. It's very rare that we get to talk to people who have a different reality in life and don't belong to our usual circle of acquaintances.
An update for representative democracy.
The goal is not to simply do 18 citizens' councils. The goal is to really strengthen democracy.
To make that happen in the long term, after each of the three phases of the project (in which an Electoral District Day is held in each of the six Electoral Districts on the same topic).
- The selected by lot,
- the elected and
- a group of experts
therefore meet in Berlin.
They evaluate the experiences from the Electoral District Days and develop a proposal for institutionalization, which becomes more concrete with each phase.
What could the result look like?
Every member of the Bundestag already has the opportunity to invite 50 people from the Electoral District to Berlin three times a year via the Federal Press Office. Travel expenses and hotel accommodation are paid for.
Why shouldn't it also be possible for members of parliament to convene an Electoral District Day once a year?
And who knows, maybe in 10 years it will be completely self-evident that MPs get qualified feedback from their Electoral District on important issues and get to know the different realities of life of the local people at regular intervals?