Implementing the Public Will. Expert Agencies and Policy Juries

The most important principle of Direct Democracy is that the government must comply with the will of the public. On major issues, the public will is defined directly by referendums and polls. Translating these general decisions into detailed policy action is done by the Expert Agencies.

  • Expert Agencies must always be conscious that they are not making policy, but interpreting and executing the public will. This runs against the tendency of individuals and bureaucracies who usually usurp power from the public.

  • There is a Policy Jury and Public Ombudsman associated with each Expert Agency, which is designed to safeguard against this  "power grabbing" mentality by monitoring the actions of the Expert Agencies. The role of the Policy Jury and the Public Ombudsman is to ensure that the actions of the Expert Agencies directly reflect the will of the people.

  • The size of each Policy Jury is large enough to statistically reflect the overall size of the population. For example, a Policy Jury may have 400 members who are chosen randomly from the public.

  • Policy Jurors receive specialized instruction in the Expert Agency's field of activities, e.g. health, employment, education etc. For this purpose, jurors serve as non-voting apprentices during their first year of service. During the apprenticeship year jurors receive balanced educational tutorials and materials from the Expert Agency. The jurors can also request and receive answers to specific questions about any issue within the jurisdiction of their Agency, especially about issues that the jury is debating at the time.

  • After their apprenticeship year, jurors serve for an additional three years as a voting juror. Each year one-third of the members are replaced by new jurors. This assures that the Policy Jury is always a body of knowledgeable people, which at the same time is also large enough to reflect a cross-section of opinions of the general public. In this manner Policy Juries combine true public representation with qualified expertise.

The jury works through teleconferences so that the jurors can work from home. The service involves one or two evenings a week. The jurors are compensated for their work.