Wise Democracy: Wisdom Council progress in Victoria


Richard Moore

Original source URL:

Wise idea revisited

Dunc Malcolm/News staff

Wise Democracy Victoria members Anke van Leeuwen and George Sranko mail 350 
invitations to randomly selected Victoria residents, seeking their participation
in the group¹s second Wisdom Council, which will convene in June.

By Thomas Winterhoff
News staff
Victoria News
May 18 2007

A local organization called Wise Democracy Victoria had such a positive 
experience when it hosted its first ³wisdom council² in March that it¹s decided 
to do it again in June.

The group believes that more government policies should originate at the 
grassroots level with ordinary citizens, not just from politicians or 
special-interest groups.

Wise Democracy spokesperson George Sranko says it¹s vital for voters to get more
involved in the democratic process by taking their concerns directly to elected 
officials. Sranko said the region¹s first wisdom council in March was an 
important step in advancing that goal.

³It was very exciting to have so many people, randomly selected, come together 
and reach a shared agreement on the really critical issues,² he said. ³That was 
a very positive experience.²

The wisdom council concept was developed by Jim Rough in Port Townsend, 
Washington. Several hundred residents of a particular area are selected at 
random from the phone book and invited to comment on issues they feel are 
important to their communities. Of those who respond, 12 people are selected to 
discuss their concerns and compile a written summary of their deliberations. The
members of the wisdom council will then host a public meeting to talk about 
those issues with their neighbours.

The goal isn¹t to replace traditional political institutions, said Sranko, but 
to work alongside them. He noted that participants from the first wisdom council
believed they were ³making a difference² through that process.

About 350 invitations to Wise Democracy Victoria¹s second wisdom council were 
mailed out on Tuesday afternoon to randomly selected residents of Greater 
Victoria. A dozen people will be chosen from that group at a June 8 information 
session to form the new council and will meet June 22-23.

The public session ­ which anyone may attend ­ is scheduled for June 23 at the 
Fairfield Activity Centre (380 Cook St.), starting at 7 p.m.

For more information about Wise Democracy Victoria or to read its report on the 
first wisdom council, check the website at http://www.wisedemocracyvictoria.com.


© Copyright 2007 Victoria News

Posting archives: http://cyberjournal.org/show_archives/
Escaping the Matrix website: http://escapingthematrix.org/
cyberjournal website: http://cyberjournal.org

Community Democracy Framework: 

Subscribe cyberjournal list: •••@••.•••  (send blank message)

cyberjournal blog (join in): http://cyberjournal-rkm.blogspot.com/

Moderator: •••@••.•••  (comments welcome)