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This month's newsletter features the following sections: Announcements, State of the Organization, Cogitations, and DL (Democratic Lottery) Roundup of articles, papers, and reports of interest. To see the accompanying graphics, be sure your email client or browser is set to display images. 

From the Editor

Welcome to the DWE newsletter. Your feedback and input is appreciated. Please send your responses to content and relevant links to articles, papers, and reports of interest, as well as proposals for "Cogitations" articles and other features to the Editor

DWE August Board Meeting

Tuesday, August 3, 6:30-7:30 PM Eastern (3:30-4:30  PM Pacific)
Zoom link:

DWE August Monthly Meeting

Tuesday, August 17, 9:00-10:30 PM Eastern (6:00-7:30 PM Pacific)

Zoom link:
Featuring a Presentation by John Huang:
Group Decision Making Techniques from the Co-op World

This talk presents some techniques for group decision making, for organizing meetings, and reaching consensus. The goal is to introduce ideas that could be used for future organizing efforts for groups such as Democracy Without Elections.
Please submit suggestions for next month's presentation HERE.

Speed Community

Tuesday, August 17, 8:45 PM Eastern (5:45 PM Pacific)

Zoom link:

Speed Community happens fifteen minutes before the Monthly Meeting. Join us on Tuesday, August 17 for some fun. Meet other members in an entirely different way! Same Zoom link as the Monthly Meeting.
$3000 Donation Accepted by Board
Our Board of Directors voted unanimously Monday to accept a $3,000 donation from the Building a New Reality Foundation. The money is targeted to support the Mock Citizens’ Assembly. Ted Wachtel, a DWE Member and the Founder of BANR, hopes that the donation will lower the per-person cost for, and increase participation in, the Mock CA.

Building a New Reality is a non-partisan, evidence-based global learning community that addresses the six facets of society’s needs: learning, governance, care, justice, enterprise and spirit.

The Mock Citizens’ Assembly will allow folks to experience a citizens’ assembly from the inside and, thus, have a better understanding of how they work. The experience will be comparable to a normal CA except that it will be shorter, there will be no democratic lottery to select participants and no final report will be written.

We have a responsive structure at DWE as evidenced by the fact that the Coordinating Committee has already explored the Mock CA parameters and are well-placed to adjust them in light of the donation. Our Committees are the place where ideas come to fruition. Two committees, Coordinating and Outreach, have been around for over a year and can always use new blood. The Finance Committee is obviously needed and is now forming. If you want to be part of moving the organization forward, contact me.

Owen Shaffer
Operations Coordinator

An important positios that require a few hours a week needs to be filled. Contact Owen for more information:
  • We need a Cyber Security Consultant to advise the Webmaster on website security. So, if you have expertise in this area, and are willing to make yourself available on occasion, please let us know.


Wayne Liebman's essay, "Consent of the Governed," in the June newsletter, regards the mechanism by which the people express their wishes. It is a good point, and important to analyze very carefully. We also must keep in mind one hidden mechanism of current democratic governance.

The hidden mechanism is that our system isn't purely representative nor is it purely direct. It's more like a peanut, with an outer veneer of representative democracy hiding an inner core of direct democracy. With this in mind, let's take another look at the confused expression, "elections are the mechanism by which we the people express our wishes."

What is the mechanism? How are people's wishes expressed? In simple terms the mechanism is the election by popularity. The way the people's wishes are expressed is by the passing of legislation. The mechanism is clearly related to the veneer of representative democracy -- the outer shell. The wish expression is clearly related to direct democracy -- the inner core; like a peanut the shell is seldom in direct contact with the nut inside.

Here is the cognitive mismatch that Sortition seeks to remedy. Because the election process has so many natural roadblocks to participation, the result is a failure to produce an inner direct democracy that is in fact representative, ergo, the wishes of "we the people" fail to be expressed at all.

The key basis for this argument is the fact that 50% of "we the people" are female, while females only represent 20% of the members of Congress. How, under that circumstance, can anyone argue that the wishes of females are being expressed accurately by the legislation they must labor under? The goal was a democracy, but we ended up with some kind of patriarchy.

We are led, naturally, back to the ultimate question: "How do they get that creamy caramel inside the Caramello bar?" That is, "How do they get that creamy direct democracy inside the Caramello representative democracy bar?"

Or whatever candy analogy you can think of. Preferably nut free.

-- Dylan Hunt

Are you cogitating about something for the next newsletter? Send HERE.
Please submit suggested links for next month's Roundup HERE
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