Citizen assemblies

France’s citizens’ climate convention has come back to bite Macron

Those of us who are sceptical about the worth of citizens’ assemblies have been noting with interest the upshot of the French citizens’ convention for the climate which delivered its recommendations this week. The thing about these assemblies of randomly selected citizens mulling over thorny issues is that they’re a brilliant way for elected politicians to shift the responsibility for really unpopular policies onto someone else. Except they can go horribly wrong. President Macron used this device to deal with the threat from the gilets jaune, back in those distant days when citizens could actually assemble in France. He had to deal with a movement that was driven by the