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Deliberative Polling

Deliberative Polling combines deliberation in small group discussions with scientific random sampling to provide public consultation for public policy and for electoral issues. Members of a random sample are polled, and then some members are invited to gather at a single place to discuss the issues after they have examined balanced briefing materials. Participants engage in dialogue with competing experts and political leaders based on questions they develop in small group discussions with trained moderators. Read our summary of this approach or learn more at http://cdd.stanford.edu/.

Here are the 8 resources from Deliberative Polling.

A Review of Public Participation and Consultation Methods

J. Abelson, P-G. Forest, J. Eyles, P. Smith, E. Martin, F-P Gauvin. Deliberations about Deliberation: Issues in the Design and Evaluation of Public Consultation Processes, McMaster University Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis Research Working Paper 01-04, June, 2001.

This PDF document presents a 5-page matrix of public participation and consultation methods, both deliberative and non-deliberative. Included are Citizens Juries, Citizens Panels, Planning Cells, Consensus Conferences, Deliberative Polling, focus groups, consensus building exercises, surveys, public hearings, open houses, Citizen Advisory Committees, community planning, visioning, and more.

Resource Link: http://www.vcn.bc.ca/citizens-handbook/compareparticipation.pdf

By Popular Demand: Revitalizing Representative Democracy Through Deliberative Elections Highly Recommended

John Gastil. University of California Press, 2000.

Building on the success of citizen juries and deliberative polling, Gastil proposes improving our current process by convening randomly selected panels of citizens to deliberate for several days on ballot measures and candidates. Voters would learn about the judgments of these citizen panels through voting guides and possibly information printed on official ballots. The result would be a more representative government and a less cynical public.

By the People Highly Recommended

By the People: America in the World, an initiative of MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, aims to energize and enhance the national conversation on America's role in the world through a series of national and local broadcasts and events that demonstrate the relevance of foreign policy issues to local concerns. The project includes three national PBS specials, two cycles of local programming to be produced by PBS stations in cooperation with community organizations, national and local forums for civic dialogue, and an interactive web site.

Resource Link: http://www.macneil-lehrer.com/btp/

Center for Deliberative Democracy

Housed in the Department of Communication at Stanford University and established in 2003, the Center for Deliberative Democracy is devoted to research about democracy and public opinion obtained through Deliberative Polling. Developed by Professor James S. Fishkin, Deliberative Polling is a technique which combines deliberation in small group discussions with scientific random sampling to provide public consultation for public policy and for electoral issues.

Resource Link: http://cdd.stanford.edu/

Deliberation Day Highly Recommended

Bruce Ackerman and James Fishkin. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, USA, 2004.

Two leading political thinkers offer an audacious proposal to energize the electoral process. Bruce Ackerman and James Fishkin argue that Americans can revitalize their democracy and break the cycle of cynical media manipulation that is crippling public life. They propose a new national holiday--Deliberation Day--for each presidential election year. On this day people throughout the country will meet in public spaces and engage in structured debates about issues that divide the candidates in the upcoming presidential election.

Resource Link: http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/book.asp?isbn=0300109644

Deliberative Polling Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Deliberative Polling® is an attempt to use television and public opinion research in a new and constructive way. A random, representative sample is first polled on the issues. After this baseline poll, members of the sample are invited to gather at a single place to discuss the issues. Carefully balanced briefing materials are sent to the participants and are also made publicly available.

Democracy and Deliberation: New Directions for Democratic Reform Highly Recommended

James S. Fishkin, Center for Deliberative Democracy. Yale University Press, 1997.

Fishkin makes an important proposal to reform the U.S. presidential nomination process. He supports the proposal with a concise, intelligent discussion of democratic theory, emphasizing the importance of genuine deliberation versus transient, media-generated public opinion. The book centers on the idea of a National Issues Convention - a televised caucus in which a representative sample of voters meet face-to-face with presidential contenders in order to reflect and vote on the issues and the candidates.

Resource Link: http://cdd.stanford.edu/

Online Deliberative Polling

Online Deliberative Polling is an extension of a well-established methodology (Deliberative Polling, created by James Fishkin) that measures opinion change within a random scientific sample of the public. Central to this methodology is an opportunity to discuss the issues with fellow citizens and question a panel of leading experts. The first experiment in Online Deliberation Polling took place January 2003 as a prominent part of MacNeil/Lehrer Productions' By the People project.

Resource Link: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/btp/articles/events_dop.html

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