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  • 1 This chapter summarizes an argument I develop more fully in When the People Speak: Deliberative Democracy and Public Consultation (Oxford University Press 2009).
  • 2 See Gutmann and Thompson (2004: 5) for a ‘loose’ definition of ‘binding’: ‘[The participants] intend their discussion to influence a decision the government will make or a process that will affect how future decisions are made.’ By this criterion, many of the televised Deliberative Polls before elections or referenda, or advisory to government bodies would fall within the ‘binding’ category.
  • 3 See Lehr et al. (2003). A much lengthier process designed to resemble Deliberative Polling, the Citizens Assembly in British Columbia, led to the selection of a referendum topic for electoral reform in 2004 (Blais/Carty/Fournier 2006).
  • 4 Essentially the same methodology was applied in California on an even larger scale in a health care deliberation called CaliforniaSpeaks. 120,000 people were initially solicited. An eventual 3,500 participated but only 60 per cent were from this process. About 40 per cent were ‘indirectly recruited’ (friends or family who came along to the event were 21 per cent and persons recruited by interest groups or grass roots organizations were 19 per cent) (Fung and Lee 2008). Fung and Lee note that in comparison to a separate survey of the general public from the Public Policy Institute of California, the participants are politically different (only 18 per cent self- identified as conservative as opposed to 37 per cent of the California general public), demographically different (only 13 per cent Latino compared to 36 per cent of the California public) and much more interested in politics (61 per cent very interested in politics compared to 21 per cent of the general public).
  • 5 Luskin et al. (2007a) find that the mean absolute net change, on a 0 to 1 scale to which the indices were normed, is .096.
  • 6 Across the nine Deliberative Polls the correlation between the time one mean knowledge score and the mean absolute net change is -.583 (Luskin et al. 2007a).
  • 7 See Brehm (1993) for the threat of non-response to the validity of surveys. The problem has only gotten worse since he wrote, given the spread of cell phones, the disappearance of landlines, and the tumbling of response rates.
  • 8 Siu (2009) found that the small groups moved toward the initial position of the males 51 per cent of the time, toward the initial positions of the more educated 54 per cent of the time, toward the initial positions of those with higher income 52 per cent of the time and toward the initial positions of the white participants 48 per cent of the time. This strategy for analyzing the issue of domination by the more advantaged was suggested by Robert Luskin.
  • 9 See for example Sunstein (2003). See the discussion in our sections on polarization (Fishkin and Laslett 2003).
  • 10 While Sunstein has treated the Deliberative Poll as a possible exception to his law, he has since been asserting that the law is general and applies to Deliberative Poll like processes (Sunstein 2006, especially Chapter two; and Schkade et al. 2007). The latter, most recent experiment uses a jury like process and a deliberation limited to only fifteen minutes. It is difficult to generalize from such an experiment either to the DD proposal (which is meant for a whole day without an agreed verdict) or the Deliberative Poll, which also involves moderated discussion, no agreed consensus and at least a whole day of deliberation.
  • 11 We begin to examine that empirical question below. The issue has a long history (see Mansbridge 1999). Mansbridge frames the issue about participation in general but many of her cases are discursive participation. J. S. Mill was heavily influenced by de Tocqueville and the two long reviews he wrote of Democracy in America were a precursor to his discussions of the issue in representative government. They are reprinted as introductions to each edition in Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, Vols I and II (de Tocqueville 1863 [1961]). For public spiritedness in the China case see Fishkin et al. (2010).
  • 12 These questions are taken from an index of seven questions (Fishkin et al. 2007).
  • 13 The model put forward in Luskin et al. (2002) has been applied to many Deliberative Polls.
  • 14 The Deliberative Poll was held by Regione Lazio - Assessorato a Bilancio, programmazione economico finanziaria e partecipazione (Department of Budgeting, Financial Planning and Participation). It was promoted and carried out by the magazine Reset with the support of Ispo (Istituto per gli Studi sulla Pubblica Opinione - Institute for Studies on Public Opinion) and directed by Renato Mannheimer. The survey and the final event were sponsored by the bank Dexia, Lega Coop (the Italian association of cooperative societies) and the newspaper E-polis. Since then the Associazione per la Democrazia Informata has been created to promote Deliberative Polling in Italy.
  • 15 In November 1995 there were no commercially viable wind projects in Texas (Sloan 2007).
  • 16 The first of this series was hosted by Central Power and Light (CPL) in Corpus Christi, Texas, in May, 1996; followed by West Texas Utilities (WtU) in Abilene; Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) in Shreveport, Louisiana; El Paso Electric (EPE) in El Paso; Houston Light and Power (HLP) in Houston; Entergy in Beaumont; Southwestern Public Service Company (SPS) in Amarillo; and then Texas Utilities in Dallas.
  • 17 See the company report at NScotia_P_eng.pdf
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