Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Deliberative, Civil Debate -- imagine that!

This looks interesting. It's a story from a web site on Pittsburgh announcing a "deliberative poll" on marriage equality. Here's how they describe it:

"“Current polling and the media don’t allow for thoughtful political issues or debate,” explains Robert Cavalier, a Carnegie Mellon philosophy professor and SPPDD co-director. “It will be a remarkable achievement if we can get citizens across the state to come together and talk about sex, politics and religion in a civilized way.”

On the day of the program, people will come together and meet in smaller groups. “It’s been my experience that when people come together and talk to people they don’t usually talk to, they roll up their sleeves and work on it as opposed to initiating a debate or disagreement.”

Deliberative polling is a concept pioneered by Stanford's James Fishkin as a way for an electorate to make more informed, thoughtful decisions about public life.

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