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Engaging a million citizens

December 15th, 2008

Here is an interesting article in the American Prospect that proposes that how Obama administration should try to engage citizens in governance, co-written by my friend Joe Goldman at AmericaSpeaks. The key sentence:

As president, Obama should signal a new kind of governance by calling on the American people to take part in a series of national discussions, each engaging 1 million Americans or more, on the issues of highest public concern, such as the economy, health care, foreign policy, energy, and climate change.”

I know that my advisor Jim Fishkin would criticize AmericaSpeaks recruitment methodology, that allows anyone to participate. He usually argues for random sampling to ensure “formal equality” in the deliberations. But there is definitely something appealing and legitimate about having an open process that offer equal opportunity to participate and make special efforts to recruit people from underserved communities.

I’ll be interested to see if any this talk translates into action!

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