Op-ed piece in the Independent by James S. Fishkin, Director of the Center for Deliberative Democracy at Stanford University:
This weekend Power2010 will convene an unprecedented experiment in public consultation. A national sample of the entire UK, first polled online by YouGov, will be transported from virtual space to physical space in a London hotel. The agenda for the deliberations comes from thousands of online submissions about how best to improve the UK political system.
The result will be a “Deliberative Poll”. Some 4,000 suggestions have been boiled down to 58 reform ideas. A non-partisan briefing book has been prepared with arguments for and against each reform. The 200 people who make up the sample will convene in small groups and then pose questions to competing experts in plenary sessions. At the end of the weekend, they will decide what they really think about all 58 in confidential questionnaires. The top choices at the end of the day will be submitted for a public campaign in the run-up to the election.