Delibartive polling experiment

Keith Sutherland’s article Chinese Democracy: ‘scientific, democratic and legal’ enthusiastically introduces James Fishkin et al.’s paper Deliberative Democracy in an Unlikely Place: Deliberative Polling in China. My own, less enthusiastic, opinion is in the comments to Keith’s article.

4 Responses

  1. We think of ‘Red China’ as a monolithic controlled society, yet items like Fishkin’s shows a much more nuanced picture. I too was surprised to find that in 1998 ‘public opinion’ in Beijing demanded that the admission to schools be decided by lottery. (It’s Example 19 on p66 in my ‘Lotteries for Education’ (out now!))

    “..for quite some time, the public demanded equalisation of access to quality schools.” is the actual quote.


  2. The response to my Open Democracy post has been mostly hostile, but the real point that I was trying to make is only that there is no necessary relationship between democracy as understood on this blog and competitive party elections.


  3. Keith, I think “critical” would be a better word than “hostile”.

    To your point: since the way things are set up in Fishkin’s polls, government officials are convening the polls, setting up the policy alternatives which are up for discussion, and writing the informational material, it seems that the way those officials are selected could make a great deal of difference.


  4. Jim Fishkin told me he would be reading the OD blog and (hopefully) responding on it — unless he is put off by Yoram’s “critical” comments!



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