Prof. Fishkin is keeping busy

A deliberative poll for California’s future:

What’s Next California is an unprecedented attempt to bring the people into the process in a new way—one that is representative and thoughtful. A scientific random sample of the entire state will be transported to a single place for a weekend of face-to-face discussions, in small groups and in dialogue with competing experts. In California’s first statewide “Deliberative Poll,” the people will be supported by factual information and will consider the critical arguments on both sides of issues, then will articulate their priorities for fixing the state. A number of Deliberative Polls have been conducted at the national and local levels in sixteen countries around the world, including Britain, Australia, Denmark, and the United States. The deliberations will take place in Torrance on the weekend of June 25th. More than 300 citizens representing every region of the state will spend the weekend working in small groups and posing questions to public officials and policy experts. These in-depth discussions will likely range over legislative representation, taxation, whether local governments should have more autonomy and control over public services, and the initiative process.
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Indignant, fumbling, drawing lots

The WSWS has a critical report about the “indignants” movement in Greece:

Greece: The Syntagma Square movement—no real democracy

It is not easy to report on the “Indignants”, the protesters in Athens’ Syntagma Square. We spent almost an hour trying to find someone responsible who could tell us about the goals and character of the movement, without success.


There was no one willing to provide information about the objectives and purpose of the movement, and take responsibility for this. This game of hide and seek is not a coincidence. It is justified by reference to the principle of “genuine” or “direct” democracy, according to which the people take decisions directly, without the mediation of political representatives or parties. In fact, it serves to hide the real political objectives of the Indignants.
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