Public deliberation is when people come together to discuss and decide upon the problems that affect them as a community. This is used to show the different models of communication which can help people have their political voice. Some approaches include the National Issues Forum, Everyday Democracy, Citizen Juries, and many more.Characteristics Of Public Deliberation?
- Your title or position doesn’t matter in here as this focuses more on solving a problem by having an input from the public or the community as equals.
- Everyone should have equal opportunities. People are encouraged to speak up and give their ideas, which will be compiled later on.
- Choice of work is essential as it encourages people to discuss and make decisions despite differing views and also consider the costs and trade-offs.
- Diversity is important because the chances of making the best decision increases as this mean there are more inputs from people of different backgrounds.
- Finding common ground is essential. While people may have different opinions, this means there is still a shared sense of goal.
How Is Public Declaration Different From Town Hall Meeting?
Town meetings are usually between citizens and decision-makers while public deliberation allows citizens to communicate with each other. It’s also different from focus groups as focus groups concentrate more on knowing what people think and not how to change how people think. Public deliberation needs to have citizens to communicate with each other about the issues and to make a public judgment.
If decision-makers participate in this too, they respect the decisions as it gives them an idea of what individuals think. This gives them more than just complaints that often contradict each other.
What Do People (And The Community) Gain From Public Deliberation?
- People get to feel that they can make a difference and that they can decide.
- It gives people a chance to see each other’s sides than polarize each other and end up with disagreement.
- This also makes people more engaged. People whose inputs are considered will vote and volunteer.
- Since they know that their voices matter, they will become more willing to be educated and informed about the issues.
- Since they know that their input matters, they would find a way to work with each other and with other groups in the community.
- It helps them understand how the issue affects not only them but also other people.
- It also helps improve the social relationships and diversity appreciation in the community.
On Leaders Concerning Public Deliberation
Leaders and officials who decide to participate make better and more effective decisions. It increases the trust of the public in politicians because they get to see how political decisions are made. It creates a connection between society and the government. It gives an idea of how the thinking process and values of the public and not just what they think. While it’s not a cure-all, it does help with holding leaders more accountable for their decisions.
What Does A National Issues Forums Model Of Deliberation Look Like?
A national issue will first be selected like health care or energy. Then the community will be invited to the deliberation. The conveners will then recruit to get diverse participation.
Participants will have a booklet showing the approaches to the issue, which contains the language of the public and the strategies they can take to solve the problem. A summary video will then be shown before the deliberation.
The community will discuss the options and use them to expound on their thoughts, feelings, concerns, and wants. While everyone is encouraged to talk, they should be wary of taking over the conversation. Everyone’s input will then be recorded and included in a final report which will be used to find common ground on the issue.
The principal leaders will be identified, and the reports will be sent to the leaders or officials. These meetings can increase awareness of citizens who then can make positive changes in the community.