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NCDD-DISCUSSION  May 2013, Week 3

NCDD-DISCUSSION May 2013, Week 3

Subject:

Re: Moving D&D Outcomes into Public Policy

From:

Bruce Schuman <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Bruce Schuman <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 21 May 2013 18:25:53 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (74 lines)

I have a similar question that keeps coming up, despite my enthusiasm for
idealistic collective intelligence approaches.  Wisdom Councils and "Choice
Creation" become feasible when the stakeholders are in the room.  But in
representative democracy -- they are not.  This morning I saw Oklahoma
Senator James Inhofe talking about the Moore tornado.  He is a leading
anti-climate-change activist and author of the book "The Greatest Hoax: How
the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future".
http://www.amazon.com/Greatest-Hoax-Warming-Conspiracy-Threatens/dp/19364884
93
  
The way it looks to me, expecting climate change (or gun control)
legislation in the context of our current red state/blue state diversity is
like expecting a mass religious conversion among the American electorate.  

Bruce Schuman
(805) 966-9515 Santa Barbara
http://interspirit.net | http://sharedpurpose.net |
http://bridgeacrossconsciousness.net

-----Original Message-----
From: NCDD Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
Behalf Of Terry Steichen
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 2:00 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [NCDD-DISCUSSION] Moving D&D Outcomes into Public Policy

Many if not all D&D (deliberation and dialogue) techniques seek to
facilitate groups of individuals so they more clearly identify problems and
high quality solutions for these problems, along with assisting in arriving
at a (near or actual) consensus among these members about which solution is
preferred.  While it is not my area of expertise, I assume that many/most of
the techniques discussed in the NCDD list, are fairly effective at that and
bring with them a lot of value.

However, when D&D techniques begin to morph into DD (direct democracy)
initiatives, a couple of fundamental questions emerge. One is whether the
technique can scale up to millions of participants (which some advocates
seem to automatically assume  and will can happen).

The other, far more important question, is how the D&D output (say, a
consensus view of what the problem is and the best way to solve it) gets
converted into a corresponding public policy (aka, law).  Some D&D advocates
appear to think this will "just happen."

But that's unlikely-to-impossible.

Public policies get implemented via a vote - not by the citizens themselves,
but by the citizens' elected proxies (aka, political representatives).  The
best that the citizens can do is hold their proxies' feet to the fire so
they cast their legislative votes in the right direction (that is, the
direction favored by "We, the People").

As we all know, this system isn't working very well (to indulge in serious
understatement).  On many major issues (gun violence being a recent one),
the actions of the proxies show a flagrant disregard for the public will.

That to me is the primary challenge: to convert the public will (whatever it
is and whether arrived at by a group-like consensus, by majority vote or
some other means) into public policies.  While I see a possible role for D&D
in that challenge, I don't see any D&D technique (including the one we
recently discussed at length here in list) actually solving it.

But, if I'm wrong I'm quite open to being further educated (as long as it's
not in the form of faith-based "wishful thinking"),


Terry Steichen
TopicCentral.com
[log in to unmask]

---

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