Deliberative opinion poll

Deliberative opinion poll

Deliberative polling combines small-group discussions involving large numbers of participants with random sampling of public opinion. Its overall purpose is to establish a base of informed public opinion on a specific issue. Citizens are invited to take part at random, so that a large enough participant group will provide a relatively accurate, scientific representation of public opinion.

The deliberative opinion poll is a form of opinion poll that incorporates the principles of deliberative democracy. It was first proposed by James Fishkin in his 1991 book "Democracy and Deliberation." Since its proposal, deliberative opinion polls have been conducted around the world.

PBS has worked with Fishkin via the By the People Program on several deliberative opinion polls, most recently in 2004, when it sponsored several regional deliberative polls around topics related to the 2004 national elections.

A group at Carnegie Mellon University has been working on the creation of tools for online deliberative polls. Their first tool is a Macromedia Flash-based discussion tool called PICOLA.

Fishkin and Yale Law Professor Bruce Ackerman have proposed a national holiday called Deliberation Day to allow voters to gather in large and small groups to discuss political issues.


Recently, PASOK held a deliberative poll to elect the party's candidate for the municipality of Amaroussion.

Issues Deliberation Australia/America, a political psychology think-tank, has worked with the Australian government to use deliberative polling for several important local and national issues, including the referendum on becoming a republic in 1999.

Deliberative polls have been also held in China

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