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date: 15 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Deliberative Polling attempts to answer a simple question: what would the people think about an issue under good conditions for thinking about it? Most of the time most people are not paying a lot of attention, they are not well informed, and there are many efforts to manipulate public opinion. What would the people think if they were effectively motivated to pay attention and enabled to get information about competing arguments and if they could discuss those issues with their fellow citizens in moderated, civil discussions? These simple requirements lead to the design: advisory group vetting of briefing materials; random sampling with an initial survey permitting evaluation of attitudinal as well as demographic representativeness; moderated small group discussions; plenary sessions with competing experts; final confidential questionnaire permitting evaluation of opinion changes. The process has been applied in more than 27 countries.

Keywords: deliberative Polling, random sampling, representativeness, public opinion, non-attitudes, polarization

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