By Popular Demand
Revitalizing Representative Democracy Through Deliberative Elections
By (author) John Gastil
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By Popular Demand by John Gastil
Book DescriptionJohn Gastil challenges conventional assumptions about public opinion, elections, and political expression in this persuasive treatise on how to revitalize the system of representative democracy in the United States. Gastil argues that American citizens have difficulty developing clear policy interests, seldom reject unrepresentative public officials, and lack a strong public voice. Our growing awareness of a flawed electoral system is causing increased public cynicism and apathy. The most popular reforms, however, will neither restore public trust nor improve representation. Term limits and campaign finance reforms will increase turnover, but they provide no mechanism for improved deliberation and accountability. Building on the success of citizen juries and deliberative polling, Gastil proposes improving our current process by convening randomly selected panels of citizens to deliberate for several days on ballot measures and candidates. Voters would learn about the judgments of these citizen panels through voting guides and possibly information printed on official ballots. The result would be a more representative government and a less cynical public. America has a long history of experimentation with electoral systems, and the proposals in By Popular Demand merit serious consideration and debate.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780520223653
(229mm x 152mm x 19mm)
Imprint: University of California Press
Publisher: University of California Press
Publish Date: 1-Aug-2000
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author John Gastil
Democracy in Motion, Paperback (November 2012)
Democracy in Motion uses theory, research, and practice to comprehensively explore what we know, how we know it, and what remains to be understood about deliberative civic engagement. The book is useful to scholars, practitioners, public officials, activists, and citizens who seek to utilize deliberative civic engagement in their communities.
Deliberative Democracy Handbook, Paperback (April 2011)
The Deliberative Democracy Handbook is a terrific resource for democratic practitioners and theorists alike. It combines rich case material from many cities and types of institutional settings with careful reflection on core principles. It generates hope for a renewed democracy, tempered with critical scholarship and political realism.
Political Communication and Deliberation, Paperback (February 2008)» View all books by John Gastil
The act of deliberation is the act of reflecting carefully on a matter and weighing the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions to a problem. This book takes a different approach to the field of political communication by viewing the concepts and research in the context of deliberative democratic theory.
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Author Biography - John Gastil
John Gastil is a Professor in the Department of Speech Communication at the University of Washington. He is the author of Democracy in Small Groups: Participation, Decision Making, and Communication (1993).
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