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An Oregon Experiment in Citizen Governance

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 06:52 PM
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An Oregon Experiment in Citizen Governance

from YES! Magazine:

An Oregon Experiment in Citizen Governance
A new law that puts voters in charge of breaking through political spin could be a first step in making policy decisions that work.

by Tyrone Reitman
posted Nov 04, 2011

Daily, it seems, we watch as our democracy slips into an increasingly divisive panic attack. Republicans, were told, hate Democrats. Democrats, were told, hate Republicans. Accountability in our political system seems as tenuous as the economic recovery: Tea Partier, Wall Street Occupier, or none of the above, we all know something's amiss.

Yet as it is, we have a tradition of successful self-governance more than 230 years in the making. Full of beauty, opportunity, and deep scars, our democracy continues as a grand experiment. Rights have been expanded, greater access to the disenfranchised has been afforded, and our democratic institutions endure.

But we seem to be heading towards a political culture where anything goesclaims go unchecked, questions go unasked, and talking points are simply repeated again and again. The choice, however, between playing political games and governing well is ultimately ours: We are the "self" in "self-governance."

What would it be like to have balanced panels of voters publicly weigh in on the most controversial problems of our time? What would it look like to have a fair public review of the really tough issues, like health care policy, immigration, and financial regulation? And what if lawmakers were even to request this kind of input to help in their own decision-making, building greater citizen deliberation into how we 'do' democracy? ..........(more)

The complete piece is at:

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