is Deliberation Day?
Idaho's Deliberation Day was one of seventeen such events
occurring throughout the country in October of 2004. The
initiative is designed to help Americans focus on their
connection to the rest of the world, and is part of MacNeil/Lehrer
Productions' national initiative, By
the People: America in the World.
Citizen engagement with the issues of the day is the
cornerstone of our democracy. And the 117 Idahoans participating
spent the day learning from each other and sharing their
The title for the day's events comes from the book, Deliberation
Day, written by Bruce Akerman and James Fishkin. A
democracy scholar, Fishkin is director of the Center for
Deliberative Democracy at Stanford University, Palo Alto,
California, and has developed Deliberative Polling.
process tracks the viewpoints of a random sample from
initial contact through deliberation. Fishkin has initiated
Deliberative Polling events in the United States and elsewhere
that bring random and representative samples of voters
together for discussion of key political issues. Participants
in these events increase their understanding of the issues
and often change their minds on the best course of action.
Idaho Public Television
videotaped the Deliberation Day event at Boise State University.
The segments aired as local inserts within a national
public television show, "A
Time to Choose: A By The People Election Special."
(link to show) Hosted by Jim Lehrer, the program explores
the different perspectives citizens bring to the international
issues on the nation's agenda and includes a roundtable
conversation among citizens from around the country.
Public Television also is producing a DIALOGUE
program that analyzes the data from Deliberation Day.
Results of the day will also be used by IDAHO
REPORTS during the state legislative session.
Dr. James Weatherby, Chairman of the Department of Public
Policy and Administration at Boise State University hosted
the Deliberation Day event.
Other sponsors for Idaho's Deliberation Day are The League
of Women Voters, The Idaho Press Club, and The Idaho Statesman
Primary funding for this event was provided by the William
and Flora Hewlett Foundation.