This project and website are under development. Updated 2/6/2020
Stick to the Subject      good governance through deliberative democracy   Details    /td>
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The Stick to the Subject Project
  • Stick's purpose is to form an association of local citizens who would engage in face to face, small group discussions on important public policy matters, with the results of the discourse feeding and enriching an online regional knowledge base.  Why?
  • It seeks to bring people of different backgrounds and points of view out to comfortable public locations to engage in reasoned, impersonal, open minded, respectful, non-political, and focused civic debate on topics related to the region's economy, society, culture, and government, using the principles of deliberative democracy.  details on deliberative democracy
  • Participants in the discussion or debate events would be collectively known as the Discussion Society. The online Knowledge Base would support them by providing topic related links to web sites, documents, databases, and streaming video, as well as guides to offline resources. Through it, members meeting for small group discussions would report the results of their events and use ranked voting to assess the results of the formal debates.
  • The public policy topics to be studied would be chosen either because their subject is topical and regional or because their development serves other related topics or because the topic has an important potential future impact. An example of the first would be "wildfires", a matter of urgent local concern. An example of the second would be "economic systems", a foundation topic for discussions on the economy. An example of the third would be "artificial intelligence".
  • The quality of the discussions themselves would be a primary goal and during the back and forth participants would concentrate more on thoroughly understanding all presented positions than on changing minds.
  • Although some formal debates would be staged and study teams formed to prepare for them, the majority of the discussions would be ad hoc and held at public locations, such as schools, libraries, restaurants, churches, and hospitals - places people already meet and discuss matters important to them.
  • The project's contributions to the political process would be:
    • To compile and report the points of view of a region's citizenry on the discussed topics, informing the public, public officials, and candidates for public office.
    • To connect topics with relevant government resources at the federal, state, county, municipal, and tribal levels.
    • To connect topics with the positions of candidates and political parties