A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll on the Iran deal points to one of the key problems with standard polls when it comes to dealing with complex issues. A striking 46% of respondents said they did not know enough to have an opinion. Which immediately brings to mind the thought, why bother with polling when nearly half of the people don’t have enough knowledge on the subject? Can we simply rely on the other half?

The surveys that are conducted with the Citizen Cabinet have an answer to this problem.

In Citizen Cabinet surveys, respondents go through a process called a ‘policymaking simulation’ in which they are briefed on the issue and the options Congress is actually considering. They weigh competing arguments for and against each option. Finally they are asked to make their recommendations.

In this way even people who initially might have said they don’t know enough to answer the question can give meaningful input.

Each policymaking simulation is vetted extensively, in advance, with key congressional staffers from both parties, as well outside experts from differing viewpoints. This is to ensure that each instrument is accurate, balanced and includes the strongest arguments for and against each policy option. Links to these simulations are provided on VOP.org and made available to all citizens.

Want to give the people a voice on important issues? Give ‘em unbiased information, allow opposing sides to present their most compelling arguments on the policies presented, then ask the respondents to give their recommendations.

The Founders believed that our government works best when it is guided by the common sense of the people. We now have a way to help make that happen, even when it comes to challenging issues.