VOX POPULI NEWSLETTER
Financial Times’ Columnist Advocates for Citizens’ Juries and Assemblies
In a recent column, Martin Wolf of The Financial Times suggests that citizen juries could be the key to restoring democracy. He argues that traditional democratic institutions have failed to adequately represent the voice of the people, leading to a sense of disillusionment and disengagement in the political process. Citizen juries and assemblies, made up of randomly selected representative samples of citizens, would provide a more representative and deliberative approach to decision-making, allowing for a more inclusive and participatory democracy.
“These assemblies would be more representative than professional politicians can ever be,” Wolf said. “They would temper the impact of political campaigning, nowadays made more distorted by the arts of advertising and the algorithms of social media. A modest way to do this is to introduce citizens’ juries to advise on contentious issues. These juries would be time-limited, compensated for their time and be advised by experts. ”
VOP Launches Newsletter for Policymakers,
First Edition on AI
Last week, Voice of the People launched a newsletter focused on public opinion of emerging federal policy proposals called Ear to the People, specifically designed for policymakers. The first edition focused on the public’s perception of whether and how AI should be regulated. The results showed that most people support government regulation of AI, with 87% of them believing in a significant or minor role for oversight. Additionally, 82% agree that AI should be regulated for consumer protection, and 74% feel that AI developers should be licensed or certified. Sign up to receive Ear to the People here!
Through the public comment process, VOP was proud to share the opinion of the people on AI with the National AI Advisory Committee last week. The National AI Advisory Committee was launched in 2022 of last year with a purpose: to provide Congress with recommendations on topics such as AI competitiveness, the state of science around AI, and other areas. This is a key moment for collective deliberation on AI, and the public should play a role in the future of this emerging technology.
Partnership With ActiVote Offers VOP Donation with Each Download
An exciting new partnership between ActiVote and Voice of the People will bring our policymaking simulations to more citizens across the country. In this partnership, you have the opportunity to earn VOP a donation of $1 for each person who signs up for ActiVote using our link.
Together, the organizations are working to bring civic engagement to users through policymaking simulations and easy-to-use technology that connects citizens to their representatives and their upcoming elections. This partnership will make it more accessible for people to have their voices heard and participate in the democratic process. If you’d like to help fund our important, nonpartisan movement to give the public a greater voice in the policymaking process, download ActiVote today.
Deliberative Democracy at Nobel Prize Summit
On May 25th, the Deliberative Democracy Lab (DDL) at Stanford University, in coordination with the 2023 Nobel Prize Summit, ran a large-scale group deliberation exercise about online misinformation and what to do about it. The demonstration showcased Deliberative Polling®, a concept created in 1988 by James Fishkin, DDL’s Director, which aims to improve the quality of democratic decision-making by allowing citizens to engage in informed and respectful dialogue about complex policy issues.
Using Stanford’s Online Deliberation Platform to facilitate small group discussions and expert presentations, citizens are able to exchange views, consider alternative perspectives and arrive at informed and considered opinions. “The Nobel Prize Summit is an excellent opportunity to pilot listening to the people on this urgent topic,” stated Jim Fishkin. “Deliberative Polling® has been applied in 120 projects around the world on many complex topics, and this one poses special challenges with novel trade-offs.”
Republican Subgroups on Minimum Wage
The proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 over a five-year period was favored by less than half of Republicans (41%), but responses varied substantially by demographic groups. Majority support was present among: women (54%), households earning under $50k (58%), and persons of color (56%), and those with a high school education or less (51%).
Those least in support of the $15 proposal were Republicans who are male (29%), have household income over $150,000, hold an advanced degree (33%), and are white (38%). Majorities of people in those groups preferred a federal minimum wage in the $10-11 range.
Similarly, the proposal to index the federal minimum wage to inflation was supported by just under half of Republicans (45%) but majorities of Republicans in several demographic groups were in support: women (53%), households earning under $50k (56%), those aged 18-34 (55%), persons people of color (64%), and those with a high school education or less (54%).
There was no equivalent level of difference among Democrats by demographics. This finding, that there is greater policy divisions among Republicans than Democrats has been documented in previous studies. With regards to a $15 minimum wage, Pew Research Center also found large differences between Republicans of different income levels, in both their 2021 and 2019 surveys.