New Approach to Political Deliberation Finds Surprising Common Ground on Campaign Finance
A novel experiment may hold the key to helping groups of ideologically diverse individuals reach agreement on intractable public policy issues.
Called “The GREATER Jury,” the 14-week experiment resulted in 13 men and women representing a full range of political views to answer the broad and purposefully vague instigating question...
“How might we reconcile protecting free speech while limiting money in politics?”
With deliberations conducted completely on a private website and email, the jurors first decided on the public policy they wanted to put on trial. They then proposed — and voted on — the broad “instigating question.” They next were asked to pose “clarifying questions” that would inform the discussion. They then researched the questions and shared the answers with the other jurors, voting on the importance, relevance, and credibility of each.
The jurors then proposed solutions based on what they learned from their research, and these were voted on to create a final ballot. They then voted on the ballot.
What sets this process apart from what is typically reported on in the news, and experienced in social media is—this is about what we CAN agree upon. The Jurors either did or didn’t “approve” of the statement.
The ideologically balanced jury issued the following verdicts in descending order of agreement:
Remove as much as possible the various and vast monetary incentives from being elected to Congress
90%+ NEARLY UNANIMOUS
Politicians are spending too much time fundraising and not enough time governing
85% - 89% VAST SUPER MAJORITY
Oppose treating campaign donations the same as a secret ballot
Maximize voter exposure to the arguments for and against the candidates, encourage representatives to serve the best interest of their constituents, and prevent small numbers of individuals with access to large amounts of money from disproportionate influence.
Ban fundraising from outside the State or District
75% - 84% STRONG SUPERMAJORITY
Were opposed to removing all money regulations from donating to campaigns. Were in favor of strict transparency of campaign donations
Diminish the appearance of extortion and bribery of elected officials through campaign donations
Ban fundraising except when Congress isn’t in Session and only in their districts Ban fundraising during business hours while Congress is in Session
66% to 74% SUPERMAJORITY
Making Town, City, and County campaign donations transparent
Shorten the Length of the Campaign Season
No Limits on issue advertising that do not name candidates for or against Ban all donations from outside the member of Congress’ constituency Strict transparency of Super PAC money
Are these results indicative of what society in general would agree upon if they studied this topic for 3 months? We’ll know more as this process gains statistical significance through larger jury sizes. It won’t be much longer until the Law of Large Numbers will assure reflectivity with the populace—the GREATER Jury.
The GREATER Jury is the opposite of politics. For more information contact Jon Denn at baliff@GREATERjury.us.