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The Cure for Your #Regrexit Democratic Hangover

Departing Director and now Senior Scholar John Gastil wrote this piece on the Brexit and democratic practice

Jun 30, 2016

People want the opportunity to vote in referendums. They are not going away, nor should they. But partisans on both sides almost always make one-sided, hyperbolic, or even outright deceptive claims. That fact, plus the often short time frame, means the typical voter often ends up confused, ill-informed, or both. Democratic governments should offer citizens the opportunity to learn from a non-biased source what the measure actually entails before the election. John references his work with the Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review Commission as one way to provide that kind of information. The commission convenes a panel of randomly selected citizens to deliberate on a ballot measure. After three to five days of weighing rival claims about a proposed policy, the panel writes a citizens’ statement. This page appears in the official voters’ pamphlet, which the Oregon Secretary of State distributes to every registered voter.

How many voters do you think wish they had had such a pamphlet before the Brexit vote? 

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