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I’ve had my views changed on a number of things…10.01.2010 // by Paul Senior
Over the course of this weekend's Deliberative Poll, participants are blogging their thoughts and experiences debating the future of British democracy.
Paul Senior: The first day was very informative, even though not what I expected. It's really clear now that this is no focus group, but a proper experiment with a method of doing things.
What felt a bit strange was deliberating for two or three hours without being asked to come to any consensus or conclusion.
We sat in groups with a facilitator. In those groups we discussed electoral reform and reform of parliament. We had an hour and a quarter on each, with a list of issues to think about.
Some of the topics were quite challenging - how many people truly understand the purpose of a Statutory Instrument, or the make up of a Select Committee? We do now.
At the end of each section, the 14 teams had been asked to come up with a set of questions for the "experts".
As well as the academics I expected, and whose opinions were valuable, there was for example an outreach worker from Parliament, and a woman from the British Youth Council.
We heard these experts answer many of our questions and that was it. Anticlimax in a way.
But I know for sure my views changed on a few things and know others did too. I'm sure that'll be recorded at the end, as this is all part of a bigger process.
What it looks set to prove is the value of informed as opposed to uninformed public opinion. Now that must be a good thing.
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