Between October and December 2010, the first deliberative field experiment in Swiss direct democracy was conducted. The issue of the online experiment was the expulsion initiative („Ausschaffungsinitiative”) of the Swiss People’s Party (SVP) and the counterproposal of the government and parliament. The expulsion initiative was an emotionally charged issue with a populist dimension, and as such perhaps not well suited for reasoned discussion. At the same time, it is precisely this kind of direct democratic vote where deliberation is perhaps most needed.
In April 2001, the Canadian government established the Romanow Commission to deliberate with citizens on the future of healthcare in Canada. However, the commission overlooked the serious issue of engaging marginalised groups such as Aboriginal people, and did not provide separate participatory spaces for such groups. While some Aboriginal people participated in the dialogues, the outcomes did not fully reflect Aboriginal health issues.
In 2002, the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) saw the completion of the construction of the Simhadri Thermal Power Project (STPP), a coal-fired power plant, in the Vizag District of India. The construction of the STPP, while having promised potential benefits and opportunities for local residents, had instead served to compromise their existing economic wellbeing. This case presents the latter’s response to their predicament through a public hearing with the participation of relevant actors, including civil society actors.
Australia's first Citizens' Parliament (also referred to as Australian Citizens' Parliament and ACP) was a large-scale three-day deliberation that took place in Canberra between randomly-selected citizens of Australia in February 2009. Organized by the new Democracy Foundation, the citizens were asked to address the question of how the Australian government could be strengthened to better serve the people. Their results, 13 proposals, were presented to the Australian Parliament. This event was meticulously recorded and provides an important vault of resources for future research.
Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a process implemented in the 1990s where residents of certain regions can influence how their governments' annual budgets are allocated. After the collapse of its authoritarian regime in the mid 1980s, Brazilians implemented reforms to bolster their economic and political futures through participatory methods. These new democratic practices drastically improved the lives and social infrastructure of its participants.