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.
Before making the education policy adjustments which had become essential due to low pupil turnout, the Department of Education in Northern Ireland sought to pay attention to the views of the parents. The goal was to create the required new rules within an atmosphere of cooperation. To attain this cooperation, a deliberative poll was held in Omagh, Northern Ireland in January 2007. 565 randomly selected parents were polled and then invited to Omagh College for a day of deliberation. 127 participants were given briefing materials on education policy.
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.
Researchers at the W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics, University of British Columbia (UBC), conducted two deliberative forums on the topic of human tissue biobanking: The BC Biobank Deliberation (2007) and the BC Biolibrary Deliberation (2009). In both cases, members of the public from across British Columbia were invited to two weekends of deliberation about biobanks. Biobanks are large collections of human biological tissue that are used for research.
Uniontown, a community of about 3,000, is located in the heart of Alabama’s Black Belt, named for a deposit of dark, fertile soil extending from Mississippi’s border through the heart of Alabama. This region faces declining population, persistent poverty, inadequate health care, substandard schools, and weak business development.