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.
Proposition 31 was a ballot measure created by California Forward and voted on by the people of California during the General Election held on November 6, 2012. Proposition 31 called for changes to the state budget, and for any legislation to be published three days before it was voted on, among other things. Proposition 31 was defeated by a vote of over 60% to under 40%, but was a good step in the right direction regarding budget reform in California.
The New Jersey Peoples’ Tax Assembly was a deliberative event organized in 2003 by the New Jersey Coalition for the Public Good. Its aim was to provide recommendations for specific steps leading to the reform of New Jersey’s tax system, commonly seen as unfair. The Tax Assembly involved nearly 100 motivated citizens who were selected according to certain criteria that would make them representative for the total population of New Jersey. These delegates were given information to help them form opinions and guide their small group discussions. Facilitators compiled notes from the discussions into a report which was presented to the state legislature.
Obesity is still a prevailing problem in the United States. It is also the second leading cause of preventable death. Statistics show that about 33.8% of American adults are obese. The percentage of children who are considered overweight is also an alarming approximate 17%. The issue has provoked large reactions from various foundations, government and private organizations to support organized interventions.