This case study features the ten 2007/2008 Citizen Conferences, each consisting of 8 to 10 New Mexican Adult Citizens and lasting 9 hours. This series of deliberative events was convened by the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) and the University of New Mexico's Institute for Public Policy (IPP) to gather public feedback, so that the State could best meet the transportation needs of its citizens.
In the late 1990s several policy issues concerning the Canadian public health care system became the subject of public debate in Canada. These included the rising costs of the system, including cost per capita; which level of government should bear rising costs; whether and what forms of privatization should be introduced; delays in receiving treatment; the quality of treatment; differences in access to treatments in different provinces (so-called "uneven coverage"); and the extent to which health care service delivery was disaggregated.
The financial and economic crisis, of which we have heard so much discussion since 2007-8, is only one aspect of a whole series of underlying political trends which have been apparent for much longer: a crisis of (in)equality and of increased precarity of the workforce, a human rights crisis, a demographic crisis, an ecological crisis, a crisis in civil liberties, and above all a crisis in democracy.
The purposes of the CommonGround public deliberations in the U.S. state of New Mexico were to demonstrate a new mode of policy communication between New Mexico's citizens and civic leaders, and to create policy guidelines that could inform changes to early childhood development and education policy in New Mexico, changes intended to foster improved social outcomes for New Mexico's children.