NOTE: This website describes and demonstrates a potential system and is not actually in use. Topsy-turvy changes will occur regularly. Updated 07/24/2020.
Stick to the Subject      constructive civic discourse through deliberative democracy   Details    /td>
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Stick to the Subject is a regional knowledge-sharing program wherein the people of the Rogue Valley can enjoin their concerns and ideas on matters of common interest in a systemic, public, non-partisan, open-minded, measured, respectful, and focused manner.  Why?

It would use small group, live, in-person discussion events combined with an online knowledge base to collect, compile, organize, and report information and points of view on regionally important topics.

Not a democracy but a federal republic, the United States of America nevertheless uses the democratic process to elect citizen-representatives and officials to public office, where they become free agents. After voting, the citizen has no control over the elected official, and no influence other than protest or persuasion.

Stick's contribution to the political process will be to serve as a public, non-partisan, idea-centric democratic process that displays the informed will of the people around specific concerns and ideas for the benefit of both public officials and candidates for public office.

Key Program Features:
  • All interaction among participants would be in-person. There would be no chat rooms or discussion forums in the knowledge base, nor links to social media. With the exception of the formal debates, discussions would be held in small groups in informal, comfortable settings.
  • A goal of the discussions would be coming to mutual understanding among people who disagree on important matters, sometimes strongly, and not necessarily on the changing of minds. Civility is maintained by focusing attention on the ideas rather than personalities.
  • Anonymity is balanced with accountability. Voting is private. Submitted concerns and ideas are considered objectively using identity masking. Material contributed for the knowledge base is attached to the real names of contributors.

Proposed: a Rogue Valley live discussion society combined with an online, regional knowledge base   Details
The Discussion Society
the human arts to study, discuss, debate
The Knowledge Base
the technical crafts to collect, compile, report
1. Study Teams would prepare the list of discussion subjects, give the most common arguments for each, and provide online study materials and guides.
  • They would compile a list of discussion subjects submitted by members. The final list would be voted on by all members with the highest rated subjects becoming the calendar of discussions for the term.
  • Team members are local people with academic and experiential expertise in areas included in the Knowledge Base. An example would be a tax accountant on a team studying state taxes.
Society Economy Culture State
Health
Housing
Population
Security
Social Problems
Transportation
Commerce
Economic Indicators
Economic Systems
Finance
Land and Natural Resources
Public Finance & Taxation
Education
Recreation
Religion and Beliefs
Theatre and Art
Electoral College
Jackson County Government
Oregon State Government
Political Parties
Tribal Governments in the U.S.
U.S. Federal Government
2. Conversation Groups would meet for discussion in small, public gatherings at pre-arranged times.
  • Ideal meeting places would be comfortable, low key social, cultural, and entertainment settings where people can feel at ease, such as library meeting rooms, community centers, and restaurants.
  • The groups would be small - six to thirty people - to promote civility and to give all participants an opportunity to express themselves fully.
3. Debates, large-scale town hall style events, would be held on select subjects.
  • Debates would be formal events that would use the BBC Question Time format. Representatives from Study Teams would present arguments on the topic question from the dais and then would take questions from the audience members.