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Deliberative Democracy And Political Ignorance

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Executive Summary

Advocates of "Deliberative democracy" want citizens to actively participate in serious dialogue over political issues, not merely go to the polls every few years. Unfortunately, these ideals don't take into account widespread political ignorance and irrationality. Most voters neither attain the level of knowledge needed to make deliberative democracy work, nor do they rationally evaluate the political information they do possess. The vast size and complexity of modern government make it unlikely that most citizens can ever reach the levels of knowledge and rationality required by deliberative democracy, even if they were better informed than they are at present.

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