a multimedia documentary about democracy and America
We think democracy breaks down when citizens give up reasoned thinking and dialogue.
Our proposal is designed to bring a set of average Americans, from red states and blue states, together in mixed groups to talk about the issues and get to know one another.
At the core, we are adding the idea of the Deliberative Poll (as developed by the political scientist James Fishkin at Stanford University) to the interactive visual potential of broadband internet. In this type of poll, the participants discuss the questions in a group, like a jury.
One-Country.com adds a simple idea to the Deliberative Poll: wouldn't it be great if you could take a look at the electoral map (as in the detailed, county level maps from the past election) and be able to click anywhere on it across the country and have a person pop up, someone that you can learn about in depth, with a personal photoblog and video. The idea is to attach real faces and lives to the map. And then put those people into direct, enlightened conversation.
The beneficial effects of dialogue are well documented. We will provide a free, continuous online service that tracks this model of representative democracy in action; an invaluable contribution to classrooms and the interested public both in the US and around the world. Our second phase will provide a sign-up tool, allowing visitors to automatically sift themselves into diversified groups for online dialogue with people encompassing a range of views.
A description of deliberative polling from a recent article in the NY Times: "This is a picture of what democracy could be like if people had a dialogue and heard more than the usual campaign sound bites."