Conference Publication Details
Mandatory Fields
Suiter J Muradova L Gastil J Farrell DM
ECPR General Conference
Scaling up deliberation: testing the efficacy of a voting aid in an Irish referendum
In Press
Optional Fields
deliberation; voting aids; referendums scaling up; deierntaive systems
This paper tests the efficacy of utilizing a voting aid in order to embed the benefits of mini- public deliberation within a wider voting public. We test whether a statement such as those derived from a Citizens’ Initiative Review (CIR) can influence voters who did not themselves participate in the official pre-referendum deliberative phase. This experiment was implemented in advance of the 2018 Irish referendum on blasphemy, which was one of a series of social-moral referendums conducted in Ireland following the recommendations of a deliberative assembly of citizens — The Irish Constitutional Convention (2012-14). This is the first application of a CIR- style voting aid in a real world mini-public and referendum outside of the US, and also the first application to what was principally a moral question. We find that non-participating citizens who are exposed to information about the mini-public and its findings, gain significant increases in knowledge and what we term reflectiveness where citizens believe such a mini-public will help them make better and informed judgments. Further, we examine if the effect of information about a mini-public extends to people’s other-regarding attitudes. The results indicate that exposing people to statements in favour and against the policy measure in addition to information about a mini-public and its findings increases their empathy for the other side.
Grant Details