Deliberative mini-publics facilitating voter knowledge and judgement: Experience from a Finnish local referendum

Maija Setälä, Turku University
Veröld, Auditorium 023, Thursday 12 March, 12:05

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 27164972_1544010935653076_1251062532068831349_o-1024x1024.jpg

Can a Citizens’ Jury serve as a trusted source of voter information in the context of a government-initiated (top-down) referendum? Several studies show that Citizens’ Initiative Review (CIR) enhances voters’ knowledge and capacity of judgement in a ballot initiative processes. However, similar procedures have not been tested outside the U.S. or in the context of top-down government-initiated referendums. Maija Setälä and her colleagues studied a Citizens’ Jury on Referendum Options organized in the municipality of Korsholm in Finland in 2019. Even though the referendum concerned a contested municipal merger, they found that the Jury participants were nonetheless satisfied with the deliberative process and found it impartial. Furthermore; a large majority of voters had read the statement and thought it was a useful and trustworthy source of information. They also found that reading the statement increased trust in the jury, factual knowledge, issue efficacy and perspective-taking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *