Deliberative Democracy Essay

1608 words - 7 pages

Deliberative Democracy strives to bring people together, and discuss their problems in order to create a better form of governmental policy. However, some are skeptical of deliberative democracies ability to get individuals to communicate with one another in modern pluralistic societies like the US. When discussing important political matters, people have the tendency to not pay attention to the arguments of others, as they are only fixated on their own arguments. It is basic human nature for people to act in this way, which is the reason deliberative democrats have outlined certain prerequisites that must be followed, in order for deliberation to take place. Without these certain rules and regulations in the deliberation, it will simply fall apart. Even though these assumptions about how deliberation should occur are good in theory, Rosenberg suggests three significant ways in which deliberation would fail to meet these expectations expressed by deliberative democrats. In addition, the obstacle for deliberative democrats remains the issue of reaching success in cross cultural settings, where the ideals of deliberative democracy seem to unravel. These problems hinder the communication and trust that is so essential, which lead to many people having uncertainties about the effectiveness of deliberative democracy.
According to Gutman and Thompson, reciprocity, publicity, and accountability are required for a deliberation to take place, because this ensures each person has a right to speak and creates an atmosphere for open discussion. Usually, people do not want to hear one another, because they are biased by their own opinions and morals. Rather than being unreasonable to other opinions, deliberative democrats call for people to explain their opinions by giving reasons. Justification must go both ways, and by giving respect to one another deliberation can move past close minded people. Human biases pose a huge problem, because most of the time people assume their opinion is right, especially when dealing with morals. However, by using the ideas of reciprocity, publicity, and accountability, people of differing ideas can come to an understanding with each other, and maybe even find some common ground. Democratic deliberation is not about which people are right and wrong, but rather getting people to gather together and discuss the issues that matter the most. It is during this active discussion amongst people that they start to learn about each other. Most of the time, it is a lack of knowledge that separate people from one another. Once, they start to understand each other, they can actively engage in creating policies that will benefit their society. In this deliberation, everyone has a voice and all opinions are held as equal, which give the policies created legitimacy, as everyone plays an active role. Without these ideals, respect would be lost and these deliberations would be diminished to shouting matches, which would benefit nobody.
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