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April 8, 2004

Public Agenda's FirstChoice

Public Agenda has done what I once hoped to do myself: they have created a website with detailed background information on important public issues and self-diagnostic exercises that can help you to decide what policies you prefer--understanding that all policies have costs and risks, as well as advantages. The site says:

When politicians present their plans, they naturally play up the quick, easy, cheap part of their program and downplay the messy, expensive, risky parts. In reality, however, many problems don't get solved without facing harsh choices; the government can't avoid pleasing some people and offending others. First Choice 2004 is designed to help you make the most of your vote by having strong, informed opinions about what those choices might be.

Public Agenda is a careful, skillful, and truly nonpartisan organization. They have certainly done a far better job with the site than I could have done. If there were any way to get lots of people to use resources like this, our democracy would work much better. The New York Times and MTV are described as "partners" for the site, and they may boost its usage. Nevertheless, I presume that it will appeal mostly to very motivated and serious people. If only it could be used in thousands of high school social studies courses ....

Posted by peterlevine at 2:37 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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