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Op-Ed by Barnett Pearce for the San Jose Mercury News

This article was written as part of the “Democracy Communications Network,” a 2007-2009 project that encouraged leaders in deliberative democracy to periodically write op-eds and blog posts as part of larger, collaborative media campaigns to raise awareness of the importance of quality public engagement. Use the “Democracy Communications Network” tag to see the articles  written in association with this project.

(125-word limit)

Two Presidential candidates differ from the rest. Obama and Edwards say that there are really two political systems — one for insiders who can buy unlimited access to our leaders, and another for the rest of us. As part of his “One Democracy Initiative” announced on Saturday, 11/13, Edwards promised to create a biannual Citizen Congress, bringing well-tested social technologies (google National Coalition for Dialogueand Deliberation) to the federal government for the first time in the United States. What a good idea! This proposal deserves the support ofevery American. Other candidates should join Edwards in his commitment to reducing the gaps between officials and the public. If they do not, why should we support them?

W. Barnett Pearce

214 Yarborough Lane
Redwood City, CA 94061

W. Barnett Pearce, Ph. D.
Doctoral Program, School of Human and Organization Development Fielding
Graduate University http://www.fielding.edu

Public Dialogue Consortium

Pearce Associates
San Jose Mercury News

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