Practical Democracy: Summary

The described process provides the sorting and selecting mechanism required to implement Jane Mansbridge's "Selection Model" of Political Representation.1 It yields self-motivated representatives whose gyroscopes are aligned with the objectives of the people who select them. It lets the people advance the individuals they believe have the qualities necessary to resolve public issues into ever-more deliberative groups to work out solutions from broadly differing perspectives.

PD focuses on selecting representatives who will resolve adversarial encounters to the advantage of the commonweal. During the process, participants necessarily consider both common and conflicting interests, and, because PD is intrinsically bidirectional, it gives advocates of conflicting interests a continuing voice. At the same time, it encourages the absorption of diverse interests, reducing them to their essential element: their effect on the participants in the electoral process. There are no platforms, there is no ideology. The only question is, which participants are the most attuned to the needs of the community and have the qualities required to advocate the common good.