Eesti kahe rahvakogu kogemused olid heaks näiteks Mongoolia pealinnas Ulaanbaataris 11. ja 12. oktoobril 2018 toimunud arutlusdemokraatia teaduskonverentsil. “Deliberative democracy in Asia” nime all toimunud üritus koondas Stanfordi Ülikooli professori James Fishkini patenteeritud arutleva arvamusküsitluse meetodit (Deliberative Polling) järginud näiteid peamiselt Hiinast, Jaapanist, Koreast ja Mongooliast.
Eesti kogemus esimesest rahvakogust välja kasvanud rahvaalgatusõiguse ja -veebiga oli mõeldud inspiratsioonina digiajastu võimaluste kasutamiseks arutleva demokraatia edendamisel. Konverentsil sai näitena toodud just pensionisüsteemi reformimisele tulevikkuvaatava aluse panemine uue eakuse rahvakogu kaudu. Eesti kogemusi käis Ulaanbaataris tutvustamas Koostöö Kogu juht Teele Pehk.
Vasakul fotol: konverentsi avab Mongoolia riigisekretäri staatuses minister G. Zandanshatar. Paremal: konverentsil esinejad lõunalauas koos professor James Fishkiniga.
Teele Pehk räägib Mongoolia riigitelevisioonile Eesti rahvakogudest.
Noppeid konverentsi “Deliberative democracy in Asia” kontseptsioonist:
We are witnessing a crisis of Representative Democracy in many countries, where political scientists, liberals, conservatives and the broader public are in consensus that there are major challenges facing democracy. Many of the main measures of the health of Democracy such as voter turnout, party membership, trust in politicians, and interest in politics are all declining. The very word ‘politician’ has become synonymous with self-serving and incompetence and long “gone are the days when ‘politician’ meant ‘public servant’ and when public service meant putting to one side one’s own needs and interests in favor of those of the collective”. This current atmosphere gives opportunity to the emergence of populist anti-politics. This situation is observed in Mongolia too, where politicians put their own interests first and have not only lost public trust but often is subject to criminal investigation for corrupt practices.
Deliberative democracy has been one of the most promising efforts to enhance citizen engagement in decision making, especially by introducing the ‘Deliberative Polling’ methodology to Mongolia. The country has now held two Deliberative Polls to consider major policy and governance questions. The first Deliberative Poll was held in 2015 by the city of Ulaanbaatar. Building on these efforts, the Mongolian government successfully organized the country’s first ever national Deliberative Poll in 2017 to consider an even more important issue, constitutional reform.
Exercising deliberative democracy, especially in view of the adoption of the law on Deliberative Polling in Feb. 2017, has significant potential to help revitalize and restore the confidence of citizens in the government, and yield better policy outcomes. Deliberative Democracy as a political tool and mechanism has the potential to remedy and revive democracy in its current crisis and needs to be discussed and explored in a range of governance contexts to fully understand this potential.
Thus, the various mechanisms to introduce Deliberative Democracy, particularly as it has been embodied in Deliberative Polling methodology, has generated interest among academia and government, and has been used in more than 100 cases around the world. Of particular interest is its recent application in Asia. Deliberative Polls have been conducted to provide representative public input for important public decisions in Japan, China, Macau, South Korea, and Mongolia. The dialogue among representatives from these projects, conducted at different levels and in different policy contexts, will provide the basis for the conference.