First National Deliberative Poll in Eastern Europe: "Fighting Crime in Bulgaria"

In October 2002, Bulgaria was the sight of the first national Deliberative Poll in Eastern Europe. A national random sample of the citizenry were brought to a single site to deliberate for a weekend on a crucial national issue: how to deal with crime. The Centre for Liberal Strategies, together with partner organizations - Alpha Research and bTV Television Channel conducted a National Deliberative Poll on the issue of crime in Bulgaria, 11-13 October 2002. Its specific focus was ways to deal with and reduce crime.
Results of the National Deliberative Poll: There were a number of dramatic, statistically significant changes of opinion most notably on capital punishment, the independence of the prosecutor’s office, and the investigation services. The sample changed its views about these issues and notably, the representatives of all four major parties pledged themselves publicly at the concluding session to work to change the constitution, to make both the prosecutor’s office and the investigation service more accountable. The participants also strongly endorsed the process, which shows the importance of the deliberative poll as a democratic civic practice. The evaluation of the deliberation process also illustrates the unique potential of this format to generate and sustain tolerance among people with a different background, social status, and ethnic origin.
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Period: 11 October 2002 - 13 October 2002