Chapter 9 Field Report
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
— Margaret Mead
After filling out the questionnaire, the topic of the deliberation will be introduced by two moderators, both of which are non-experts in the field. The moderators again introduce a simplified version of the above table, and walk participants through the combinations of base and schedule — including presently used pit, vat and payroll — but abstain from causal, or normative statements about these taxes. The table will also be prominently displayed on premise for easy reference by participants. Participants are then tasked to deliberate the basic choices of base and schedule.
Deliberation alternates throughout the day between small-group settings of 5–8 persons and larger plenary sessions. Moderators assist the participants and encourage the norms of deliberation — including respect, equal participation and argumentative reciprocity — but do not clarify or comment on substantive questions. Moderators also make sure that no pressure for a collective decision is exerted. Participants are invited to collect questions for a question and answer session held mid-day with a balanced panel of economic experts. The deliberation concludes in a plenary session where participants are invited to reflect on the experience, as well as to identify further questions for deliberation. Participants fill out a questionnaire again, including some of the questions from the initial questionnaire, as well as some additional items concentrating on the deliberative experience, especially the perceived autonomy, equality and competence of participants. are recompensed for their time and thanked by the convener.
|09:00-09:30||Arrival||Learning: Ends of the Mixed economy||Learning: Tradeoffs, Smoke/mirrors real dissavings||Learning: Optimal Tax||Learning: Incidence of Tax/Elasticity||Free Time / Church Service||Learning: Tax Choice|
|11:00-11:30||Introduction||Small Group: Ends of Mixed Economy||Small Group: Tradeoffs, Smoke/mirrirs, dissavings||Small-Group: ptimal Tax||Small-Group: Incidence||Plenary: Preparing Questions||Small Group|
|14:00-15:00||Small Group: Experience and Questions with Tax||Learning: Means of the Mixed Economy||Plenary: Summary||Learning: Just Taxation||Learning: Schedule, timing/Neutrality||Experts Panel: Q&A||Plenary: Write up of Report|
|16:00-17:30||Plenary: Report on above||Small Group: Means of the mixed economy||Learning: Overview of existing taxes||Small Group: Just taxation||Small Group: Schedule, Timing & Neutrality||Plenary: Reflection||see above.|
|Learning: Distilling guiding questions|
|Dinner Break||Farewell Dinner|
|20:00ff||Movie: 12 Angry Men||tba.||Games Night||tba.||tba.||tba.||Departure|
9.3 Field Data
The first CiviCon Citizen Conference on taxation produced a wealth of data, including:
- 2x 18x Q-Sorts (before, after)
- 2x 18x Item Feedback (before, after)
- 17x Socio-Economic & Demographic data
- 15x General written feedback
- 315x Notes, Posters, Illustrations
- 1601x Photos
- 100hrs Audio
- 80hrs Video (1080p)
Additionally, process data from the deliberation will be gathered, comprising of the claims, themes and questions raised by participants and summarized by the moderator and/or scribe at the end of each deliberation, as well as the final report on taxation and other documents or notes produced during the deliberation. Deliberations will also be audio-(visually) recorded, although comprehensive transcription and analysis of this data will probably not be possible. This process data and select recordings will then be subjected to a qualitative content analysis, both to verify that participants could make arguments reciprocally comprehensible (and otherwise valid), and to record which of several arguments deliberators accepted as based on universal validity claims.