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In a democracy, power is supposed to lie with the people, but in practice, reality can be quite different. The institutions of government depend upon the most wealthy; they thus become more responsive to them than the average voter.


DELIBERATIONS.US: Money in Politics is an hour-long deliberation on two proposals for reforming campaign finance. Thank you to our partners at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences for making this project possible.

You’ll be a part of an hour-long discussion on a specially designed video chat platform. On this platform, you’ll be assigned to a small, diverse group of fellow Americans. In this group, you’ll learn about the issue, the proposals for change, and the arguments for and against those proposals.

Matching funds for elections is a system in which the government provides a certain amount of money to candidates for political office, up to a point, based upon a multiple of how much they raise.

Democracy vouchers are a type of public financing program where citizens receive vouchers that they can give to candidates, who then redeem them with the government for campaign funds.

Deliberation for Education

Our deliberations are designed to be integrated into both high school and university-level courses in civics, government, and history. The discussions and briefing materials cover policy proposals, historical context, and pro/con arguments concisely and accessibly for students in high school* and beyond.


Educators should assign the pre-deliberation survey, which includes the briefing videos and booklet, and post-deliberation survey to be completed as homework. The one-hour deliberation can be completed inside or outside of class.

For assistance integrating our deliberations into your classroom, reach out to us at or (202) 455-6309‬.

*For privacy reasons, those under the age of 13 cannot participate.

2. Before the deliberation, you'll complete a survey, sharing some information about your demographics, politics, and views on the proposals (Why do we collect your data?​)

3. At the end of the survey, you'll review our fact-based and balanced briefing materials, which have been approved by an expert, bipartisan advisory board.

4. When the deliberation is scheduled to begin, you'll log onto the platform where you'll be sorted into a small discussion group optimized for political and geographic diversity. The platform will then guide you and your fellow Americans through the deliberation.

5. ​​After the deliberation, you'll complete the survey again, sharing what you think of the proposals after you've discussed them (Why do we collect your data?​).

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