I was thinking of a localized direct/representative democracy hybrid, in which a local politician (thinking US House Rep for reference as the best balance of reach and scope here) holds a "referendum week" or some other massive voter outreach push before the election season starts to gather the issues that are relevant to the voters in their district. The goal here being: instead of basing policy off polls, party politics, etc. that rep is getting the issues directly from the voters in their district.

I recognize that this is sort of the point of town halls and similar events, but I'm talking about a concentrated period of time where phones are called, doors are knocked, and online submissions are taken.

Any country is fine, but thinking information age for time frame.

  • how is "basing policy off polls" substantially different than "phones ... called, doors ... knocked, and online ... taken"? sounds like polling to me...
    – dandavis
    Commented Oct 11, 2018 at 7:07
  • @dandavis The main difference I'm thinking of here is that polls are informal and usually administered by polling companies, whereas this is a voter outreach event meant not just to get the issues most important to constituents, but also to overtly show that the politician is engaging with the community.
    – Gramatik
    Commented Oct 11, 2018 at 13:56

1 Answer 1


In mature democracies politicians and their parties do this quite a lot, but on a continuous basis. They commission opinion polls and focus groups to find out what voters are concerned about and what sort of policies they will favour, and track changes over time.

On top of that they also read the papers their voters read, watch current affairs TV programs their voters watch, and take note of published opinion polls.

Here is a summary of the practice from a political consultancy.

  • 2
    I think what the question is asking about inviting voters to actively participate in policy finding instead of just passively observing them. The main intention seems to be to give the invited voters the feeling that they are being listened to.
    – Philipp
    Commented Oct 9, 2018 at 16:04

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