Expecting More Say is a 1999 report of the Center on Policy Attitudes analyzing the U.S. public’s dissatisfaction with its government. The report includes findings from a public opinion survey. One of the questions in the survey was as follows:
Imagine that a group of 500 American citizens was selected from all over the country to be representative of the entire US population. This group then met and were informed on all sides of the policy debate on a number of public policy issues and had a chance to discuss these issues. They were then asked to make decisions on what they thought was the best approach to these issues.
Do you think the decisions of such a group would probably be better or worse than the decisions that Congress makes?
66% of respondents thought the decisions by the representative group would be better, 15% thought they would be worse.