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Robert Vogel

Thanks for the compliments about the site design. Indeed, Kitchen Democracy is largly the work of me and my wife - it has consumed nearly 100% of my time over the past 16 months!

The statistical trends you observe are true, and simply reflect the fact that issues which attract large vote counts tend to do so on one side of the issue - When people feel strongly, they tend to feel strongly about one side but not the other.

As for your concerns about the role of the affluent versus the general population, I share them. Affluent residents are overrepresented on Kitchen Democracy, leading some to believe that it represents the vested interests of the wealthy. While the affluent do indeed participate more than the poor, this is true not only for Kitchen Democracy. Unfortunately, this problem is endemic to our political system; just look who actually votes in elections.

The good news is that Kitchen Democracy makes government accessible to anyone who uses a computer (including those at the public library). Because going online is considerably easier than attending late-night meetings, we believe Kitchen Democracy makes the democratic process more inclusive of a diverse range of participants. In fact, Kitchen Democracy issues typically attract participation from 10 times as many people as agenda items discussed solely in council chambers. More importantly, it appears that this is true for participants from the poorest district to the most affluent.

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