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Anticipatory democracy

Anticipatory democracy is a theory of civics relying on democratic decision making that takes into account predictions of future events that have some credibility with the electorate. It closely resembles the civic ideal of technocracy.

To do this anticipation, Prediction markets and other risk management techniques may be embedded into bureaucracies and agencies to overcome the groupthink inherent in such bodies, that makes it quite difficult for them to anticipate uncomfortable future events. The FutureMAP program of the Information Awareness Office program of the US government proposed a prediction market, but it was cancelled on July 29, 2003.

Newt Gingrich, Alvin Toffler and Heidi Toffler, K. Eric Drexler, and Robin Hanson are well known advocates of the anticipatory approach. All advocate approaches where the public, not just experts, participate in this "anticipation". It is questionable whether the US TIA program is, or can be, open enough to satisfy any of them.

Bioregional democracy can be considered to be a variant of anticipatory democracy in that it is the ecological health outcomes of any given action that are anticipated using a similar scientific process. However it usually relies more on means that are far less fragile and less reliant on compared measures and quantities:

Deliberative democracy is an alternative that may be combined with either anticipatory or the bioregional model. It relies less on formal models and a market system for betting on future events, and more on discussion.

Deliberative, anticipatory and bioregional approaches can all be considered variants of participatory democracy with different thresholds of ease of participation, burden of proof, concern for non-human life or future generations, and reflection of participants' tolerances versus preferences or ideals of truth. Sometimes a deliberative model is described as more "left and an anticipatory model as more "right. Those who wish to avoid this debate and see merits to both approaches, e.g. Greens, usually prefer the generic term "participatory democracy." This term has become fundamental to green politics itself.

There are other terms which likewise have more specific associations with advocates or methods: grassroots democracy, semi-direct democracy, consensus democracy. These are outlined in the articles on democracy and on forms of government.