Deliberative democrats will be interested in this piece byJames Fishkin (co-author of "Deliberation Day") which talks about an effective form of deliberation called "deliberative polling".
This stuff has actually been tested and it works! It leads to informed decisions, increased sympathy for other positions, and increased interest in democratic participation. It almost sounds too good to be true!
UPDATE: Read this. It is brilliant. It reminds us that we have a long way to go before democratic advances like the one above have any chance of being implemented.