What I will call “everyday talk” does not meet all of the criteria implicit in the ordinary use of the word “deliberation.” It is not always self-conscious, reflective, or considered. But everyday talk, if not always deliberative, is nevertheless a crucial part of the full deliberative system that democracies need if citizens are, in any sense, to rule themselves. Through talk among formal and informal representatives in designated public forums, talk back and forth between constituents and elected representatives or other representatives in politically oriented organizations, talk in the media, talk among political activists, and everyday talk in formally private spaces about things the public ought to discuss—all adding up to what I call the deliberative system—people come to understand better what they want and need, individually as well as collectively. The full deliberative system encompasses all these strands. 1