This is the title of Ian Ayres new book, which looks at the ability of statistics and experimentation to improve decision making and explains the significance of regression analysis, randomisation and controls. It has a whole chapter on Government, which makes interesting reading.
Experiments in social science, conducted by academics, can be a driver of new ideas in Interactive Democracy but should also be part of the parliamentary tool kit for gathering information on any policy that may be put to a public vote. Getting these skills into parliament and the media is important if we are to improve democracy.
Here's a podcast from Ayres on "Super Crunchers".
The New York Times blog on "Super Crunchers".
Ian Ayres is a Yale Law School professor and Forbes columnist.