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I'd like to see heads of state do this regularly: talk with citizens, that is. 
Martin Leonard's profile photoBenjamen Meiers's profile photoPat Fox's profile photoPaul Croulet's profile photo
I skim watched a recording of the Hangout. Reasonably candid questions. These Hangouts by heads of state should not be one offs but part of the job description.
Selected audience : check
Selected questions : check
What do you call an orchestrated Q&A again ?
Luckily Silvio Berlusconi isn't still a head of state and ready to do a "Hang out". That might have turned out slightly differently :-)

On a less facetious note, you're right, as long as it's not just another way for politicians to answer the question they want to be asked not the one that was actually asked.
But what if it's not and we take a less cynical view that the politicians on Hangouts does not mean it's fixed. Politicians are used to appearing on TV programs like the UK's Question Time answering questions from the audience. At once people moan that leading politicians do not engage but when they do its called a fix. I for one thought the Gillard Hangout was a good example. More please.
It was one way but, "Fireside Chat" with president Roosevelt

I don't see any US president doing a Google chat thing soon.  The presidential handlers would have nightmares about one.
+Shane Dillon It's not "fixed" but they get their fair share of training in the ways of saying little with many words.

I guess it's a start but politicians have a lot to do to repair the trust issue people have with anything they say (I trust nothing anyone says and you should trust nothing I say; unless the data backs it up it's just an opinion.)
President Obama won't do one because Valerie Jarrett won't let him and doesn't want to have to clean up the mess. That's why he is trying to get the Trans-Pacific Partnership done before the press and Congress can be bothered to do their jobs and stop it.
Australia's head of state is not the prime minister. The head of state is the governor-general/queen. Yes, let's get the queen to do these!
Obama did a hangout already in January, in case you missed it.
Not really sure it was a conversation - it was very scripted and seemed designed to simply promote current government policies and initiatives but I agree a proper dialogue would be very refreshing.
Pat Fox
It's all one big bad feedback loop. You have the politicians, the media and the public. We are all responsible. 
I don't think many of the politicians in the US, especially at the federal level are genuinely interested what the voters and taxpayers think and want.  They are far more interested in their own self-preservation and paying back those who funded their campaigns.
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