Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Changing Democracy in Alberta is About Citizenship - Not Partisanship

I have been meaning to do a post on my impressions on last Monday evening's event on Renewing our Democracy ably organized by Liberal MLA David Swann. It was a trans-partisan event with lots of Liberals licking their wounds, lots of Greens with loads of organizational envy and a few Dippers and a handful of PCs… and some real citizens too.

I really enjoyed the conversation and the debate and just plain listening to folks. I was impressed by the enthusiasm and size of the crowd of about 165. Not bad for a warm summer evening. There is a obvious thirst for authentic meaning political conversation and I hope it can happen in a post-partisan atmosphere so we can change things intelligently and not belligerently.

The old style adversarial political model of perpetual spin and counter-spin with professional message massaging for the media is maladaptive and dangerous to enabling an informed citizenry and a participatory democracy. It is also ineffective in dealing with addressing the real issues and growing complexities of our networked world.

Jason Morris blogging as The Gauntlet was there and has done a very good live-to-disc blog post synopsis of the evening. He does a great job capturing the essence of the event and his blog is really worth a read. His comments confirm to me that we were at the same very interesting meeting.