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Saturday, February 20, 2010

David Cameron: The next age of government | Video on TED.com

David Cameron: The next age of government Video on TED.com

I was twigged to this TED Talk by Mark Diner - an avid Reboot Alberta participant. I am sure many will find this presentation by the leader of the Conservative Party of Great Britain at best ironic and it may significantly dissonant for others. It is far from the stereotypical Conservative misleading screed we see from the Harper Conservative Party of Canada or other fundamentalist conservative political philosophies that are alive and kicking, even in Alberta today.

As a social progressive who believes in a fiscally conservative governing approach I want open, accountable and transparent government.  I also want my government to be focused on the well-being of its citizens.  Based on my personal operating narrative, I have to say I LOVED this presentation. It is 14 minutes long but it is worth a watch and a careful listen - right to the very end.

The values that David Cameron refers to a being the basis for a "post-bureaucratic" shift from cenralized, command and control, top down paternalistic approach to government are very well aligned with the results of the Reboot Alberta Citizen's Values survey. That survey was aimed at the Progressives and Moderates who self selected and who have enjoined the Reboot Alberta movement at http://www.rebootalberta.org/. It is not a group that one would expect to align well with a "conservative" view expressed by David Cameron in this TED Talk.

I will be doing a presentation on the survey findings and exploring some of their implications for the future of Alberta's political culture at RebootAlberta2.0 next weekend. This shift from centralized power in the hands of a few to a distributed and networked power in the hands of the many is, acording to David Cameron, the result of the information and communications revolution spawned by the Internet. Now the 60s slogan of "Power to the People" has been actualized and that will change government, democracy, citizenship and the relationships amongst them.

Reboot Alberta is at the cusp of encouraging those kinds of citizenship induced changes in the political power relationships within the province.  It is looking and clarifying the purposes of politics and figuring out how we, as citizens, can make politics all about public service and well-being again.  How do we encourage informed and respectful dissent and stop the political power game and "democratic" processes being merely to win elections?