The Parallel Parliament

by Glen Pearson

Posts from the “Podcast” Category

“New Cards” – Community Engagement Podcast (36)

Posted on August 23, 2013

It is highly possible for citizens to discuss their way into solutions.  But that’s not how the political process works.  There you have an agenda and people must dialogue along those lines or they are excluded.  But what would happen if an agenda was worked out later in our discussions.  This is what happens in real life.  Sometimes the answers to our struggles are to be found in third or fourth options, not merely what we are presented by the political class.  Community is about conversation; the agenda comes later. Just click on the audio button below to listen to the five-minute podcast.

“From Interests to Interest” – Community Engagement Podcast (35)

Posted on August 22, 2013

To create meaningful dialogue, good citizens display empathy more than emphasis.  To understand and respect where the other person is coming from is one of the hallmarks of civil society – a trait made all to rare these days by a partisanship that’s gone mad.  We all have our points of view – interests – and we all need to present them.  But above all there is the need to get to the overriding interest of why were attend such gatherings in the first place.  Sometimes the best people in such situations are those with respectful characters, instead of those with smart minds that are nevertheless petty. Just click on the audio button below to listen to the five-minute podcast.

Expressions of Interest – Citizen Engagement Podcast (34)

Posted on August 21, 2013

True dialogue can begin with positions, but it should end in understanding.  “Before the tongue can speak, it must lose the power to wound,” said an old philosopher, and we need that insight now more than ever.  Free riders come to community engagement exercises with only one purpose: to impose their views on others.  They can’t compromise, no matter how well versed they are on the issues – and so the community suffers for their lack of belief in that community.  Starting with two monologues is okay, but they must end in dialogue if progress is to be made. Just click on the audio button below to listen to the five-minute podcast.

A Life More Important Than Words – Citizen Engagement Podcast (33)

Posted on August 20, 2013

The genius of democracy is not how right, or even how smart we are.  It is how open we are to find compromise that will permit us to move ahead as a citizenry.  Our present democratic state is mired in rigidity, in policies that won’t budge, and in characters than think having a strong opinion is the same as possessing strong truth.  No leader can deliver us from this and no government can legislate an open mind.  There’s work to do and humility is the one great essential if we are to succeed. Just click the audio button below to listen to the five-minute podcast.

“Public Dialogue: Not” – Community Engagement Podcast (32)

Posted on August 19, 2013

Just two weeks left in these podcasts, but this is an important one.  What happens if we get a chance to build an effective democracy as citizens and no one shows up?  Sad to say, this is repeatedly occurring in various citizen engagement activities around the world.  The regulars show up, and through their dedication and hard work seek to instill new life back into the democratic spirit.  But, in a sad discovery, the learn that the majority just don’t care or seek to involve themselves in the process.  How do we get ourselves of that devolving cycle? Just click the audio button below to listen to the five-minute podcast.

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