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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Friday 18 January 2013

Mike Del Grande and A Lesson For Liberals

"Believe it or not I listen to what the lefties have to say."

- outgoing Budget Chief Mike Del Grande

I have no doubt that Del Grande did listen to them lefties, in the sense that he put himself in a place where their voices were picked up by his ear drums.

The fact that he refers to them by the stigmatic brand "lefties" suggests that while he might have listened, he didn't take those voices seriously. 

Del Grande can't be individually blamed for this oversight - we all live in glass houses when it comes to active listening. The average person will listen to conflicting positions strictly to develop counter arguments, instead of seeking clarity.

Rob Ford did the same thing. Stephen Harper does the same thing. Tim Hudak has never demonstrated the ability to actively listen.

The constituencies each of these leaders represent are fractured - a direct result of the divide-and-conquer approach they take to their politics. Their primary goal is to win, individually, meaning they automatically see other viewpoints as threats to success instead of opportunities for improvement.

When it becomes about winning, not achieving, you're lost.  Which, of course, is a big part of how we've gotten into our big social/democratic/fiscal mess in the first place.

Something for the Ontario and Federal Liberal Parties to think about as they pick their new leaders:

What do Liberals stand for? Partisan success and imposition of interest or active listening and shared solutions for all people, wherever they rest on the political spectrum?

Questions worth considering if we want to keep moving forward

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