I’m in favour of hearing all positions and policies – yes, even from the Greens or Independence Party. My premise is that listening to different ideas (perspective-taking instead of just giving) will lead to an evolution in thinking and better policies overall. Otherwise, it’s just more shouting at each other about why you think your idea is better.
As we share and debate perspectives and ideas, I’d suggest a few simple guidelines:
- Show your work – if you want to propose something (UBI, a PST, corporate tax cuts, the end of oil and gas), you better be able to defend it and articulate the short- and long-term impacts (positive and negative).
- Engage with an open-mind and from a place of curiosity. That means listening to the whole idea, argument, or perspective before responding. I’ll admit, I flat out reject the notion of Alberta independence but what I should be doing is asking, “What’s happened in your experience that’s brought you to this proposal?”
I believe that the vast majority of Albertans want the same types of things for themselves, their friends and families, and our province – we just see going about it in different ways. And so it is through listening to one another’s ideas and exploring the nuance in them – with empathy, curiosity, and respect – that will truly help us shape the future of Alberta. Instead of false choices or “us vs them,” it simply becomes us because we all have a hand in setting the direction.
Image credit: Herman Vyverman