Political but non-partisan

Over the past few months I’ve often been asked which political party I support and who I voted for in the last election. Here’s the scoop:

I don’t belong to a political party. I would be a red-Tory or a blue-Liberal -really, right down the middle. I have a degree in economics, an MA in Leadership and have worked in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

I worked 4 years in the House of Commons as a page, a tour guide, and Parliamentary Intern serving five months for a government MP (Liberal at the time) and five months for an opposition MP (Reform) and traveling to other parliamentary democracies.

Related link: #MeetMeMonday Video: Political but non-partisan

I’ve been an in-house and a consultant lobbyist, working with all parties towards the goal of better public policy.

I don’t believe there should be parties at the municipal level. It’s not a parliamentary system. There’s no leader of the party, no whip, no common platform. A parliamentary system is designed to be oppositional. The goal of Council should be to be collaborative - to look at issues on their merits and make the best decision possible in the moment and for the future. 

Especially now, I find party politics very divisive. In North America, we are losing our ability to have a healthy debate on ideas, to use critical thinking and to be willing to see one another’s perspective. We need fewer soundbites. We need to be able to think through complex issues and we need much more integrated thinking.

There’s a reason why trust in democracy is eroding in Canada and globally. In Canada, I did my Master’s research on trust between organizations. I follow the Edelman Trust Barometer results closely. I have written extensively and presented workshops on building trust. (Here’s a 5-minute video recorded at Ignite Guelph in 2014.)

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This week I participated in The Better Ballot Pledge. In part because it aligns with my values. In part because I knew almost everyone who was promoting it. At the same time, just because someone choses not to sign the pledge doesn’t mean they don’t subscribe to the same values.

With respect to my personal voting, that’s my business. What I will say is that it has largely depended on the candidate, party platform and on the circumstances at the time, so I’ve been all over the middle of the map.

Saturday is the U.N.’s World Democracy Day. It’s a good time to think about how we want to enhance democracy and to restore or improve civility.

Dominique O'Rourke