By Matt Leighninger in Apolitical on February 4, 2022
A wave of innovation has been unfolding over the last 18 months, but many governments are not taking advantage.
- The problem: In North America, and much of the world, policymaking is stuck in gridlock because officials are either afraid to make decisions on potentially divisive issues or are uncertain of how their constituents will react.
- Why it matters: The official processes for public engagement were not designed for the polarised climate we now find ourselves in and may in fact be aggravating societal divisions.
- The solution: There are a great many tools and systemic reforms that would help officials reduce polarisation: this essay reviews some innovations and options found in Participedia.
Polarisation is a problem for public officials at every level of government. One of the main reasons policymaking processes are in gridlock throughout the world is because officials are either afraid to make decisions on potentially divisive issues, or simply do not know what their constituents really want them to do. In most places, the official processes for public engagement fail to meet this challenge because they do not foster deliberation or collaboration among different groups of people. Indeed, our current democratic systems may actually be aggravating the divisions in our societies.