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Sender: Michael Briand
Subject: an idea
Date: Mon, Aug 25, 2014
Msg: 101145

Friends: Several issues have been proposed recently that might be "ripe" for transpartisan resolution. What, exactly, are the purposes to which identifying these issues would be put? One purpose might be to call attention to the issues themselves, perhaps as examples of political issues for which proposals exist (or can be crafted) that Americans would support across partisan lines. Another purpose might be to call attention to the existence within the public of a disposition to or sympathy for transpartisan collaboration. A third purpose is might be to call attention to a nascent movement called "transpartisan problem-solving" (or something along that line) and to define it for the public.. A fourth purpose might be to illustrate dialogue and deliberation as an effective strategy for breaking out of partisan paralysis. We can imagine other purposes as well. Within each purpose we might identify a specific goal or two we want to achieve. Agreeing on a few purposes and goals might be enough planning to get us out of the blocks and moving. Here's a thought: 1. If the issues we've been talking about really are "ripe" for transpartisan agreement and collaboration, we could pick (say) three (the better to avoid identifying ourselves with a single issue) and "write them up" for publication (in some fashion). 2. The way the issues are written up should illustrate both how (a) the content would appeal to values, priorities, etc. across the political spectrum, and (b) one or more methods for transforming disagreement into working agreement. For example, the National Issues Forums deliberative format would lend itself readily to this task, though we needn't be slavish in our emulation of it. (Unless, of course, we wanted to seek NIF's assistance in developing the material and distributing it to the NIF network. This material might be backed with focus group research.) Alternatively, we might employ a "constructed dialogue" to show how authentic voices might interact to arrive at agreement. In any event, the "write-up" might serve as the foundation for delivering the illustration via other media, such as video. 3. Getting attention from media, organizations, and the public perhaps poses the greatest challenge, though I would think that a connection with viable legislative proposals would help. Initial reactions, anyone? Michael Michael Briand Chico, JF (formerly a.k.a. CA) 530.345.3709


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