Dialogue and Debate: Political Divisiveness and a Polarized Electorate

2 day eventIn Ottawa, ON
  • July 21, 20209:30am - 11:30am
  • July 22, 20209:30am - 11:00am
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The Prime Minister has stated that his biggest regret from the election campaign is the growing political tension across the country: “Everything I tried to do in the last four years has been focused on bringing the country together. Yet we find ourselves now in a more polarized, more divisive election than even the 2015 one.” 

There is a consensus that political debate has become more polarized, leading to ‘wedge solutions’ and difficulty in reaching shared agreement on major issues.  

Political Divisiveness matters to the government. For a minority government to succeed, it will be critical to seek ways to build consensus and to minimize the impact of polarized, social-media driven extremism. 

Event description

In this virtual event, two debaters will explore the conflict in this issue. On day 1, through dialogue and debate, the debaters will demonstrate skills for achieving a win-win solution. On day 2 of the event, participants will practice the skills they have observed. 

What you will gain

  • A foundational understanding of the conflicts that underpin the issue. 
  • Tools to address polarizing issues through constructive conversation, and opportunities to practice these tools.  

Event cost and format

Day 1 - Debate - 9:30AM - 11:30AM - free to anyone who wants to attend

Day 2 - Dialogue/Learning Session - 9:30AM -11:00AM - for paid registrations only 

$99 per dialogue/learning session or $299 to attend all 4 dialogue/learning sessions.

Click here to register. 

More about the series and other debates:

Debate on issues critical to Canada has become polarized, leading to ‘wedge solutions’ and difficulty reaching shared agreement.  This is a challenge for the government and the public service as they try to find answers to complex problems that unite rather than divide. In many cases, political, public service, and industry leaders are actually talking past each other on these topics. This results in exacerbating the divide in Canada, rather than bridging it.

Through Driving Dialogue and Debate IOG staff are using the example of four policy discourses to:

  • examine how we – political staff, public servants and others – discuss these topics in ways that create those divisions
  • identify the way we discuss these topics – by creating narratives – that prevents us from seeing the perspectives of others
  • deconstruct the narratives at play in order to identify how we can identify common ground, and work together to develop win-win solutions

This project is not a collection of debates on serious policy issues. It’s an opportunity to examine why Canada remains divided on these four topics, and presents a possible way of working towards bridging our differences.

To respond, the IOG is launching a constructive debate series that addresses four complex challenges faced by the government: Immigration; Balancing the Environment and the Economy; Western Alienation; and Political Divisiveness and a Polarized Electorate. 

This initiative will help the public service support the government’s efforts to reach out to Canadians in ways that unite rather than divide.  Public servants will also want to attend to learn how these issues can be addressed and to gain insights into how to reframe issues as win/wins.

Click here to visit the series page.

Dialogue And Debate Flyer V2

More about the event

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Institute on Governance
60 George Street, Suite 203
Ottawa, ON
K1K 1N2

Who should attend?

Typical attendee profile(s):

Public servants

Event fee(s)

$99 per attendee

As a not-for-profit organization, the IOG does not charge HST.

Registration is done through an online registration system where you can select to pay by credit card or request an invoice.

Main contact

Laura Edgar
613-562-0090 ext. 226