Back in 2003, there was a great conversation on the main NCDD Discussion list sparked by the question “What should we do when our most visible collaborator is perceived as liberal, yet our goals are to involve people with all ideologies?” That conversation evolved to address the all-important question “Are conservatives less interested in citizen engagement than liberals?” Here is a summary of that meaty conversation…
What should we do when our most visible collaborator is perceived as liberal, yet our goals are to involve people with all ideologies?
Focus on how the project is framed.
Focus on how the discussion is framed.
Answer the “So What?” question; give people a reason to participate.
It is important for there to be a conservative (or at least neutral) partner for this project. Sponsorship should be balanced.
Get individuals involved instead of groups.
Make sure conservatives feel welcomed into (and at) the conversations, and that conservative views are both spoken and heard.
Focus on design and facilitation concerns.
Emphasize outreach and advertising.
Are conservatives less interested in citizen engagement than liberals?
No – conservatives are very interested.
Yes – Citizen engagement appeals more to liberals.
Part of the problem may be that conservatives aren’t given as much of a voice in D&D programs, and that facilitators (who tend to be liberal) are more interested in outcomes than in building understanding.
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