10 Things I Would Like to Hear a Politician Say

1. “I know we differ on this issue, but I’d really like to better understand where you’re coming from. We should grab a coffee sometime.”

2. “I enjoy being a politician, but I’d rather introduce legislation that benefits our country than just do whatever it takes to get re-elected indefinitely. The future of Canada as a nation is far more important than my career in politics.”

3. “Oh, really? I didn’t know that. It’s surprising what you can learn when you’re open to things.”

4. “You and I grew up in different social classes, and I will never know what your experience was like. I may be able to understand it to a certain degree, but will never really know it.”

5. “Different cultures interest me.”

6. “I have blind spots. I’m certainly a person that has conviction and clarity on many issues, but I do have my blind spots.”

7. “Political campaigns can be downright silly sometimes, can’t they?”

8. “I’m conflicted about the decision between personal responsibility and public welfare. I find a lot of issues boil down to this distinction. I mean, should the government ask the individual to do more, or should the individual ask the government to do more? It depends, of course, but that tension is always there.”

9. “Even though our opinions differ, please know that I respect what you have to say. I disagree with you not because I think you’re stupid, but because perhaps you adhere to a certain value that I do not.”

10. “I’m not sure about that, but we should definitely look into it. Seems important.”

* * *

Paul Hiebert is the Editor-in-Chief of Ballast.