Matt Leighninger had this information in The Fulcrum. Here is an excerpt:
People are more likely to place the blame for polarization on their leaders and systems of government. Most Americans (77 percent) think the inability to constructively disagree in the United States is driven from the top down. “Many politicians are artificially dividing society,” agreed former Irish Prime Minister John Bruton in one of our recent webinars on Global Learning on Democratic Innovation, organized with Club de Madrid and Participedia. Part of the problem, Bruton pointed out, is the use of political strategies based on exploiting wedge issues. Another part, he added, is that “very few people support institutions in which they have no say.”
Our human capacity for compromise is impeded by the challenge of scale – the fact that bridge-building must occur across a nation that has been sorted into homogeneous clusters, geographically and online. It is also limited by the structure of our political systems today, which promotes conflict, even at levels closest to home, rather than providing ways to address it. And it is complicated, in America and other countries as well, by the persistence of racism.
To address the divisions in our societies, three kinds of democratic innovations have emerged: 1) local efforts to bring people together, 2) national or even multinational initiatives that use technology to try to build bridges at scale, and 3) changes in governance processes that try to make bridge-building and collaboration among citizens a regular part of public decision-making. The first two types take the form of activities or initiatives, while the third is more structural. The success of these three kinds of innovations probably relies on the extent to which they are able to build on and support one another.
Read the full article here.