The blocks of blue and red (with patches of other colours) on the map of the election results, reflecting our ‘divided country’, gives a misleading impression. Hidden within those blocks is the colourful patchwork of votes in each community and region. The divisions reside in each community.
This map shows only the winners of our first-past-the-post system. The visual image reinforces our habit of competition and conflict—also today’s primary global dynamic. Voters did the best they could within the restrictions of that system, electing people from every party with no single power: as close as we can get to proportional representation. We did indeed tell our elected representatives to work together.
But can we expect those few energetic folks in Parliament to resolve the contradictions in our various world views? If we address the divisions in each community locally, we can take some responsibility in this gargantuan task, resolve some local diversity in perspectives and understanding, and move toward realistic solutions to our many crises.
As in every crisis, political and personal, dialogue and communication move toward resolution. Each community could take this on with local meetings specifically intended to bring the voters of every party together for respectful communication. These could be informal meetings to discuss particular policies; or a kind of Citizen House of Commons and Senate, talking together about issues currently in debate in Parliament.
We can’t wait for our competitive system to actualize pro-rep. Our survival crisis calls on us all to initiate new pathways to reconciling our differences. Any degree of reconciliation of polarities, in any country, works toward unifying all people of the Earth.