There’s an interesting movement happening in Toronto, where a small group of millennials is determined to change municipal politics by providing information, engagement, and a platform to learn about and discuss the issues.
Using social media and meme-worthy snippets about politics and participation, the group, which its members call “A Strong 6ix”, is providing a guide to involvement.

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Maybe in response to the tsunami of social media that inundate us daily, a counter-response has been the growth of the salon – like  Pecha Kucha, or Sam Sullivan’s Global Civic Policy Society, or the SFU City Program: opportunities for personal engagement in real, not virtual, time.

Here’s another:

deLiberate: a salon conversation series is a series of salon events in the Vancouver area that aim to free our discourse from the constraint of buzzwords by engaging individuals with diverse ideas, skills and background to collectively explore information and make meaning through conversation.

For the civic election, they had what was undoubtedly the most thoughtful forum during the campaign:

… council candidates from across all of the major municipal parties discussing their leadership abilities and decision making processes. In alphabetical order, they are:

Andrea Reimer, Vision
Ellen Woodsworth, COPE
George Affleck, NPA
Mike Klassen, NPA
Nicole Benson, NSV 
Sandy Garossino, Independent 

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I found some of the conversation truly insightful – as much for what they revealed about the candidates as the content of their ideas.  Worth listening to, particularly if you’d like to know more about new councillor George Affleck, and about Sandy Garossino, generally considered the candidate who should have won, if there was any chance that an independent could.

There are more parts to this forum on the site.  And this judgment:

Nearing the end of the forum, one of the candidates pointed out that while we were having an intellectual conversation about politics and leadership, it has been proven that the electorate votes based on emotional connection to candidates. The response from our moderator was that strong emotional connection can come from the kind of deeper and intelligent conversation that had just been held. All feedback we’ve received so far would indicate that’s true – here’s to hoping we can collectively raise the bar of standards for our election time discourse.

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