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Washington Post: Congress Needs Mediation

In today’s Washington Post, L. Michael Hager writes about the ever present disfunction of Congress and it it could help if it had a service where a third party neutral helps each party identify the issues and then explore possible solutions which meet, at least partially, each of their needs. He or she helps them make their own decision to determine what is best for them- given the situation.

From the article:

The major challenge of governance these days lies with Congress — where stalemate is causing some members to flee in frustration. The United States faces many issues that require thoughtful, vibrant leadership. Yet Congress has an approval rating below 25 percent, and a troubling amount of anger (and sometimes violence) increasingly accompanies the articulation of political differences.

…Both Republicans and Democrats need help reaching across the aisle to engage in meaningful debate and to turn bills into sound laws.

…The pathway that individuals use to reach a decision is often as important as the decision itself. The methodology can spell the difference between a good decision and a poor one — or between one that succeeds and one that fails. Wise process can determine the sustainability of a decision, while poor process can sow the seeds of reversal.

….What if Congress were to establish a politically neutral service for legislative mediation, organized along the lines of the Congressional Budget Office?

Is it possible to develop a more constructive way for Congress to engage in discussion?

Read the full article [here].

                        author

Jeff Thompson

Jeff Thompson, Ph.D., is a professor at Lipscomb University, researcher, mediator, and trainer. He is also involved in crisis and hostage negotiation as well as a law enforcement detective. His research includes law enforcement crisis and hostage negotiation in terrorist incidents. He received his doctorate from Griffith University Law School… MORE >

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