Advocating Alternative Political Resolution

I proposed the idea of alternative political resolution (APR) in a 2015 blog post about potential future developments in mediation. Now I’d like to explore the idea in more detail in light of the Global Pound Conference Series and related discussions about shaping the future of dispute resolution. I imagine APR as a process by which politicians with different views engage with each other, confidentially, with the help of an impartial third party, and work out policy or legislation solutions that satisfy all sides of the political debate.

In my previous article I suggested that since alternative dispute resolution (ADR) has become an effective alternative to the adversarial litigation system, APR could become an effective alternative to adversarial political systems. Politicians represent the variety of views of the population and, through intelligent debate, are supposed to make collective decisions that reflect the values of both the majority and minority of representatives as well as addressing their concerns. Yet it is not uncommon these days to see politicians blaming and criticising each other rather than constructively discussing policy and legislation.

My impressions are primarily based on adversarial politics in Australia, the USA and the UK, which feature two opposing major parties and a high level of polarisation.  Admittedly, there are countries with different political systems and more constructive political debates but t