No high resolution image exists...
What do you get when you have a European, Asian and American political perspective in the same art museum? Zócalo Public Square’s “Is Democracy Too Slow?” panel discussion hosted at the Crocker Art Museum and co-sponsored by Cal Humanities.
Joe Matthews, a contributing writer for the LA Times, moderated a panel discussion on Tuesday evening. Panelists Ezra Vogel, Janice Thomson and Christine Pelosi (Yes, that Pelosi) shared what political lessons we can learn from other countries.
Each panelist eluded, in part, to the need for communities of citizens to come together to make a significant difference in government.
Dr. Vogel expounded on China’s recent modernization under Deng Xiaoping.
“Every country should have its own system,” Vogel said, “I think the systems they have devised in training talented people level by level in government, giving them a few years experience then picking those with the best record and that get along with their superiors or peers and their subordinates and then giving them higher positions and selecting groups. There is something to be said for a lot of those qualities.”
Janice Thomson, who has dual citizenship in the US and France, is an authority on the political process of the European Union.
“In general, where the E.U. has used the democratic process decision-making the end result, the end laws, are much more protective of citizens’ interest, environmental interests, then anything that has come out of any sort of international organization or treaty using diplomatic methods.”
Christine Pelosi shared brief examples throughout the hour-long engagement about how community engagement is an important step to electing officials who listen.
“Politics isn’t the great leap to power, not in American democracy. You can’t be just picked by the party and groomed and get there. It’s about the steps that you take with your neighbors along the way.”
Future Zócalo events are being coordinated in Sacramento, a Zócalo director mentions.
"We're thrilled to be in Sacramento," says Zócalo's managing director Dulce Vasquez. "We're currently working with a local foundation to bring our unique mixture of events and web content to California's capital."
To find out what upcoming events are planned and where, go to the Zócalo website.