“TOO RUDE?” political civility panel a great success!

A note I sent to the people who participated in “TOO RUDE?” …
Dear Friends,

I thought that I would write to you and tell you what a great success TOO RUDE? was.

According the Hamilton Spectator’s write-up we had 150 people in attendance on Nov 10, 2010. We also made the front page of The Silhouette with a great pic above the fold. David Koots, a member of our COMM-Lab, wrote a great article before the event, situating its importance to students and politics.

Dean of Humanities Dr Suzanne Crosta gave thoughtful, humanistic opening remarks, and then the Hon Michael Chong discussed his proposals for a more civil politics, anchored in reform of parliamentary procedure.

The panelists all spoke candidly and passionately. Hon Carolyn Bennett and Mr David Christopherson spoke openly and candidly about their experiences in the House of Commons and tried to work toward a definition of civility. They were constructively critical of Mr. Chong’s proposals.

Our own MSU president, Mary Koziol spoke eloquently and passionately about the importance of political civility for student engagement and participation.

Dr Philip Savage presented the results of an empirical content analysis of Question Period that we have been running in the COMM-Lab: McMaster Communication Metrics Lab, of which I am the Executive Director.

The panel discussion was followed by some excellent questions from students, which the panelists spoke to very candidly and openly.

After the event closed, the MPs lingered for over 30 minutes, over coffee and cookies, chatting with students and giving interviews for a documentary that MacTV is making of the event.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone who participated: the esteemed panelists for participating, Dean Crosta for her support, my student co-organisers, Doug Calderwood-Smith and Natalie St.Clair, and the whole team of over 20 volunteers. Finally I would like to thank our staff in the Dept of Communication Studies & Multimedia at McMaster for making sure that the logistics were perfect.

TOO RUDE? was a success. I look forward to organising more events that raise political awareness and engagement in the Hamilton community, especially among young people.

Sincerely,

Dr Alex Sévigny
“TOO RUDE?” Event Coordinator and
Associate Professor of Communications
McMaster University

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