Communication is a vital tool that facilitates information exchange between individuals. This tool is at the centre of every activity that takes place in human existence.
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No wonder the first thing that parents teach their newborns is how to communicate. Communication is always a function of mutual trust between the communicating agents. In the political arena, further emphasis on the importance of good communication is essential because in such fields, communication is so important since it defines an individual’s character (Sanders 2009, p.234).
It also dictates on the nature of relationship that exists between an individual and his/her communication partners, who may include the very people that he/she represents in parliament. In a form of conversation called deliberative conversation, an individual does not engage in only the usual social communication, but in a more advanced communication aimed at solving an issue that seems to raise concerns. This essay covers the role and importance of deliberative communication in politics.
Deliberative Conversation in Politics
Deliberative communication plays a major role in politics for developing democracy within populations. Deliberative conversations involve individuals arguing out their ideas with their friends without either party developing the urge to dominate the other, in case of conflicting ideas.
Instead, the parties conversing give each other equal opportunity to reach the final decision based on mutual understanding. However, according to Sanders, this communication depends on how the conversant or agents are ethically related (2009, p.234).
Deliberative communication requires individuals to develop some kind of political knowhow that will enable them know their inner desires, weigh out available options, and develop self conviction that enables them make informed political decisions, for example by vote casting (Dahlgren 2005, p.148). This paves way for the development of a democratic environment, where an individual’s decision gains respect regardless of whether it differs with others.
Past studies have established that, deliberative communication in politics brings about many benefits to the population in question. These are derived from various moral values that Sanders suggests individuals must cultivate (2009, p.234). First, it gives an opportunity for a population to make the most informed decisions. During deliberations, people air their issues based on personal judgments through an interactive conversation.
The various views then undergo unbiased scrutiny in order to choose the best idea or judgment. This fact guarantees the parties involved that they will always make the best decisions or follow the wisest policies; therefore, the involved parties enjoy better confidence levels (Cook 1998, p.56) Secondly, citizens taking part in deliberations do not engage in aggressiveness when solving matters arising from opinionated disagreements.
This is despite the obvious idea that the conversation bases its arguments on the existence of conflicting ideas (Moy & Gastil 2006, p.156). Thus, it is easier for the involved parties to agree on one idea. Thirdly, unlike in ordinary conversation where one may dominate the will of the other, parties in deliberative conversation cannot forcefully express or impose their ideas on others without getting a challenge.
Barriers of Deliberative Conversation
Deliberative communication has barriers that negatively affect the deliberation process hence decision making; therefore, there is dire need to avoid these barriers. The barriers include; unclear arguments, concealed messages, lack of supportive information, and falsehood. Therefore, to make deliberative communication in politics to serve its purpose, people should avoid these barriers.
Communication is an important tool through which many individuals arrange and do their daily activities. Good communication however is a more important tool and individuals need to emphasize on it. Deliberative communication is an important communication tool as far as politics is concerned. Since it does not allow any party to dominate the will of the other, it is the best way to make decisions either between citizens themselves or between citizens and their leaders.
Cook, T., 1998. Governing with the News: The News Media as a Political Institution. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press
Dahlgren, P., 2005. The Internet, Public Spheres, and Political Communication: Dispersion and Deliberation, 22 (4609). Political Communication, 22, pp.147-162.
Moy, P., & Gastil, J., 2006. Predicting Deliberative Conversation: The Impact of Discussion Networks, Media Use, and Political Cognitions. Political Communication, 23, pp.443-460.
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Sanders, K., 2009. Creating the Conditions for Conversation: Ethics and Political Communication: Communicating Politics in the Twenty-First Century. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.