Friday 23 October 2015

What does 'real change' mean to you?

A Canadian federal election was held this week resulting in the Liberal Party, led by Justin Trudeau, securing a majority government win. 

I was curious throughout the election about the Liberal's campaign slogan: 'Real Change'. What does it mean? When I went to the Liberal's website (, I saw my question at the top of the page followed by their three platform priorities: invest now in our future; help the middle-class; and open, honest government. 

What followed were 105 policy topic panes that formed a matrix. Clicking on each one revealed the party's position on that area and a costing plan to fund investment. Citizens were invited to rate the topic's importance, from 1 to 5 stars. An average of all other ratings was provided for comparison, similar to book reviews on Finally, people had the option of adding the topic to 'myPlatform', a personal record of important topics or issues.

I was intrigued that voters were encouraged to engage with the policy areas. Rating them gave people a voice with a political party seeking to win their vote. It also gave the Liberals a read on people's interests. A co-dependent community was being formed.

Even more impressive was the sharing of responsibility for action by helping citizens create heir own political agendas. In his victory speech, Justin Trudeau referenced the important role people play in his politics:"I know that I am on this stage for one reason and one reason only: because you put me here...You gave me clear marching orders."

Based on the Liberal's actions, real change means:
  • A personally committed leader
  • A vision of the future that is different, better and compelling
  • Shared ownership with all
  • Co-creation (through participation and engagement)
  • Prioritization (3-5 not 10 priorities)
  • Investment (and a plan to fund it)
  • Room for adjustment (through two-way dialogue and review)
When discussing the definition of'real change' with a colleague, I wondered how it differed from 'unreal change'. She said, "Oh, there is a lot of that around." It seems that real change, as defined by the Liberals, means successful change. It would be good to get a lot more of that around.


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