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Conflict-Resolving Government

It’s high time we encouraged our politicians to display the values we personally prefer when they address each other and the media.

Conflict Resolution Network encourages you to take the steps you can to “Build Conflict-Resolving Government”.

Here’s one way you might do it: contact sitting members especially in your own electorate in federal, state and local government, and candidates if there is an election looming, and ask for them a commitment to address each other and the media in conflict-resolving mode. 

Ask them to make four commitments. They are:

  1. I will address the issues and refrain from making personal attacks on my opponents.
  2. I will promote my own policies firmly and discuss dissenting views without abuse.
  3. I will seek common ground, and acknowledge and build on the ideas of others without denigration.
  4. I will work for change to make political discussion and behaviour more respectful.

We firmly believe that courtesy and co-operation, rather than ranting and rubbishing, lead to the better comprehension and integration of diverse points of view. It’s high time we encouraged our politicians to display the values we personally prefer when they address each other and the media.

Especially when our politician are dealing with issues involving violence, drug abuse, crime, involuntary unemployment, racism, discrimination, asylum seekers and environmental degradation, all contributions need to be carefully considered – not just one point of view.

Fighting factions deprive policy and decision-making of the great benefits of diversity.

What does Conflict-Resolving Government look like? 

It can be a government that:

  • focuses on issues, using resources to meet the real needs of the constituency.
  • gives value for money: our taxes pay to have our community’s needs addressed.
  • keeps its promises and, while speaking of vision, does not promise what it cannot deliver.
  • models courtesy, care, and common sense in addressing the issues, conflicts, and visions of the people it represents.
  • pays special attention to nonviolent alternatives when there is a possibility of military intervention. See also Stella Cornelius on YouTube discussing: Cost of war – alternatives.

It can be a government of reconciliation that facilitates the healing of past divisions.

Political parties are built into our democratic system. CRN is not advocating their disappearance; rather the campaign promotes diversity and supports more productive and professional responses to the electorate’s issues. This may involve less rigid policies and more freedom for a conscience-vote for party members, more autonomy and independence, and more porous partitions between parties. Collaborative structures could produce better decision-making, and better use of finances and resources.

We hope you will want to discuss this widely, and contact candidates and representatives in your own electorate. Here is the seed of positive action you can take next time you hear a style of political debate that is unnecessarily adversarial. 

You may also want to read our article on Dialogue and Debate

Ministries for peace

Stella Cornelius, visionary co-director of Conflict Resolution Network, 1986-2010 
Conflict Resolving Government 
(YouTube video produced by Annabel McGoldrick, recorded 2008, 2:02 minutes):

Ministries for Peace is a campaign whose objectives include supporting the creation of Departments of Peace and Ministries for Peace within governments worldwide. Founded in Australia, it calls on the Australian Federal Government to establish an officially recognised and funded Department of Peace, with full accountability and responsibility to the Australian so that the voices of the peacemakers are heard at the highest levels of government decision making.  Visit the Ministries for Peace website at and their Facebook page at 

This mini-documentary has recently won an International Award of Excellence at the International Film Festival for Peace, Inspiration and Equality.

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