Intellectual oxygen

I’m at this Ideas Festival in St. Andrews. It’s an interesting idea and program and for me it gets me a bit out of the economic development area and into the wider world but I can’t help thinking that economic development pervades much of our thinking even in subtle ways.

Anyway, at the session on the future of politics last night they opened it up to ‘questions’ from the floor. I think the Festival should take the same approach as the Council on Foreign Relations where when the moderator asks for questions he/she specifically tells the questionners not to pontificate but to ask a short question. There were people going on for five minutes without a question.

Former NS Liberal leader Danny Graham doesn’t fit the profile of a politician – and he talked about it last night. It would be nice to have more guys/gals like him in politics but the system is not set up to reward his type of thinking.

Lisa Keenan actually used the work “Tocquevillian” – I am pretty sure I heard this but if anyone else can verify it…. I know it’s an idea’s festival but to assume that the majority in that audience read Alexis de Tocqueville (I did in university) and know what she is talking about is a bit of a stretch.