“Political Blind Date” is a popular Canadian television show that aims to undo some of the stubborn binaries that have built up around contentious issues by pairing politicians from different sides of the political spectrum for a kind of blind date. Getting beyond the media scrum, sound bites and social media swipes, producers set the stage for participants to engage one another with the time and respect that complex problems require. The show is in its fifth season, and 50 politicians have already participated, spending two days with each other’s constituents and wrestling with big issues. The goal is not to get the two politicians to change their positions, something that rarely happens; it is to give them a chance to slow down and study policies in all their complexity. There is a trickle-down effect when the politicians realize they have much in common, which impacts the us-versus-them mindset that has become built into politics.

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