Transparency Around the World, a blog entry written by Avelino Maestas of the Sunlight Foundation in The Huffington Post, discussed a conversation with a South Korean National Assembly staffer about open government and transparency. Avelino met with the group from Korea as part of the International Visitor Leadership Program arranged by World Learning and administered by the U.S. State Department.
As written by Avelino in the blog:
The delegates were genuinely interested in the way members of the U.S. House of Representatives disclose office expenditures, and any impact that disclosure has had on Members or staff. We discussed the White House visitor logs, and Paul’s story last month using the logs to examine the PhRMA deal. Finally, I answered some questions about the Citizens United decision: What it means for our movement, what the proposed legislative responses might be, and how we look at campaign finance disclosure in the future.
That led into the exchange I described at the beginning, and a more in-depth dialogue on disclosure. We spoke about the differences between our two systems of government, and I hope they learned as much from me as I learned from them.
From what I understand, that’s the whole point.
From World Learning’s perspective that is exactly the point. As one of our inbound visitors said about the program, “It broadened my outlook on the world. I have a more positive view of the people and immigrants of this country…I will be collaborating with many of the people I met.”
This meeting with the Koreans was one of several that Avelino has participated in thanks to World Learning and the International Visitor Leadership Program. He’s playful and fun in his discussions of open government and listening to the Korean staffer tell him why the Korean political system is better than America’s.
But, in his blog, Avelino writes about the power and connection made through these exchanges. He’s fully aware of the importance of these interactions and how they have benefited not only the inbound visitors but the Sunlight Foundation, as well.
Read the entire blog post here.