Toronto Star - Toronto, Ont.
Author: Nicki Thomas Date:
Jul 28, 2011
Democrats and Republicans are dead locked over how to raise the country’s $14.3 trillion (U.S.) debt ceiling before an Aug. 2 deadline. With both sides at an impasse, the Toronto Star asked Allan Stitt, a Toronto-based mediator and arbitrator who lectures on conflict resolution, for some insight into high-stakes negotiations.
Q. Is this one of the worst examples of a stalemate that you’ve ever seen?
A. “It’s one of the worst because the impact is so severe,” Stitt said. The gridlock has caused the U.S. dollar to fall and threatens to damage the country’s credit rating. But, Stitt said, stalemates like this happen all the time. “They are very common because both sides are trying to out-think the other side in terms of what they’ll be willing to do and when they’ll be willing to cave.”