Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Then Who Represents The Majority?

Very good column detailing the Conservative approach to politics, "narrowcasting" and appealing to a core constituency.  The philosophy is readily apparent almost every single day in Ottawa, sadly it appears a winning formula, at least under present political dynamics.

Those of us who don't support the Conservatives are continually amazed at how they conduct themselves, the entire approach is a stark departure for traditional notions of "good government".  Truth be told, these Conservatives don't give a rats ass about the vast majority of us, what they care about is tending to their defined base, keeping it secure and safe, everything else is irrelevant.  The notion of a government representing Canadians is replaced by a government representing its own special interests, there is absolutely NO sense whatsoever of a greater calling or duty.

If you reside outside of certain targeted demographics your opinion is meaningless, your resistance a non factor, dissent is left to subsets that are of no concern to political fortunes.  Only when the core is vulnerable will we see a retraction, a rethink, a revision, pragmatism, otherwise stubborn and draconian rule, propped up by a reliable demographic.  These Conservatives continually use the language that soothes, they highlight tertiary issues to keep people in that column, they have no qualms trampling all over democratic institutions if they sense their base is indifferent.  In other words, there is no higher purpose to government, it is forever tactical and immediate,  a state which feels it acts with impunity.

The particularly alarming consequence of this mindset, your government then lacks a unifying quality, because they frankly have no desire to appeal beyond a narrow audience.  In a country like Canada, this mentality is particularly worrisome, a government that isn't interested in inclusive politics is of concern.  Perhaps this explains the relatively toxic environment we currently see, no interest in compromise, reaching out, civility, a mean spirited, flip the bird attitude which poisons everything.

If modern politics is simply about defining a base of support, cultivating legislation to firm up that constituency, while simultaneously offering indifference to those outside of the target, then I submit we are in for a more fractured country that will drift apart and cease to have any cohesive force.  If all you care about is securing 35-40% support on issues that impact us all, we truly are in a place where traditional notions of democratic appeal are over and this isn't a positive development.

7 comments:

Dana said...

Now you're getting it.

Marc Bernard said...

The sad thing is, it works. They have enough of a base, and enough people who believe everything they hear, to stick around for a long time.

With no pressure from the opposition or media to hold them to account for all the lies and corruption, these jokers will not be leaving anytime soon.

Dame said...

Having five little self indulgent Parties firmly keeping their "identity' in Canada this is the key for them for power..
We have to blame ourselves.

Steve W said...

An example of this sort of base pandering was yesterdays reemergence of Donald Trump and his Obama place of birth media rants. Everyone knows these Kenya allegations are crap, but they aren't crap to the yo-ho's who the Republicans hope to whip up into a 'get out and vote' feeding frenzy. This race to the bottom strategy may be a winner electorally, but it's hell having to watch happen. It's a sad road to nowhere for our already fragile democracy.

sharonapple88 said...

The whole thing reminds me of something Trudeau said, how a government who successfully appeals to narrow groups like this will be hard to overthrow since society is divided and no one person can overthrow a democratically elected government.

It's funny how things go nowadays. Anyone read the article in the New Yorker about the Birth of the Modern Gun Debate? After Kennedy's assassination an NRA exec. supported a bill that would limit gun sales. Wouldn't happen nowadays, but then it's been awhile since anyone asked us not what our country could do for us, but what we can do for our country.

Steve V said...

"Having five little self indulgent Parties firmly keeping their "identity' in Canada this is the key for them for power..
We have to blame ourselves."

Bingo.

Peter said...

Neither your post nor the article contains one factual reference in support, which suggests they are both sermons to the converted. Other than "Does not!", what possible response could one make?

Manicheanism is problematic for those trying to position themselves between Gog and Magog, no?