01.27.2014 09:00 AM

Left-Right political dichotomies

Well-written, but based entirely on a false premise.

The only people who believe that Left-Right political analysis matters anymore are journalists and politicos.  To your average person – to Joe and Jane Frontporch – life just isn’t that cut and dried.  A person can favour slashing government spending, but not for any of the programs they like.  They can support getting tough on crime, while shrugging about a mayor who smokes crack.  They will be enthusiastic about more and better transit, but not ever about finding ways to pay for it.

People – voters – are walking, talking contradictions.  They don’t ever classify themselves as on the Right or the Left, but they certainly swing from one side to the other, all the time.  Without thinking they’re hypocritical, without being the least bit concerned about a lack of consistency.

Left and Right are concepts for the chattering classes.  Which is why the chattering classes so often get the masses wrong.




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    dave says:

    Small point about political culture, Jane and Joe Frontporch live in the Eastern half of Canada, Joe and Jane Backdeck live in the Western half of Canada

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    Michael Behiels says:

    I agree completely.

    Most voters and nearly all non-voters, or political consumers as they are now rightly described, are totally self-serving, confused, badly informed (often deliberately), hypocritical, and slippery as eels! They can and will shift on a dime depending on the time of day and the blistering partisan ads that they are made to swallow.

    Politics and democracy are now in a very dark place. Our political classes and leaders are exploiting this reality to serve their own very narrow interests.

    Stay warm!

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    Gerrit says:

    I agree, and I also agree with the sentiment. Only sheep blindly vote for their party every single election without taking into account the current climate, and changes in leadership.

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    Mike Adamson says:

    This seemed wrong on first reading but the more I think about it the more sense it makes…sort of. I think that the “it matters who governs/it doesn’t matter” divide is of increasing importance particularly in terms of the younger generations. It’s difficult to identify as right or left if you don’t see any relevence in the question.

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    !o! says:

    ‘left’ and ‘right’ are well-honed political tools. Imaginary ideas that people are constantly told to self-identify with.

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    Paul Brennan says:

    I agree – most want a job , food on the table they can trust , plowed roads, a government that is fair to all blah blah blah…

    They don’t care what position on the spectrum folks are

    My captcha code just came up 8FU7…back to work

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    Al in Cranbrook says:

    Absolutely right about this one. The average voter has no idea whatsoever regarding the left/right political spectrum, and doesn’t care, either.

    However, what they do understand (sorta) are the causes/viewpoints with which parties align themselves.

    They do tend to quickly comprehend stuff like higher/lower taxes that affects their take home pay.

    That said…

    I have little patience for ideologies of any stripe. Inevitably, an ideology requires twisting the real world into knots in order to make fit within the generally narrow confines of an “ism”. And the real world simply just does NOT work that way! More to the point: Human nature does NOT work that way. God knows only too well the wreckage mankind has left in its wake trying to make it otherwise…and to which there appears to be no end yet in sight.

    Thus, I get just as annoyed with Brian Lilly complaining that this government isn’t “conservative” enough according some mythical little blue book I’ve yet to be able to find, as I do with progressives preaching from mythical little red books.

    What matters is what actually works, in the real world. Some call it “pragmatism”, and history will also generally demonstrate that the most successful leaders who got the most done for the people/nation in a democracy are first and foremost pragmatists.

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    steve says:

    the problem is anybody worth their salt can argue it round or flat for any ocassion

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