Musings —03.17.2015 03:23 PM—
Like a real dog whistle which produces sound at a high frequency that can be heard by canines but not by humans, dog-whistle politics refers to the use of code words that go unheard or unremarked by most people but which convey a particular — usually nasty, racially tinged — message to a target audience.
I never liked the phrase, personally, because it suggests that strategists believe voters are animals, and therefore easily trained. If that were so, no one would need strategists anymore, would they?
A cur like Larry Miller notwithstanding, my experience is that Ontario Conservatives – from Harris to Tory to Hudak – were always much more willing to engage in such politics than their federal cousins. Not sure why that is so, but all three of those guys ran campaigns where race was a key strategic imperative.
Among other things, it certainly casts doubt on the notion that we Albertans are mouth-breathing racists, and Central Canadian folks are always fair-minded progressives, don’t it?