Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Apparently, I Had Been Assimilated ...

... and didn't know it.

Just read a post over at Far and Wide [Tories Surge]. This paragraph, in particular, caught my attention:

The opposition must frame this government as a slick machine, who's only motivation for popular policies is power. Legislation is not presented from a set of values, but as a means to the majority end. It is crucial that the opposition attach cynicism to the Tory plan. Arguing details about policy is futile, in the face of this mountain of manipulation. The discussion must differentiate between good government and good politics.
Did I just step into some kind of weirdo change-of-role machine, or is it just a case of deja vu?

Where have I seen this before?

Replace "Tory" with "Grit", and you have the election strategy for defeating the Liberals in 1997, 2000, and 2004. I think it was in reference to the current government being a "machine" that tipped me off.

That all said, Steve V points out a drawback that I seem to also recall Tories having a frustration with:

Admittedly, this tactic is a longshot because it presupposes a voter who is engaged enough to follow the argument through the maze of propaganda.

Apparently, we are Conservaberal borg.

[Let's see how many heads I can explode with this post]

:-)

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7 comments:

Steve V said...

First off, you link to "Conservaberal", which is funny because the entire premise is wrong. As I said in the comments to that entry, I actually voted NDP last election, so the Liberal angle is a joke. Robert didn't amend the post, but the entry is useless because it has no factual basis.

On your point, why must anything to do with the Conservatives find a comparison with the Liberals. Can't this government be judged independently, or must retorts always fall back on the "evil Liberals". I shouldn't be surprised because the cornerstone of the Conservatives campaign was predicated on turfing the Liberals, rather than any real substantive agenda, but I really wish we could move beyond the kneejerk compare and contrast.

Your point about Tory frustration with a "disinterested" electorate is funny, because the whole scheme revolves around superficial appeal.

Andrew said...

I'm wondering if Steve actually read this post, or simply skimmed it for the word "liberal".

The point (as I read it) is precisely that the CPC are acting like the Liberals of the not-so-distant past, and are crafting policies that are popular instead of policies that are good for the nation (and/or consistent with conservative principles). No where did the post justify the CPC policies by pointing a finger at the Liberals.

Continuing on, the parallel is that seemingly the only way viable way to defeat the current CPC, like the Liberals before them, is to debate the policies on their actual merits. (which, as Steve points out, is a difficult proposition.)

(Aside: In the end it was scandal that felled the Liberals, not policy debate.... go figure.)

Steve V said...

andrew

I guess my reaction is more to do with the link to Conservaberal. I do take issue with the claim that Conservatives were frustrated by the lack of a policy discussion. In fact, the election campaign was entirely anti-intellectual and it worked- kick the bums out and we will line your pockets.

There is some merit to the Liberals wanting to hold onto power at all costs, which is one of the main reasons I moved to the NDP. However, on the fiscal side, I don't see how the Liberals could be accused of "crafting policies that are popular instead of policies that are good for the nation", unless of course debt reduction and prudence is a sexy political tactic.

Jim said...

Steve,

I don't see how the Liberals could be accused of "crafting policies that are popular instead of policies that are good for the nation".

That's because you agreed with the policies. Suppose you didn't.

Now, go read your post as though you were a conservative during the 1997, 2000, or 2004 general election. If you do, you'll see the parallel.

Jim said...

On your point, why must anything to do with the Conservatives find a comparison with the Liberals. Can't this government be judged independently, or must retorts always fall back on the "evil Liberals".

I was going to add another witty parallel here. Conservatives think liberals are evil; liberals think conservatives are evil.

Conservatives ask why can't liberals look at the merit of the policy; liberals ask why can't conservatives look at the merit of the policy.

The difference of course, is obvious. Conservatives think they're right and liberals are wrong, while liberals think they're right and conservatives are wrong.

It's enough to make a guy cynical. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh come on. The Liberals made promise after promise after promise and fulfilled very few of them. The Conservatives made promises that mostly line up with their principles and are popular. They intend to fulfill them and today we saw good evidence of that. It'd be nice to run a country on the basis of what's right rather than what's popular but I doubt someone could do that because they wouldn't get elected in the first place. Plus technically you could say that what's popular IS the right thing for the country anyway because that's what most people want. Basically your advicating a dictatorial system. Kim Jung Il is doing what's right for his country according to HIM. I'd rather it be up to the people thanks.

Steve V said...

jim

I think I may have over-reacted to your post. You make some good points that I don't necessarily disagree with. Cheers.