Friday, May 23, 2008

Thought Experiment : Supporter vs Partisan

Is it possible to be a political party supporter, but not a partisan? Is it possible to be a political party partisan, but not a supporter?

I think everyone would agree that it is possible to be neither or both, but can you be one without the other?

The definition of "partisan" I like is this one from Merriam-Webster:
a firm adherent to a party, faction, cause, or person; especially : one exhibiting blind, prejudiced, and unreasoning allegiance
Key in to the part about "unreasoning allegiance".

I think one can be a supporter of a political party, without being partisan - that probably takes little explanation.

I also think one can be a partisan of a political party without supporting it (that is, unreasoning allegiance). In this sense, you may publicly support the political party despite the fact that it seems not to follow your political belief structure.

Could someone realize, for example, that all the time they were a partisan of one party, they actually (perhaps) belonged as a supporter* of another?

* Note supporter vs. partisan.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is an excellent post. I am an ndp supporter and I am amazed by how many progressive Liberal activists either don't know just how many of their values the LPC has ignored throughout the years and yet they keep voting Liberal. I know that Liblogger folk roll their eyes when anyone mentions the 13 yrs that the LPC was in power but my point to them is always look at what Chretien and Martin promised and didn't do over that time.

1. national childcare program
2. real fix to medicare
3. first nations self-govt, land claims, residential school compensation (done eventually), etc.
4. allowed immigration system to become almost irreparably broken
5. no implementation to meet Kyoto targets
6. allowed income gap to increase exponentially

These are the things that come to me off the top, there are a lot more.

No political party is perfect. Economic and other realities sometimes require pragmatism over principle. That does not excuse (at least for me) that the LPC systematically ignores their progressive wing and the progressive promises made during election campaigns.

So, here is my partisan pitch:

If you are someone who has been supporting the LPC but you never felt that your values were reflected by the party when they were in power OR you feel like they have chosen to ignore principle by joining a de facto Conservative/Liberal coalition government through their policy of abstaining, please visit and find out what the NDP is doing to oppose the Conservative agenda.