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  • How can we defuse partisan politics?

    How do!

    So a bit of scene setting. Any political system, to be healthy, needs a certain amount of partisan behaviour. Because if all parties agreed on all things all of the time, we wouldn’t get very far. The conservative (note the small c) folks need to ensure and progressive (note the small p) stuff is checked and balanced, and vice versa. And that can require an adversarial approach.

    But in my lifetime, it seems things have become ever more polarised. In the West it seems any progressive left wing policy is now decried as “Marxist”, and anything right wing is “fascist”. That’s…not healthy, as it stifles open debate. Rather than both sides eventually coming to some form of compromise, it all seems to be “our way or no way”.

    Whilst from my perspective the right wing are the most vocal, that’s likely due to their media reach. Trust me that I’m just as embarrassed about left wing nutters as I am right wing nutters. But given recent events in the US, I trust you can see that my immediate concern comes from far right conspiracy nut jobs, such as Qanon, Proud Boys et al.

    So how can we start to crawl back from the edge of this particular abyss?

  • #2
    This sort of partisanship is, at least in several countries (US, Aus, UK), wildly successful. Not for the people who need the government to help them, but for the people who want power to gain and maintain power. The people who need the help from their representatives need education to understand how their vote affects them beyond their team winning, but until that's in place it's going to be hard to change because it's too easy to keep power in that environment. And who wouldn't want that, right?

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    • #3
      First Past the Post voting gives power to the extremists.

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      • #4
        I’m not entirely sure it’s solely down to FPTP.

        My concern is media lead disinformation and misinformation. One need only watch a single Tucker “dead eyed, slack jawed stare” Carlson to see how easy it is for them to simply spout outright lies. Sure, under FPTP they don’t need to influence a huge amount of people, but the approach would likely still work under other systems.

        And it’s getting pretty bad in the U.K. Nevermind the laughable and unwatched GB News, it’s the old guard of right wing newspapers pedalling lies. Think what you will of his Politics, but they were in direct collusion with the Tories to smear Jeremy Corbyn at every turn. Photos edited (he didn’t dance on his way to the Cenotaph), wilful misrepresentation of his actions and beliefs and so on. They lied about Europe. They lie about immigration. With the Euro tournament, we saw them suddenly disavow the very racism they’d stoked up over months if not years in relation to Marcus Rashford.

        Columns are granted to horrible pieces of work like Hatie Cockpins to spout their poison and bile, and to hell with whether it’s even remotely factual.

        Maybe we need a clear separation of Media and State.

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        • #5
          I'm wondering if the media has a certain role in this, as MDG mentioned, but then how do we ensure a clearer separation of the media and the state? Can't simply enforce controls on the media, as that's another can of worms entirely.

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          • Bunnies
            Bunnies commented
            Editing a comment
            I've always found that concept interesting, why can't we have some control over the media? We already have it in some aspects and people have no issue with it. There's national security stuff, natural disasters and weather emergencies, there's all sorts of exceptions to the media controlling their own message. And reporters are often smashed by govt (at least in Aus) when they research stories about whistleblowers and all, when that should be perfectly fine. But the government can't lift a finger when they repeatedly just lie? Campaigns to reveal the truth get people stuck in prison or buried in unjust court cases but lies are fine because we shouldn't exercise any control over it? I've just never understood it

        • #6
          Re: media misrepresentations. I don't see any reason why IPSO or OFCOM shouldn't be able to explicitly demand retractions and corrections are issued with exactly the same presentations as the offending stories. None of the page 12 footnote retractions of front page headlines or acknowledging an error that led the flagship BBC1 news programmes for three days on Newswatch on the BBC News channel at 20:45.

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          • #7
            Originally posted by Mad Doc Grotsnik View Post
            In the West it seems any progressive left wing policy is now decried as “Marxist”, and anything right wing is “fascist”.
            Yeah, I think there are two different aspect at work here:
            - Social media gives more attention to those that cry the loudest, so outrage at “fascist” or “marxist” policies are much more visible than people with more nuanced opinion, and
            - It's much much more true in the US, because of the two party system. If you look at, say, Switzerland, with a political system that's pretty much the opposite of that, I think you won't get the same polarization. Because people aren't separated into two groups, they are split up in multiple smaller groups who don't always align the same way, with the fracture on each issue being different. So they don't see people they disagree with as an homogeneous evil group. Online can confirm or correct that.

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            • #8
              So, today's July 22. It's been 10 years since Breivik shot 77 people, mostly kids, for being social democrats.

              From a Scandinavian perspective the whole thing seems pretty clear-cut to me: either right-wing parties rein in their crazies and stop them from killing us, or we will be forced to do it for them. Historically, the social democrats in the Scandinavian countries came to power because they managed to outplay the more revolutionary leftists and calm the political situation down. Right now, the right-wing parties in Scandinavia are going full von Papen and trying to co-opt the far-right parties in their respective countries.

              It. Does. Not. Work.

              There can be no compromise with people who think I should hang from a lamppost for being a social democrat. A former classmate of mine who made the mistake of writing an op ed in a local newspaper about why she's a feminist got threatened with chainsaw rape, along with a picture of her house. I have very little sympathy for people who vote for the Sweden Democrats because they don't like the current migration policies of Sweden, because they're enabling this shit.

              This turned into more of a rant than I'd intended, but I'm pretty damn sick of having to cater to people who are just "worried about immigration". My friend is fucking worried about concrete threats to her life, but fuck me if I ever point out that the right in Sweden are being absolute cunts, right?

              Polarization ends when the right-wing parties of Europe stop placing their precious property ahead of other people's lives.
              Last edited by AlmightyWalrus; 07-22-2021, 12:48 PM.

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by OgorOrukOomanDuardin View Post
                Yeah, I think there are two different aspect at work here:
                - Social media gives more attention to those that cry the loudest, so outrage at “fascist” or “marxist” policies are much more visible than people with more nuanced opinion, and
                - It's much much more true in the US, because of the two party system. If you look at, say, Switzerland, with a political system that's pretty much the opposite of that, I think you won't get the same polarization. Because people aren't separated into two groups, they are split up in multiple smaller groups who don't always align the same way, with the fracture on each issue being different. So they don't see people they disagree with as an homogeneous evil group. Online can confirm or correct that.
                You called Romand?
                I think theres multiple things at play actually. Nr 1 and the big thing certainly is that the Kantons refer to themselvs (mini nationalists you could call us in many ways) but the other part is that these form groups depending upon issues diffrently. no group ever was constantly a minority group, and not group ever was always in a majority. (ethnicity never really mattered the elites were anyways bi- trilingual because trade and the swiss german population regards the ethno-linguistic minorites as groups that are equal in Will, hence the doctrine of the nation of will. Also further, swiss germans regard it as a kind of duty to protect them in a way.)

                When you add that to the fact that people have a dual say via Kanton and their personal vote on policy the system had to integrate every important group. Otoh hand that makes the population the structural Oppositon and the political system a tad sluggish.. which is not necessarily a bad thing, just an disadvantage when europe f.e. decides to collectively murder each other..
                Last edited by Online; 07-22-2021, 03:01 PM.

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                • #10
                  Originally posted by AlmightyWalrus View Post
                  So, today's July 22. It's been 10 years since Breivik shot 77 people, mostly kids, for being social democrats.

                  From a Scandinavian perspective the whole thing seems pretty clear-cut to me: either right-wing parties rein in their crazies and stop them from killing us, or we will be forced to do it for them. Historically, the social democrats in the Scandinavian countries came to power because they managed to outplay the more revolutionary leftists and calm the political situation down. Right now, the right-wing parties in Scandinavia are going full von Papen and trying to co-opt the far-right parties in their respective countries.

                  It. Does. Not. Work.

                  There can be no compromise with people who think I should hang from a lamppost for being a social democrat. A former classmate of mine who made the mistake of writing an op ed in a local newspaper about why she's a feminist got threatened with chainsaw rape, along with a picture of her house. I have very little sympathy for people who vote for the Sweden Democrats because they don't like the current migration policies of Sweden, because they're enabling this shit.

                  This turned into more of a rant than I'd intended, but I'm pretty damn sick of having to cater to people who are just "worried about immigration". My friend is fucking worried about concrete threats to her life, but fuck me if I ever point out that the right in Sweden are being absolute cunts, right?

                  Polarization ends when the right-wing parties of Europe stop placing their precious property ahead of other people's lives.
                  I like how you generalise all conservatives of europe with the sweden democrats. Thank you for equating me with criminals and threathening violence?

                  Also this severly simplifies that there have been issues in scandinavian political discourse pretty much banning any honest discussion about the negatives of migration, to the point that people felt the need to join the sweden democrats aswell as the fact that that was pretty much an fundamental aim to maintain power of the governmental parties.

                  When you permanently exclude people like that in a representative democracy which as the names states has to represent people the reaction will be fundamental opposition to what they no longer deem a legitimate government especially if it is a sizeable part of the population. The same is verifyable in germany with the great coalition having pretty much increased the strength of the AFD by virtue of the need to govern by the other parties and the demonisation hasn't helped either.

                  That does not excuse threats against you or your friend, and i hope legal action has been taken against the person doing so. But equating people voting for the seemingly only option they have in regards to a party against migration to condoneing and enabling that behaviour is a bit short sighted of ones own parties qeustionable attempts at stiffeling discourse.
                  Last edited by Online; 07-22-2021, 02:51 PM.

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                  • #11
                    People don't get permanently excluded, other people just vote in a majority they don't like. That is the key difference. That they have parties in parliament clearly shows they aren't excluded.

                    Just because they demand their opinion should be heard, doesn't mean the majority agrees with them, the basic function of a representative democracy.

                    When the general you voter is sharing a party with extremists, the question shouldn't be "well who else was I supposed to vote for?" It should be "how the hell did my opinions lead me to share a party with extremists?"

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Originally posted by Disciple of Fate View Post
                      People don't get permanently excluded, other people just vote in a majority they don't like. That is the key difference. That they have parties in parliament clearly shows they aren't excluded.

                      Just because they demand their opinion should be heard, doesn't mean the majority agrees with them, the basic function of a representative democracy.

                      When the general you voter is sharing a party with extremists, the question shouldn't be "well who else was I supposed to vote for?" It should be "how the hell did my opinions lead me to share a party with extremists?"
                      Except that is not true, since representative democracy is pretty much highly exclusive torwards minorities. When you have governmental parties that have governed excedingly long, especially via targeted exclusions of parties you inevitable ARE exluding said people.
                      Or was the targeted exclusion of social democrats anymore acceptable when they had a voting base of 20-30% just because they were called godless syndicalists?

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                      • #13
                        Take your victim blaming somewhere else. It's perfectly possible to discuss drawbacks with immigration without voting for a political party like the Sweden Democrats. They've been politically excluded because their ideology is one where the followers bully, threaten and, in extreme cases, kill people. I have zero sympathy for people voting for a party whose ideology wants to see me dead (or "re-integrated", I can provide a source for that quote if you'd like).

                        You'll note that I did write "from a Scandinavian perspective" because I was explicitly talking about Scandinavian politics. I should have worded the last sentence accordingly, that I didn't is my mistake. Regardless, if you think you can control the far right I'll stand by my argument that you're trying what von Papen already failed to do in the 1930s. The far right cannot be harnessed without allowing yourself a level of callousness towards the most vulnerable in society that I would argue is not compatible with democracy. Hence my comment about property being placed ahead of people's lives; it's C̶h̶i̶l̶e̶ ̶I̶r̶a̶n̶ ̶C̶u̶b̶a̶ Germany all over again, with purported right-wing democrats choosing to hold their noses and giving influence to authoritarians because the alternative would be a threat to their hegemony. Again, the Scandinavian social democrats have a successful track record of keeping the revolutionaries in check. Democratic conservative parties have a history of choosing authoritarianism over social democracy. I have zero faith in your ideology because, historically, people like me get shot because of it. Social democrats have historically kept the communists at bay, but there's little point to doing that if the conservative end of the political spectrum is going to go authoritarian anyway. Polarization ends when the conservative parties of Europe stop trying to cement their position in society by courting the far-right nutjobs. If you're conservative and you already don't, great! That doesn't change the fact that many parties representing your ideology are.

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                        • #14
                          Originally posted by Online View Post

                          Except that is not true, since representative democracy is pretty much highly exclusive torwards minorities. When you have governmental parties that have governed excedingly long, especially via targeted exclusions of parties you inevitable ARE exluding said people.
                          Or was the targeted exclusion of social democrats anymore acceptable when they had a voting base of 20-30% just because they were called godless syndicalists?
                          That entirely depends on who people vote for and what you consider minorities.

                          Is it acceptable? Yes, why would you force a majority to work with minority they disagree with just because they got 20% of the vote? The concept itself isn't democratic. Unless we advocate that government should always exist of 100% of parliament.

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                          • #15
                            Remember that "democracy" and "majority rule" isn't the same thing. A democracy is supposed to represent the interest of the entire people, even various minorities.

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