What has politics become?

What has politics become?
Yesterday’s debate was very disappointing.  There was lots of heat but not a lot of substance.  I was listening to the local radio talk shows today.  It seemed that people see what they want to see in a debate.  We each have our own important criteria.  We ignore the things we don’t care about and we focus on the things we think are important.

I listened to the local radio shows this morning as callers debated the debate.  Those who thought Hermanson was the clear winner thought he struck a damaging blow by exposing the NDP’s “hypocrisy” over privatizating the crowns.  Those who believed Calvert won thought Lorne was composed and appeared like a leader.  Those who thought Karwacki did the best believed he was the only one to offer real policy alternatives and was willing to let others speak.  In an odd twist many of the Hermanson supports thought Karwacki appeared weak and ‘boy scoutish’.  Conversely the Karwacki and Calvert supporters thought Hermanson was the clear loser because he came a across as a loud mouth bully. 

What has politics become?  The most memorable and influencial part of the debate was an exchange which could be summed up as ‘your a hypocrite’, ‘no I’m not’.  It looks like this election will be won or lost based on scare tactics, shouting down opponents, and dramatically presenting debatable facts as absolute truth.  Maybe it is the forum.  In an age of mass media maybe intelligent dialogue is impossible.

  1. #1 by Jordon Cooper on October 29, 2003 - 9:26 pm

    I think the problem is with a disengaged electorate that doesn’t look at the issues or know the facts and can’t contextualize information. Just look at the Jim Pankiw campaign. On the facts, he was contradictory and even nonsensical over some things but people voted for him. Same with Arnold in California.

    Most people don’t think about the issues and many minds are made up by things like lawn signs, or quantity of advertising. It really is sad. I think that is why idea driven politicians like Preston Manning reach a certain point but never get elected. The public doesn’t want new and innovative ideas, they want simple answers. The party that gives the best simple answers, wins.

    Makes you want to hurl.

  2. #2 by jer olson on October 30, 2003 - 9:58 am

    I made a similar observation to what you did about people hearing what they wanted to hear. I think the debate was poorly mediated and had a lack of order. It seemed as though the panel questioners were actually interupting the debate by introducing new questions.

    I want to echo what you said in your last post that louder isn’t better in a debate. I think that Calvert or Karwacki would make descent premiers but Hermanson would be a very poor one. He is generally unprofessional, immature, and lacks creativity. He unfairly criticizes the other platforms and misrepresents information.

    To add onto what Jordon said, I don’t think the general public want a King David to lead them, I think they are looking for a King Saul. Take that how you want.

    To dig a little deeper into the reason behind this post, I think you’re just upset that “the chart” didn’t make an appearance.

  3. #3 by Paul MacDiarmid on November 1, 2003 - 8:52 am

    As seen on the call in shows, people who had already made up there minds saw whatever the heck they were looking for. They probably read the Bible the same way. For people like me who are still waffling, Hermanson didn’t do himself any favours.

    As I reflect on past political debates, Stockwell Day’s performance in the last fed election was one of my highlights.

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