shake that cola drag

The office-block persecution affinity.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

The more I read this article, the more certain previously inexplicable family actions fall into place.

Rephrasing poll questions reveals that many people don’t understand the issues that they have just offered an opinion on. According to polls conducted in 1987 and 1989, for example, between twenty and twenty-five per cent of the public thinks that too little is being spent on welfare, and between sixty-three and sixty-five per cent feels that too little is being spent on assistance to the poor.

Even though this is primarily about the American electorate, much of this analysis makes sense for both sides of my family. Why, for example, does my grandfather vote National (Republican without the religion) when most of what he believes in is old-school Labour? (At the moment, it's because he doesn't like the fact that Labour's leader is a woman.) As this article's author points out, most people have no coherent political philosophy and are incapable of making logical political judgements - this policy goes with that one, this idea contradicts that one. Why does my mother believe wholeheartedly in the welfare state, but spend all her time railing against the supposedly intrusive or judgemental tendencies of the current Labour government? Why are all my Louisiana relatives Republican when people in their income bracket are completely shafted by Republican tax policies? Because no one has bothered thinking about any of this, really. It's all gut feeling and media manipulation. How depressing.


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