Mandos

Justin Trudeau, the Viciousness Vote, and you

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This was originally going to be either a comment on the previous post or a response to Sooey in the other thread, but it got long enough that I decided that it deserved its own post.

The peculiarities of Canada’s electoral system, its regional politics, etc, etc means that currently a 25% of voters — we can call them Cruelty Voters or Viciousness Voters — have been in the political “driver’s seat”, so to speak. That’s people who actually voted, you know, the worst are full of passionate intensity, meaning that the country is being run according to some slightly softened variant of the wishes of people who would pay double to subscribe to the Five Year Old Aboriginal Orphans Being Beaten In Sweatshops Channel. Then the Harperistas need need really only a thin mantle and crust of crayon-chewers, people who give change for a seven-dollar bill, petty regionalists, etc, to take government. (Is it just me, or does 25% Cruelty Vote seem to be a constant across moderately-to-very affluent countries?)

What a good chunk of the remainder of the population want is a fairytale knight who will make the bad mans go away. After sufficient time to observe, it’s increasingly clear that Thomas Mulcair was not a great choice — it’s the choice of people who think that elections are about policy discussions, rather than emotional aspiration. (Whether it should be about policy discussions is a more nuanced issue than a lot of Greenies and NDPniks want to think.). Mulcair is not the man, for a lot of voters, particularly those who are not progressive at all but are not Cruelty Voters, who makes them feel like the bad mans are going to go away.

Like it or not, Trudeau is successfully setting himself up as the guy who can be marketed as that fairytale knight. He doesn’t have to talk about policy. Policy is ideally what slightly self-serving but dependable old men make behind closed doors. He merely has to make the bad mans go away.

However, Canada, possibly to its credit, HAS a good chunk of “policy-obsessive” voters, enough to sustain a Parliament-viable third party. (Even if it may be in Parliamentary terms the second party.) There’s enough difference between the NDP “core” vote and the Liberal “core” vote to make the anti-Harper vote difficult to assemble even into a coalition-practical number.

So my pessimistic guess is that we’re going to have another Harper majority, in which the Cruelty Voters can finally have the long-desired opportunity to see poor people die of pancreatic cancer in agony in the gutter while they get to point and do the Nelson Muntz laugh. Of course, my election prediction skills are pretty poor, so take it with a truckload of salt; these things should never be done without a Nate Silver-style prediction model. I won’t go out on a limb to provide my guess as to the next most likely alternative, but I’m guessing that the core readership of this blog will not like it.

But the moral of the story is, as usual, political marketing is a Thing, and leftazoids still haven’t learned how to pay attention to it.

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This page contains a single entry by Mandos published on February 23, 2014 9:10 AM.

The Hair Apparent Chronicles: JustinSpeech v.2 was the previous entry in this blog.

The Hair Apparent Chronicles: the policy swamp is the next entry in this blog.

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