In politics, we're more diverse than we seem. What's an issue that you disagree on with "your side"?

Reply Mon 26 Mar, 2018 10:09 am
Not just on this forum, but in many of our countries more generally, political views have hardened into more of a polarisation between two opposing sides than was the case for a few decades prior. Republicans vs Democrats, Brexit vs Remain. Even in countries with fragmented parties, the polarization between conservatives and liberals, or left and right, seems to have become particularly bitter again, each community retreating into its own filter bubble.

Polarisation in itself isn't necessarily a bad thing. It can provide clarity and a sense of there being genuine ideological alternatives. The technocratic centrism of the 1990s left many people feeling like there wasn't any real choice, that they were being patronized, that many views were left unrepresented in the political arena.

But I feel that this polarisation into Us vs Them also dulls the senses. Flattens our perceptions of the other into simplistic stereotypes. I'm not one to preach about how we should all just come together and recognize and respect that everyone's right about something, and all that. I just think it's kind of a pity that the width and diversity of people's views becomes obscured in media coverage and online discourse in times like these.

In reality, regular people have a bewildering variety of views. Sometimes they're internally consistent in a heterodox way; sometimes they're just wildly contradictory because people are funny that way, and most people who aren't political junkies don't hew as closely to ideological lines as we expect them to. Which is all kind of way more fascinating than the obvious battle lines. Or, well, I think so (maybe just me).

ANYWAY, before I go on forever about this, in the spirit of all the above, I have a concrete question for you:

Can you name one example of an issue that you disagree about with most people and politicians who are otherwise on "your side" of the political divide?
Reply Mon 26 Mar, 2018 10:37 am
Over the decades, I've voted for almost every party available federally and provincially. Locally, politicians do not have party affiliations.

I had to go look up the latest NDP federal platform as they're likely the party I've voted for the most provincially - and in the top two federally.


You can count on the NDP to:

Invest in better health care, starting with:
 Helping five million Canadians with 7,000 more doctors, nurses and nurse
practitioners and other health professionals in community clinics.
 Lowering drug costs through a universal coverage plan.
 Supporting people as they age by expanding home care to 41,000 more seniors and providing funding for 5,000 more nursing home beds.
 Implementing national strategies on aging, and on Alzheimer’s and dementia.
 Creating a youth mental health innovation fund to reduce wait times and improve access to care.
 Tripling the paid leave available for Canadians who are too ill to work.
 Supporting caregivers by expanding the compassionate care benefit so people can take up to six months paid leave to care for seriously ill loved ones.

Help your family get ahead and make life more affordable, starting with:
 Helping working moms and dads with one million quality childcare spaces at no more than $15 a day.
 Giving parents an extra five weeks of parental leave.
 Cracking down on excessive ATM fees and ensuring Canadians can access a low interest credit card.
 Speeding up family reunification, specifically the reunion of children with
their parents.
 Fast-tracking foreign credential recognition for immigrants.
 Increasing student grants and eliminating interest on student loans.
 Creating 40,000 jobs, co-op placements and internships for youth.
 Reinstating the federal minimum wage and raising it to $15 an hour.

Kick-start the economy and build needed infrastructure, starting with:
 Cutting taxes for Canada’s job creators by reducing the small business tax from Building the Country of Our Dreams v
 Investing $1.3 billion per year in a national strategy to improve transit and
reduce gridlock.
 Boosting investment in tourism.
 Supporting regional economic development.
 Helping retrofit over 50,000 homes and apartment buildings.
 Investing in flood mitigation and disaster preparedness.

Guarantee retirement security and provide help where it’s needed most,
starting with:
 Securing a better retirement for all Canadians by expanding the CPP/QPP.
 Eliminating CEO stock option loopholes, and reinvesting the money to eliminate child poverty.
 Increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement to help lift 200,000 seniors out of poverty, and returning the retirement age from 67 to 65.
 Restoring home mail delivery.
 Creating an action plan to end violence against women, increasing shelter funding and launching an inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women.
 Ensuring youth participation in sports with funding to support low-income and disadvantaged youth.
 Taking action to close the pay gap between men and women.
 Fixing the Nutrition North food program, and investing in clean energy to get Northern communities off diesel.
 Providing support to train and hire 2,500 more front-line police officers, and investing in crime prevention and anti-gang programs for youth.

Take leadership to build a better Canada, starting with:
 Working with the provinces and territories, and recognizing their efforts
already underway, to develop a pan-Canadian cap-and-trade program to stop climate change.
 Establishing a true Nation to Nation relationship with Indigenous communities, and closing the education gap for Indigenous youth.
 Bolstering food and rail safety regulations and enforcement.
 Investing $454 million to give our veterans the respect and support they deserve.
 Restoring Canadians’ rights by repealing Bill C-51.
 Ensuring everyone’s vote matters by bringing in proportional representation for elections.
 Giving the Parliamentary Budget Officer independent authority, and creating a Parliamentary Science Officer.


there''s only 1 item that I'm not 100% on board with and that's because I need to learn more about it. That is the Nation to Nation status re Indigenous communities.


interestingly (to me) the federal Liberals have acted on a number of these items and moved themselves to the left in some areas, so the NDP are going to have to rework the platform so they're not trying to sit on the same spot.

Provincially, I'm against all of the parties as none of them will crack on separate school funding. I vote independent when I can find a candidate who will speak against separate school funding.
Reply Mon 26 Mar, 2018 10:45 am
I tend to find myself in the middle on a lot of issues and I'm not sure I have a "side". When it comes to Republicans and Democrats, I find them both flawed by ideological absolutism (due to pandering to particular voting blocks).

That being said, I find myself at odds with both sides when it comes to decriminalizing drugs, since I believe all drugs should be decriminalized. I find the value of trying to force people to make "correct" choices, counter productive to the desired outcome and corrosive to the structure of society. All criminalization does is drive up the price of the product and create black markets to satisfy the demand. It wrecks inner-city economics, fills up prisons, creates cartels and funds criminal governments. I find it better to try to help people who need it rather than to try to prohibit them from making their own choices.

I also think that the US Congress is owned by corporate lobbyists and no longer functioning as it was originally intended (by the constitution). That doesn't seem like a partisan issues to me. I don't think anyone is particularly happy with Congress.

I'm also not too happy with the Tax Code and a few other things, but I guess those are rants for another time...
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Reply Mon 26 Mar, 2018 10:55 am
as long as the NDP has this on their website, part of their view, I'll likely be theirs to count on as a voter fairly regularly

Courage, my friends; 'tis not too late to build a better world.

— Tommy Douglas

a recent generation of their candidates joined the party for this wonderful man and carry on his worldview


old-skool and rural and very modern at the same time

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Reply Mon 26 Mar, 2018 10:59 am
Can you name one example of an issue that you disagree about with most people and politicians who are otherwise on "your side" of the political divide?

I don't believe in "open borders" and I'm critical of unrestricted immigration. (I'm not in favor of the current administration's immigration policies, however.)
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Reply Mon 26 Mar, 2018 11:09 am
I'm a complete free trader and strongly support NAFTA and the TPP (although it seems like everyone used to be for free trade and now everyone is against it). I also generally support oil pipelines and GMO's although everything gets evaluated on a case by case basis.
cicerone imposter
Reply Mon 26 Mar, 2018 11:51 am
I find that the designation of democrat or republican only creates confusion, because many political subjects are not clearly liberal or conservative. Liberals support conservative causes and visa-versa. I’m one of those. I support fiscal conservatism and liberal causes such as social security and Medicare.
I also support free trade. We learned that in Econ 101; and based on comparative advantage. We benefit from buying labor intensive products from countries with low labor cost, and we benefit by selling high tech products.
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Reply Mon 26 Mar, 2018 12:03 pm
The polarization comes from simple-minded characterizations of how people think and act. It is also enormously useful to the demagogues and even the garden-variety politicians who rely upon exploiting the credulity of those whom they hope will follow their programs.

I was raised by my grandparents, who were conservative Democrats. Not only were they members of that grouping (which, of course, was no more a monolith of opinion and adherence than the party in general), but they were active in the party. My grandfather was the precinct committeeman for most of his adult life. So they were fiscally conservative, and conservative in their views of foreign policy, and socially conservative in some respects.

My views are not like theirs, but I do have fiscally conservative views. I think Keynesian economic policies have been a disaster. Ironically, it is the Republicans who have wrecked our economy the most with tax and spend policies that take no account of the probable consequences. Bill Clinton was a conservative Democrat, a classic southern conservative Democrat. In the first mid-term election, the Republicans took over the house. He twice let the government shut down in order to force some fiscal sense on those clowns.

Social programs are not the monsters the Republicans make them out to be. The majority of recipients of social welfare are white and rural, not urban and black, as the conservative narrative would have one believe. Basically, Republicans want to portray social welfare overtly as wasteful, and covertly they want to appeal to white supremacy. Most money, however, gets wasted on the military, and a good deal is spent on the federal prison system. I am opposed, however, to social welfare for healthy adults who can work, and therefore approve of time limits on unemployment compensation and worker's compensation benefits. I don't think that people receiving social welfare should be rewarded for having more children.

But I think that the military budget is bloated, and largely a welfare program for corporations. The federal prison system supports a white supremacist outlook, with blacks and Hispanics incarcerated in far greater numbers than the proportion of those populations in the general population.

Where I fit on anyone's spectrum is a matter of indifference to me.
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Reply Mon 26 Mar, 2018 12:41 pm
I've never had a designated side, politically. Over time, I've voted Democrat, Republican, Liberal, Conservative and a few others. My voting is based upon the person I view as being best suited for the job. That decision is based upon what they say and any past information which can be found, based upon their voting record or political involvement apart from elected office.
Reply Mon 26 Mar, 2018 12:48 pm
There are those who think I am too cynical. I'm not. I just want our government to get back to governing and working for the benefit of us all. I don't see it from very many politicians, whatever their party. Many are stupid. The majority are bought off. The ones like this will never have my vote if my jugement deems they fit the description.
Reply Mon 26 Mar, 2018 01:26 pm
Continued effects of racism, treatment of our poor, single payer healthcare, militarism of the police.

These will be the downfall of the Republic.
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Reply Mon 26 Mar, 2018 06:08 pm
In most senses, I am a liberal, in the classical sense. I strongly support Free Speech and economic fairness and racial justice. I don't feel like the modern version of liberalism is "my side". I still consider myself a "liberal" so I will answer. Here is where I disagree

- The modern version of feminism is extreme. It is divisive socially, damaging politically and and conflicts with multiculturalism. And, feminism has sucked all of the air out of the room for any other issue.

- The income tax is irrational. When you make something more expensive, people will use less of it. It you make productivity more expensive, you will get less productivity. I support progressive taxation (like any good liberal), but the income tax makes no sense.

- Free Speech should be a liberal value. Most modern liberals want to stifle speech, the liberal movement to prevent "offensive" speakers from speaking on campuses is wrong. I don't know if this counts as being against "my side" since it is a traditionally liberal view.

I am upset with what the left has become in the US.
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Reply Mon 26 Mar, 2018 06:18 pm
Sturgis wrote:
My voting is based upon the person I view as being best suited for the job.

that's been my general approach with the exception of the years Jack Layton ran federally as leader of the NDP.

He did a great job making those minority governments do things I supported and I wish he'd lived long enough to have a true run as PM.


edit: we don't vote directly for pm, so I mean that I generally vote locally for the best candidate for my riding

My desire to see Jack Layton as PM got the NDP votes I might not have given them from 2004 - 2011
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Reply Tue 27 Mar, 2018 06:43 am
It's probably no surprise, but I am fairly typical mainstream democrat. At least I classify myself so. Off the top of my head, there are two issues I disagree with which are considered democrat issues. One is abortion, I don't believe in circumventing the law or singling out poor people who can't afford it, but I more or less agree with conservatives when it comes to abortion. The second is surveillance. I think sensible surveillance which follows civil liberties is a very good tool to use to track terrorist and perhaps in the future (not sure)future mass shooters. On all else, I agree with the democrat party's platform.
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Reply Tue 27 Mar, 2018 07:45 am
Can you name one example of an issue that you disagree about with most people and politicians who are otherwise on "your side" of the political divide?

The list is endless:

Intervening in the elected government of other nations.

$21 trillion in debt.

Money is free speech.


Jail for minor crimes.

In God We Trust.

Detention without trial.

Ownership of the central banking system.

Gun laws.

Judicial appointments.

Political influence/funding.

Institutional discrimination.

Non-compulsory voting.

Civil liberty.

Regressive taxation.

The death penalty.

State vs. federal jurisdiction.
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Reply Tue 27 Mar, 2018 07:58 am
I guess this is an issue that is near and dear to me: as it stands right now, I could rightfully be called politically comatose I suppose. I spend MUCH more attention to the U.S. and it's politics then my own country, stupid enough as that is(I'll explain why). I'm dutch by the way, just as nimh is I believe (I must confess, I'm most curious about his own answer to his question).

I have wanted to discuss this before, but I have restrained to do so so far; mostly, because I feel my opinions aren't all that well grounded and coherent enough (I have self esteem issues, which is one of the major issues of posting so little: I delete half written posts on an almost daily basis, I must confess). The same holds true for this issue, I'm afraid.

The Netherlands holds a ridiculously (in my opinion) amount of different political parties. Right now we have a Partij voor de Dieren(party for the animals) for instance, and they have three seats I think in our current err, 'House of Commons'. We have even had party for pedophiles, but thankfully, that's no longer the case. Still, if I have to name our major parties, they would be VVD, CDA, D66, ChristenUnie (those four parties together have a majority of seats and form our current cabinet, but only just: 76 seats to 74 for the rest), but there's also a PVV, a Forum voor Democratie, DENK, 50-plus, Groen Links, SGP, SP, PvdA, and I might have missed some.

In short, we have too many. Where in the US I often feel that you have too little choice as far as choosing people for office goes, over here, we have too much. This current cabinet took forever to form: the elections were in March last year, and it took until the 26th of October before the four parties finally hashed everything out to their mutual satisfaction. In my opinion, this leads to a lot of bureaucracy and needless debate, and makes for fairly weak cabinets. Also, one of my major gripes is that the political points of view of the different parties often get watered down while struggling to form a cabinet: They may promise mountains, but when the elections are over and done with, they can quickly and fairly easily reduce these to molehills, by saying they can't form a cabinet otherwise. All of these combined make my

I think there should be far less political parties, because I think a bit of difference of opinion in the ranks of a party isn't a bad thing: it allows for hot topics to remain under debate and also gives a party a bit of flexibility: making a stance is nice and all, but sometimes, being able to nudge your position a bit can be a good thing, and when there is debate in the party, that means at the very least there are different points of view within the party.
I have some ideas in that regard, but this is not the place to discuss them: it's not pertaining to the discussion at hand. In fact, most of what I said above isn't, so, to get to the point:

I tend to find myself politically speaking mostly between the SP (socialist party, or the social democratic left) and Groen Links (the Green Left: I suppose that name speaks for itself). I tend to disagree on issues of Political Correctness (while I'm not principally against it, I strongly feel this has gone much too far in the last decade or so, and the 'zwarte piet' issue in the Netherlands is a glaring example of this), and on nuclear weapons(it might be a lovely sentiment to get rid of the lot of them, but realistically speaking, I don't see this happen anytime soon: nor do I really want it to happen).
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Reply Tue 27 Mar, 2018 07:59 am
The issues aren't the problem. Most people choose their sides by emotion and by their communities rather than by reason or facts. There are two factors that make our political divide so divisive.

1) Outrage. Politics have always been conducted by outrage, but the internet has exacerbated this. The MeToo movement flooded people on the left with reasons to be shocked and outraged. The threat of terrorism or immigrant crime does the same for people on the right. There is no nuance, there is no ability to question. There are never two sides to any story.

Everything is an outrage.

2) Demonization. If you question military policy, you are unpatriotic. If you question feminism you are a misogynist. If you question immigration enforcement you are supporting "open borders". If you question climate change you are "anti-science".

As soon as someone disagrees with us, we attach a label to them. After that we don't need to listen to them. If they were saying something different, or nuanced, or had a new way of looking at something, we would never know... they already have a handy label, we don't need to listen to them or try to understand them.

I don't think most people could even explain the valid points behind the positions taken by the "other side", let alone agree with them.
mark noble
Reply Tue 27 Mar, 2018 09:46 am
If you don't watch, read or listen to the 'NEWS' ALL THAT CRAP GOES AWAY.
I dare you not - For a month.....?

You need your 'NEGS' switch it on - Now - Quick! - You might miss something - Facebook & Twitter need you to respond ASAP - Dopamine Demands you keep up-to-date with ALL MEDIA - Or your Virtual-worshippers will disband - Now, Rapido - You're SOoo out of touch...

This Chapter, although perfect for purpose, Sucks.
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Reply Tue 27 Mar, 2018 10:43 am
maxdancona wrote:
Most people choose their sides by emotion and by their communities rather than by reason or facts.

That is a rather shaky assertion.
Reply Tue 27 Mar, 2018 11:22 am
Interesting. Could you explain "separate school funding"?
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