October 28, 2006

The Dynamic of Politics (Apologies blogging at speed)

Earlier on in this blog I referred to the idea that most of politics is based upon the expression of mutual hatred- the definition of parties through the fact that they are not the other party and vice versa. Right Wing News (an American blog with unsurprisingly conservative leanings) argued yesterday that the Bush administration had lost one of its great tactical advantages recently- it could not argue given its record the argument elect me or you'll get the other lot in.

Whether that's correct or not, and this is turning into one of the nastiest American elections on record, its definitely true that opinion within the Republican party has turned to become more self critical recently. From Andrew Sullivan to Peggy Noonan conservatives have recently been turning on Bush, whereas the liberals at DailyKos have been trying to back Democrat candidates everywhere no matter whether like Bob Casey they are pro abortion or like Hllary Clinton pro war. (Joe Leiberman the exception to my rule is interesting because Kos and co object to him on grounds of lack of party discipline.) The opposite paradigm can be observed in Britain where factions within the British Labour party are clamouring at the moment for clear red water whereas Tory malcontents are staying quiet even as Cameron moves them to appear further to left than they are.

What we may be seeing in these parallel moves, on each side of the Atlantic, is the tendency of power to affect the minds of those who wield it. In oppositions, parties become more effective and more aligned to the electorate- in government they become more focused on policy and consequently more divided and extreme. IN one sense therefore there may be a natural evolutionary mechanism at the heart of party democracy- whereby phases of opposition are neccessary to renew parties' appetite for power. This must be posted now, so the thought is incomplete but I hope regular readers of the blog know what I am getting at- and I will try and ammend it further later.

2 comments:

ashok said...

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Gracchi said...

Yeah will do- sorry its late in the UK so I won't now but tommorrow morning- I'll search away and thanks for linking once I've looked at your stuff I'll know where to link to it from.