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Building an Open Future [This Network is not currently active and cannot accept new posts] | | Topics
Political Labels: Are they meaningful - Or are they just political swear words?Views: 125
Nov 08, 2009 11:43 pm re: Political Labels: Are they meaningful - Or are they just political swear words?

John Stephen Veitch
Assuming Thomas Holford Accepts the post above, there are many things I want to discuss in terms of Building an Open Future.

Like Thomas I've been interested in the "left" and "right" of politics for a long time. While Thomas has been interested in finding the root difference between the thinkers of the "left" and the "right", I've been concerned that those terms are outdated and that they serve only to keep the political debate trapped in the past and unable to talk about relevant issues.

The first past the post (winner takes all) voting process in the USA, reinforces the two party structure. That may seem to give weight to Thomas's argument.

I came to politics out of education and environmental issues. Certainly here in New Zealand, there is community consensus about the importance of both those issues. eg. Lots of community groups and every political party in New Zealand supports the idea of quality education. For 90% of the time, when dealing with these issues, the discussion was practical and focused in the issue at hand and concepts of "left" and "right" were irrelevant.

As I've got older, that idea has been reinforced. For instance, with our Mixed Member Proportional electoral system, we now have eight political parties in the house. While many old style politicians and the news media still try to classify the parties from left to right, what actually happens in the house often makes a nonsense of that idea. Political parties have learned (the hard way) not to paint other parties and other people into corners. Today when the topic is criminal justice, the old "left" and "right" system might seem to be fully functional. But tomorrow when the topic is the law of the sea, or fishing rights, unlikely people (thinking the old way) may find they are committed to the same cause.

So here in NZ, politicians are pretty careful about who that call "black". Tomorrow you might need the support of that "black" guy to get something done. If you foolishly burned the bridge between you, that may be impossible.

As I see politics in the USA, the terms "left" and "right" are also meaningless. Both the Democrats and Republicans are absolutely "RIGHT", when compared with political parties anywhere else in the world. I guess the Republican Party would claim to be "even more "right"".

But that's a nonsense too. What it means to be a Democrat or a Republican changes in different parts of the country.

As I see it both parties are corrupted to the core by the need to fund their activities. There are no fundamental principles in either camp that can't be bought. Both parties are focused of "real politics" the art of the deal, doing what's possible given the awful set of choices possible.

I do want to talk about Thomas's point of view above. But in another post.

John Stephen Veitch; The Network Ambassador
Open Future Limited - http://www.openfuture.co.nz/
Innovation Network - http://veech-network.ryze.com/
Building an Open Future - http://openfuture-network.ryze.com/

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