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Author Topic: The middle ground?  (Read 845 times)
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steka
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« on: May 24, 2010, 01:28:14 »

Amongst the negative comments about Clegg being a 'harlot' and a traitor etc, I have heard some positive comments about the coalition. Most of these are based on variations of an argument that can be summarised as:

'As a centre-right and a centre-left party are forced to work together, the nutters on far right (conservative)/far left (lib dems) of the parties won't have to be placated, as they can be told by their leaders "Well, I'd pander to you if I could, but we have to keep the other party happy." So we'll get policies that are mostly in the middle ground.'

This argument assumes that 'middle = good'. That could be the case for politics, though only if the middle is actually a middle between a proper left and a proper right (as opposed to, say, the middle between a BNP left and National Front right). But how often does the truth actually lie between two extremes? This comic borrowed from XKCD demonstrates my point more eloquently than I could hope to:



Edit: having done some research, I've discovered that 'middle=good' is more properly known as the 'Golden Mean Fallacy'.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2010, 01:56:51 by steka » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2010, 02:03:00 »

Kinda stolen from a post I made a while back on another forum.

Picture the country is a beach, the electorate are funloving people on the beach and they vote by buying icecream from the vender that best accounts for their position on the beach. As shown by this diagram.



To get more people an enterprising ice cream vendor will have to shift towards the middle.



this will force the other ice cream vendor to relocate to account for the possibility of losing voters.



the process continues until:

We find both vendors reasonably central meaning that people with a strong attatchment to extreme beach positions are left somewhat underappreciated as customers.

Happens all the time due to the fact that political parties tend to prefer to be elected rather than be principled especially in modern western liberal democracies where most of the people who'll be voting are in the middle. Doesn't help the sense of disenfranchisement that is causing such great voter apathy though.

The middle ground is taken up anyway by parties. The issue here isn't extremists it's that people are idiots and the ideologies of all the parties are flawed, bar the lib dems as they don't even have one, they're a party of inklings, and whimsy. Thus having two sets of eyes, two methods of thought approaching an issue is more likely to come up with a resulting soloution that will please more people. It's good because the Conservatives who have arguably got the right to govern didn't win over enough support to say their vision was the one people wanted to see enacted (mostly because it is fucking mental).

Lets not get too caught up on left wing and right wing.
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