Sunday, September 28, 2008

Some Political Definitions

As our election draws near and I hear more and more political discussion, it keeps occurring to me that it would be handy to have a political dictionary. I'm sure there is one already, but I'm thinking more along the lines of how the terms actually function, not what historians, politicians, or grammarians dictate as what you should believe. Here, then, are my first two submissions for such a reference book.

Wasted Vote
Someone told me in the last election that voting NDP was a "wasted" vote. Hey - if you take the time to vote, then there is no such thing as a "wasted" vote. In a true democracy, you vote for the person you want to see elected - end of story. When did "democracy" get redefined to mean voting for a person/party you don't believe in, just so a worse asshole doesn't get elected? If you are eligible to vote and you don't bother to, that is a wasted vote.

Fiscally Conservative
I started to hear this phrase around the lead-up to the last election. As in, "I'm liberal, but fiscally conservative." I'd never thought I'd heard anything so ludicrous - especially when it comes from gays. You mean, if they handle the country's finances well, you're willing to overlook the fact that they want to discriminate against you, restrict your rights, treat you like a second-class citizen, and perpetuate myths - such as that gays are child molesters? Way to go. Fortunately for us, the myth of conservatives as being better at handling money has been shot to hell south of the border, with the US incurring record debt, spending trillions on the useless Iraq invasion, and now socializing bad investment failure while leaving homeowners with failed mortgages out to dry. The Bush administration has become an international laughing stock, and McCain and Palin are showing with each successive interview and sound bite that they easily have the potential to continue the trend. Yay capitalism! And now, Canadians have seen the usual cuts to social programs and the arts, while our own conservatives spend $22B on the military. Is this what you meant by "sensible spending"? I don't actually mean to suggest that the term "fiscally conservative" come to be associated with managing money so badly that people see you as incapable of running a lemonade stand at the end of your driveway. I just don't want to hear the phrase any more - not from people who expect to be taken seriously.

3 comments:

L-girl said...

Nice post! For myself, I must add one addendum:

If you are eligible to vote and you don't bother to, that is a wasted vote.

If you are eligible to vote in a corrupt, rigged, antidemocratic system, but choose not to, that may be a statement.

But then, I'm not "not bothering" to vote in the US, I'm consciously choosing not to vote. You could say I'm bothering to not vote.

L-girl said...

I'd never thought I'd heard anything so ludicrous - especially when it comes from gays.

And women, working people, and people who call themselves liberal.

Kim_in_TO said...

If you are eligible to vote in a corrupt, rigged, antidemocratic system, but choose not to, that may be a statement.

Yes, of course. (I'm sure Harper will introduce all those things into our system soon.)

But then, I'm not "not bothering" to vote

-snip-

You could say I'm bothering to not vote.


I love it.