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Author Topic: Framing 101: what the NDP still doesn't get
rasmus
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posted 26 March 2006 03:51 AM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
George Lakoff's various articles on framing in politics were widely posted a couple of years ago, including here on babble perhaps. The first chapter of his book, Don't think of an elephant! Know your values and frame the debate is available online. I also think it's the best chapter.

Framing 101

The particular point the NDP still does not seem to get is this:

quote:

A third mistake is this: There is a metaphor that political campaigns are marketing campaigns where the candidate is the product and the candidate's positions on issues are the features and qualities of the product. This leads to the conclusion that polling should determine which issues a candidate should run on. Here's a list of issues. Which show the highest degree of support for a candidate's position? If it's prescription drugs, 78 percent, you run on a platform featuring prescription drugs. Is it keeping social security? You run on a platform featuring social security. You make a list of the top issues, and those are the issues you run on. You also do market segmentation: District by district, you find out the most important issues, and those are the ones you talk about when you go to that district.

It does not work. Sometimes it can be useful, and, in fact, the Republicans use it in addition to their real practice. But their real practice, and the real reason for their success, is this: They say what they idealistically believe. They say it; they talk to their base using the frames of their base. Liberal and progressive candidates tend to follow their polls and decide that they have to become more "centrist" by moving to the right. The conservatives do not move at all to the left, and yet they win!

Why? What is the electorate like from a cognitive point of view? Probably 35 to 40 percent of people—maybe more these days—have a strict father model governing their politics. Similarly, there are people who have a nurturant view governing their politics, probably another 35 to 40 percent. And then there are all the people in the "middle."

Notice that I said governing their politics. We all have both models, either actively or passively. Progressives see a John Wayne movie or an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, and they can understand it. They do not say, "I don't know what's going on in this movie." They have a strict father model, at least passively. And if you are a conservative and you understand The Cosby Show, you have a nurturing parent model, at least passively. Everyone has both worldviews because both worldviews are widely present in our culture, but people do not necessarily live by one worldview all of the time.

So the question is, Are you living by one of the family-based models? But that question is not specific enough. There are many aspects of life, and many people live by one family-based model in one part of their lives and another in another part of their lives. I have colleagues who are nurturant parents at home and liberals in their politics, but strict fathers in their classrooms.
Reagan knew that blue-collar workers who were nurturant in their union politics were often strict fathers at home. He used political metaphors that were based on the home and family, and got them to extend their strict father way of thinking from the home to politics.

This is very important to do. The goal is to activate your model in the people in the "middle." The people who are in the middle have both models, used regularly in different parts of their lives.
What you want to do is to get them to use your model for politics— to activate your worldview and moral system in their political decisions. You do that by talking to people using frames based
on your worldview.

However, in doing that, you do not want to offend the people in the middle who have up to this point made the opposite choice. Since they also have and use both models in some part of their lives, they might still be persuaded to activate the opposite model for politics.



quote:
One of the major mistakes liberals make is that they think they have all the ideas they need. They think that all they lack is media access. Or maybe some magic bullet phrases, like partial birth abortion.

When you think you just lack words, what you really lack are ideas. Ideas come in the form of frames. When the frames are there, the words come readily. There's a way you can tell when you lack the right frames. There's a phenomenon you have probably noticed.

A conservative on TV uses two words, like tax relief. And the progressive has to go into a paragraph-long discussion of his own view. The conservative can appeal to an established frame, that taxation is an affliction or burden, which allows for the two-word phrase tax relief. But there is no established frame on the other side. You can talk about it, but it takes some doing because there is no established frame, no fixed idea already out
there.

In cognitive science there is a name for this phenomenon. It's called hypocognition—the lack of the ideas you need, the lack of a relatively simple fixed frame that can be evoked by a word or two.


[ 26 March 2006: Message edited by: rasmus raven ]


From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 26 March 2006 09:05 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
But rasmus:

quote:
A conservative on TV uses two words, like tax relief. And the progressive has to go into a paragraph-long discussion of his own view. The conservative can appeal to an established frame, that taxation is an affliction or burden, which allows for the two-word phrase tax relief. But there is no established frame on the other side. You can talk about it, but it takes some doing because there is no established frame, no fixed idea already out
there.

I am having a chicken-and-egg problem in my head here.

I mean, we do know what the ideas are that should counter "tax relief," or at least do so for us.

I would agree that we don't have that frame established in the popular mind.

So to do that, people go looking for equally catchy expressions. But then Lakoff says that looking for the catchy expression is the mistake the left is making.

See my problem? Or perhaps I should just ask: how does one establish a frame, if not with the catchy expressions?


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Cueball
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posted 26 March 2006 09:24 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think we do have the frame in the popular mind. I think, in fact, even the right has been severly impacted by the socialist conceptions and that society as a whole is deeply imbued, even in the way it creates its own self conception as "materialized" in the manner of social organization, with that frame.*

Minus the touchy-feely father-family-coflict resolution-ohpleasenoimgonnabarf-therapist motif I like this article on framing, and I touched on something similar over here: The Deffection of Bob Rae.

When I said (quoting myslef now!?!) :

quote:
...socialist ideas have been around for 200 years. They have been applied with varying degrees of success. These ideas are well worked into the popular imagination and are commonly understood.

Articulating these ideas in a Canada specific framework should be relatively simple, and will be understood as the public do not need to be heavily backgrounded.

It is not as if the NDP has to reinvent the logic and conception of public responsibililty for the whole, and that the state is the natural guardian of that responsibility, or that the economy should be bent toward that goal.


*In fact, I even agree with Vigilante (gulp) that Marx and socialists are partly responsible for the ideologies through which capitalism sees itself.

[ 26 March 2006: Message edited by: Cueball ]


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Fidel
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posted 26 March 2006 09:48 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I would tend to say that socialism has been around longer than 200 years in its rawest forms. Socialism and communalism are more natural as a societal glue than free markets in water and cash transactions permeating our daily lives. Look at the protests against globalism world-wide. It's not as natural as their trying to let on.
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Cueball
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posted 26 March 2006 09:50 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sure. I'm talking about modernist socialism.

But yes, for instance Rome had state intervention in the economy big time.


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Fidel
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posted 26 March 2006 10:24 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes and they, too, paid homage to false gods of war and prosperity. Chomsky said something about big business being islands of state planning in a sea of market relationships, and I think that's true. He says about a third or a half of the economic activity attributed to their exports are not really clear and away wealth creation because a lot of it is moving products from a warehouse in one country to another, like moving cans from this cupboard to that one in an attempt to avoid paying taxes to a government that insulates them from free market forces using power of the state.

spelled Chomsky wrong

[ 26 March 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]


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rasmus
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posted 26 March 2006 12:01 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
skdadl, I think his point there is that the left thinks of those things ONLY as catchy phrases. Lakoff's work began with a theory of metaphor and human cognition, and how concepts are more elaborate and more central to human cognition than previous logical theories of semantics might have allowed; and also how the structure of entailments of concepts is not arbitrary but related to our embodied experience. For example, traditional semantics would say that the entailment of "this is a fake gun" would be, "this is not a gun". But it wouldn't tell you that you also know "this is not a giraffe". How do you know this? Because for something to be a fake gun, it has to be a lot like a gun, except, it doesn't fire bullets. So there is actually a much bigger set of entailments buried in the word "fake" that traditional semantics doesn't get at. Lakoff's theory of course is much more developed, considers more angles, etc., but that's where he's coming from.

The concept of a "frame" in psychology begins with Bateson, and is used by Milton Erickson, and the people who went on to found NLP. In cognitive science and semantics, the concept of frame is developed by Fillmore in the 1980s, which is where Lakoff gets it from. There is a slightly different concept of frame used in cognitive psychology, in the research of Tversky and Kahneman from the 1970s on. Just to say that Lakoff's idea isn't improvised for the sake of his politics, but it's an idea with historical depth.

So, getting back to the point. I think that Dippers and such often think the right is good at coming up with "catchy phrases", and we just have to come up with our own catchy phrases. Lakoff would invite us to consider instead WHY the right's phrases are catchy, and whether our own supposedly "catchy" phrases are catchy because they're short and glib or because they come with a whole family of entailments related to a moral view of the world that is activated when we use them? In other words, a good catchy phrase is one that contains embedded within it an implicature, an argument, for a conception of the world.

I don't think the exact models that Lakoff develops are exhaustive or universal. It is simply the way of thinking that is useful, albeit, useful as one of many tools or analytical approaches in the toolbox. For example, a perfectly good critique of the NDP's media strategy in the last election, by Dennis Pilon in Canadian Dimension, is made without resort to any of that:


quote:
The NDP’s media strategy was also deeply flawed. Trying to work within the media frame has never worked for the NDP, because the goalposts shift as soon as the party does, as countless NDP provincial governments have discovered. Carroll and Ratner recount in their recent book, Challenges and Perils: Social Democracy in Neoliberal Times, how the B.C. NDP discovered the hard way that the media cannot be fooled by moving to the centre. No matter what the party did in office, they got bad press. In 2004 the federal NDP got a bit of this treatment when the national media claimed that the public was deeply opposed to the party’s plan to tax inheritances over a certain amount. Though reporters never produced any evidence of public dissatisfaction with the policy, the claim was endlessly repeated as truth in subsequent media reports during the campaign, and in some academic treatments of the election. In this last election, the corporate media flooded their pages and newscasts with pro-Tory polls while systematically obscuring or distorting the state of Canada’s economy and society, ignoring evidence of declining standards of living, wage rates, etc. Why the federal NDP think they can work the media more effectively now than before is a mystery.

(Pilon is using the word "frame" differently there.) While Lakoff might agree with Pilon to a large extent, namely, in the idea that "softening" your language to make it media friendly isn't an effective approach. I think where he would disagree is the idea that you shouldn't pay attention to the language you use, that this won't help you, which seems to be implicit in Pilon's piece.

[ 26 March 2006: Message edited by: rasmus raven ]


From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
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posted 26 March 2006 12:29 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
To me, there are numerous examples of the NDP's stupidly technical approach to politics. For example, here's something we've been hearing about for ages: the "fiscal credibility" issue. The NDP goes out and looks at voters who "share its values" but won't vote for it, using focus groups and polls. They ask why people don't vote for the NDP. Some version of fiscal credibility is identified. Now, which of these two approaches makes the most sense to you:

1. We assume that voters are rational. On a survey, when they give us a "reason" for not voting for us, we take this at face value. Once we "meet their objection" somehow, we should have a much higher chance of getting their vote. So, if people have a "fiscal credibility" issue with the NDP, we come out talking about balanced budgets, "no new taxes", tax cuts, and the like. We "meet their objections" and we win their votes.

2. We assume that voters are sometimes rational, sometimes not. Voters can have conflicted views of the world. Their reason for not voting for us might be rational, it might be something in the gut that can't be articulated, but when we ask them to articulate it on a survey, they are forced to say something, even if this doesn't give us the key to understanding why they don't vote for us. So, because the format of the survey forces it, they choose either from a prompted menu of reasons, OR they choose a reason that they have heard before, in the media, or on the street. Why they choose this MIGHT be because they believe it and are rationally articulating their position, or it MIGHT be because this reason is readily available and the survey forces them to come up with a reason. Maybe if we gave them a reason to vote FOR us, one that inspired them, or, in Lakoff's language, activated "our" frame in their minds, the so-called reasons they give for not voting for us would disappear and not matter at all. Therefore, we look on such results skeptically and analytically, and DON'T design our election platform around them.

Instead, as we know, what the NDP does is it plays into the other frame, as Lakoff would say. It tries to meet them on their ground. And what this does is, it doesn't win new NDP voters. It activates a frame that people who don't share our values are better able to capitalize on.

[ 26 March 2006: Message edited by: rasmus raven ]


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Polunatic2
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posted 26 March 2006 12:32 PM      Profile for Polunatic2   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Some might say that the last good "frame" the NDP came up with (largely abandoned now) was "corporate welfare bums".

A quick look at the news releases on the NDP's website bolsters R-R's position. The issues are not "framed" in a way to make the NDP stand out in the voters' minds. Most of these releases - i.e. Abdul Rahman, the ferry sinking, Canadian hostages - could have come from any of the parties.

The only "frame" I can detect is the one where everything is the liberals fault and that the libs and cons are "the same" but even that is not well framed because the NDP's approach is to try and sound like the other two - e.g. "no new taxes", "tough on crime" for reasons R-R outlines above.

[ 26 March 2006: Message edited by: Polunatic2 ]


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Pogo
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posted 26 March 2006 12:44 PM      Profile for Pogo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think that this argument could be used against the Broadbent era NDP, but I don't think it is as strong against Layton. I think he has worked very hard to develope simple themes that carry the deeper message.
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rasmus
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posted 26 March 2006 12:49 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Such as..."no new taxes", "tough on crime", etc.? These, as said above, play into the conservative frame. They don't put out our own frame. Also, as said above, Layton still practices the technical approach. The party is still trying to "meet" the "objections" on fiscal credibility. The party now, more than ever, is trying to hew as close to the centre as possible.

Or look at the Afghanistan issue. Instead of articulating a position, they're saying "Parliament needs to debate it". That doesn't seem to be a pithy way of putting out a compelling moral view of the world to me.

[ 26 March 2006: Message edited by: rasmus raven ]


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unionist
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posted 26 March 2006 12:50 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You folks are way too analytical. The NDP's approach is simple and solid:

"Canadians have always elected Liberal or Conservative governments. Let's be like them and we'll get elected too!"

For the latest rather unbelievable example, see this story about the upcoming crime debate in the House:

quote:
During the recent election campaign, the Liberals proposed doubling a handful of minimum penalties to two years from one.

The NDP went a bit further, proposing automatic jail terms for illegal possession, sale and importation of restricted weapons be raised to four years from the current one-year term.[...]

Comartin said he thinks Parliament could safely impose minimum terms in the range of five to seven years without violating the charter.

"At this point, I think what we should do is push it near the limit, which in this case is about seven," he said.

There is a general consensus among criminologists that minimum jail terms, which eliminate discretion for judges to impose sentences they see fit, do not deter crime.[...]

The Bloc Quebecois could not be reached, but the party has repeatedly focused on prevention rather than punishment to fight crime and is expected to carve out a law-and-order position on the left wing of the fractured Parliament.


So - how would you "frame" the NDP position here?


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Catchfire
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posted 26 March 2006 12:53 PM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originaly Posted by Rasmus Raven
I think that Dippers and such often think the right is good at coming up with "catchy phrases", and we just have to come up with our own catchy phrases. Lakoff would invite us to consider instead WHY the right's phrases are catchy, and whether our own supposedly "catchy" phrases are catchy because they're short and glib or because they come with a whole family of entailments related to a moral view of the world that is activated when we use them? In other words, a good catchy phrase is one that contains embedded within it an implicature, an argument, for a conception of the world.

I certainly agree with the argument that the left's difficulty to register tight, poignant messages stems from their inability to articulate a united, asserted position. But, the battle for language in politics, that the right is clearly winning, undermines, or complicates this argument. Consider the word "patriot." Clearly part of the American right's arsenal, the left in the United States have lost any ownership of this word. Would you suggest that with a clearly articulated vision they can reclaim it? The effort to reframe the phrase "Support our troops" still, despite a concerted and more-or-less complete strategy, "Send them home" still sounds tacked-on to what remains a semantic figure of the right.

Clinton stole "Economy" from the right in 1993—was it because he had better-defined ideas? Perhaps. It certainly helps. But I feel there is a separate battle for ownership of certain key words (security, patriotism, fiscal responsibility) that the right has been winning for decades. Even with a well-argued positing of a sincerely held belief, these words belong to the right, and we have to fight to get them back. Does this fit into Lakoff's theory? Would he suggest that word ownership comes from having the better argument within, or perhaps behind, its semantic frame?


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rasmus
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posted 26 March 2006 12:54 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Catchfire: it's as easy as reading the link above! The short answer to your last question would be no.
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unionist
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posted 26 March 2006 12:56 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Pogo:
I think that this argument could be used against the Broadbent era NDP, but I don't think it is as strong against Layton. I think he has worked very hard to develope simple themes that carry the deeper message.

How about this simple theme message on crime, re mandatory minimum sentences:

"Cons say ten - we say seven!"

"Seven", traditionally seen as a lucky number, should resonate well with voters.


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Frustrated Mess
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posted 26 March 2006 01:01 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think this is key:

quote:
They say what they idealistically believe. They say it; they talk to their base using the frames of their base.

The NDP is, I think, either afraid to say what they idealisistically believe, for fear of being branded socialists or liberal, or lack idealistic groundings for the positions they are advancing.

I can't be the only one to recognize that Layton was appealing to disaffected Liberal voters for electoral success as opposed to building the NDP base with new NDP voters.

And I guess this returns me to the question I keep asking: what does the left (NDP) stand for?

If voters say health care and environment and daycare are priorities but then vote for parties that don't have the same commitment to those issues as the NDP, what should that tell the NDP?

The success of the Reform/Alliance was not in hiding or disguising its ideological leanings but in championing them. They too said what "they idealistically believe".

It is time the NDP did so also.

[ 26 March 2006: Message edited by: Frustrated Mess ]


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Aristotleded24
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posted 26 March 2006 01:12 PM      Profile for Aristotleded24   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Frustrated Mess:
The success of the Reform/Alliance was not in hiding or disguising its ideological leanings but in championing them. They too said what "they idealistically believe".

One thing about Reform is that regardless of his positions, people liked Manning and (rightly or wrongly) felt that he was concerned about their issues, and about listening to them. It's that kind of populist appeal that explains swings between the NDP and Reform in the West, despite widely differing political ideologies. The party was also born out of regional discontent. I know people who said they supported the party because if they got in it would be good for "the West," despite either having reservations about Stockwell Day.

And I agree about the "lend us your vote" idea. The Liberals are going to want those votes back next time around. What really worries me is that the NDP will look at the rising seat count from last election, see that as a sign that their strategy worked, do the same thing next time, and possibly get creamed.

[ 26 March 2006: Message edited by: Aristotleded24 ]


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Polunatic2
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posted 26 March 2006 01:16 PM      Profile for Polunatic2   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Let's also remember that US conservatives didn't "reframe" anything overnight or in the context of a single election. This has been an ongoing project for 30 years or more - at least since the "Vietnam syndrome" set in in the 70's. They have built a well-funded infrastructure which "forced" Bill Clinton to the right so that even when they lose, they win.

Looking to "re-frame" issues for the NEXT election, is not the right way to go. The NDP needs a long-range strategic plan which goes beyond finger-pointing, moral righteousness and internal purges.


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Polunatic2
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posted 26 March 2006 01:20 PM      Profile for Polunatic2   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post


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rasmus
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posted 26 March 2006 01:21 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
To polunatic: yes. And once again, I point to the link above! Lakoff discusses just how massive and well-funded this conservative effort has been. It is truly impressive.
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Frustrated Mess
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posted 26 March 2006 01:46 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Let's also remember that US conservatives didn't "reframe" anything overnight or in the context of a single election. This has been an ongoing project for 30 years or more

But that isn't that the difference between saying waht you idealistically believe, repeatedly, election after election, and packaging a message, based on polling, for today?


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Pogo
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posted 26 March 2006 01:47 PM      Profile for Pogo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I am not going to argue that the NDP didn't shift to the right. Clearly to be a legitimate political force it needs to win about 30 seats. I was upset that inheritance tax disappeared, but I also recognized the damage it created in the previous campaign. People that clamour for immediate ideological purity are asking the NDP to abandon electoral hopes almost completely.

On the other hand Harper also watered down the Conservative platform considerably, yet the right is being held up as telling a consistent message. Their platform has not been consistent, but their framing has been.

The 'frame' of the NDP campaign was also pretty consistent. "Getting results for people" was the theme from the platform. Key also was the extensive use of anecdotes to explain how government intervention is important because it had a real and substantial effect on peoples lives. A government that cares and intervenes to help people is the message.

What the right has been able to do is to get their support groups fighting on side. The small government message is echoed by any number of business associations.

I believe that the labour campaign was pretty similiar to the previous election where they worked to educate people and urge them to vote on NDP friendly issues. However among other progressive groups the message is all over the place. Indeed many progressive leaders become very Liberal during elections.


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Stockholm
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posted 26 March 2006 01:52 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I can't be the only one to recognize that Layton was appealing to disaffected Liberal voters for electoral success as opposed to building the NDP base with new NDP voters.


The NDP "base" consists of about 8% of the electorate, every additional vote that the NDP gets is from disaffected Liberals and people who say "plague on both your houses" and maybe a few ornery ex-Reform Party types.


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Polunatic2
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posted 26 March 2006 01:58 PM      Profile for Polunatic2   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
"Getting results for people"
Which people? What results? How are they getting them? Don't all parties do that?

Doesn't this "frame" pose more questions than it answers?

To go one step further, if the NDP got "results" for "working families" by holding the balance of power in a liberal minority, isn't bringing down the government (and losing those results) counter-intuitive to the slogan? How will they get results now?

Isn't this an attempt to re-package the NDP, not as an opposition party, but as a "partner" for whomever happens to be in power?

[ 26 March 2006: Message edited by: Polunatic2 ]


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Frustrated Mess
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posted 26 March 2006 02:20 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
every additional vote that the NDP gets is from disaffected Liberals and people who say "plague on both your houses" and maybe a few ornery ex-Reform Party types.

Votes must come from somewhere, but if they come to the NDP not committed to the ideals of the party but as a means to thumb their noses at another party, then they are at best fair weather friends and probably not at all committed to the goal of electing an social democratic party.


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Pogo
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posted 26 March 2006 02:30 PM      Profile for Pogo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That the NDP base support is 8% is the fault of all progressives not just the political wing (NDP).
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V. Jara
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posted 26 March 2006 02:31 PM      Profile for V. Jara     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Polunatic, you missed the point of Bush's photo-op at the school. The point was not that he cares about elementary school education (polls show the overwhelming majority of Americans believe that is false), it is that he cares about black children.
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unionist
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posted 26 March 2006 02:33 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by V. Jara:
Polunatic, you missed the point of Bush's photo-op at the school. The point was not that he cares about elementary school education (polls show the overwhelming majority of Americans believe that is false), it is that he cares about black children.

That's useful information. Any idea what the point of Layton's photo-op might have been?


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Stockholm
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posted 26 March 2006 02:52 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Are you suggesting that Layton shoudl never allow himself to be photographed in the company of children?
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unionist
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posted 26 March 2006 02:53 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Stockholm:
Are you suggesting that Layton shoudl never allow himself to be photographed in the company of children?

No, I'm suggesting that his policies would be more progressive if he listened to them more carefully.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
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posted 26 March 2006 04:20 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think polunatic's photo thing is just a gag. I'm not sure why anyone is wasting time debating that.

"Getting results for people" is actually as close to neutral as you can get -- as close to saying absolutely nothing as you can possibly get. It certainly doesn't invoke a powerful, distinctive value outlook, which is exactly what Lakoff means by "frame". It could have been said by any of the parties without clashing with their fundamental beliefs.

Stockholm, you talk about the base as though this is a static thing, and also, as if it's simply a demographic statistic. How do you measure or determine that 8%? Is that simply the lowest result in recent times? If so, then it could always be lower, because a sinking ship has no base. So again, how do you determine that?

There are different ways of thinking of a base. You can think of a social base whose interests are naturally aligned with your politics. You can think of a stable vote base. You can think of an ideological base. Lakoff is talking about something between an ideological and a cognitive base. You build your vote base by activating a latent cognitive or moral model through the skilful use of frames, and you don't do this by neutralizing your language or trying to be as safe as possible. ("Getting results for people.")

The problem with your point of view, Stockholm, is that you don't have a model of how you actually change the political dynamic and shift what pollsters measure as basic preferences. And that is the art of politics. That's what conservatives have become good at, especially in the US. Of course, part of the broader shift to the right has to do with much broader political and economic questions. But part of it has simply been intelligent, concerted political strategy and language. For them, it's been a virtuous cycle.

[ 26 March 2006: Message edited by: rasmus raven ]


From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Polunatic2
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posted 26 March 2006 04:21 PM      Profile for Polunatic2   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I was merely pointing out that "baby kissing" transcends ideology and party and remains in vogue.

Edited to removed reference to ONDP meeting.

[ 26 March 2006: Message edited by: Polunatic2 ]


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Cueball
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posted 26 March 2006 04:23 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:
You folks are way too analytical. The NDP's approach is simple and solid:

"Canadians have always elected Liberal or Conservative governments. Let's be like them and we'll get elected too!"

For the latest rather unbelievable example, see this story about the upcoming crime debate in the House:

So - how would you "frame" the NDP position here?


Neo-fascist.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
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posted 26 March 2006 04:30 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I was merely pointing out that "baby kissing" transcends ideology and party and remains in vogue.

Right, I see your point now. Like "getting results for people" it's a bland, safe and non-distinctive image/message.


From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 26 March 2006 04:33 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Pogo:

On the other hand Harper also watered down the Conservative platform considerably, yet the right is being held up as telling a consistent message. Their platform has not been consistent, but their framing has been.

The 'frame' of the NDP campaign was also pretty consistent. "Getting results for people" was the theme from the platform. Key also was the extensive use of anecdotes to explain how government intervention is important because it had a real and substantial effect on peoples lives. A government that cares and intervenes to help people is the message.


"Getting results for people" is not a frame, it is a catchphrase. It is a catchphrase that means nothing. It is exactly the kind of thing being critcized in the article that began this thread.

Look at it this way: Any party could use that phrase and make it apply to themselves, it is not framed in any particular way at all.

If it were framed it would speak to an issue, that is identifiable within a left wing frame, in the manner such as the way "Read my lips: No new taxes" is within a right wing frame.

The NDP slogan speaks of "results" but doesn't say what those results are the "Read my lips: No new taxes" slogan describes what results will be achieved and those speak directly within the right wing frame.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
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posted 26 March 2006 04:41 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
As for the success of the Conservatives, pogo, of course, no one analytical model suffices to explain every circumstance, and we can't transfer an article written about the American two-party system to the much more complicated Canadian dynamic. That being said, the frame explanation actually works surprisingly well to talk about how Harper was able to come across as conservative while deliberately working to appear less threatening. For example, the childcare policy and the whole "10 million experts, their names are mom and dad" fit right into the independence from the coddling state. The military expenditure idea fit right in with a conservative frame. Yes, they made strategic decisions to run as close as possible, and as far as necessary from the Liberals. But they still successfully used language that invoked a conservative frame.
From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Pogo
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posted 26 March 2006 04:48 PM      Profile for Pogo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes I will grant that taken alone it is a very generic statement. It is however within the context (frame?) that the NDP has presented. Specifically, that government intervention is important.

I would also say that the conservative framework was as much created outside political parties as within. Isn't it just as much or more the progessive movements outside the NDP's fault that no clear message is out there for the NDP to latch on to?


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Cueball
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posted 26 March 2006 04:57 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
But how can anyone tell that the statement is framed in idea "that government intervention is important" when the slogan does not speak to that idea. Your assertion seems to be based on the idea that there is a "common knowledge" understanding of what the NDP stands for, and the slogan will be understood by people in that context. Is this true? And how is this common knowledge understanding reinforced and handed down from generation to generation if not by repetition of the basic concepts of the frame?

As important. "Getting results for people," is not an effective arguement in detailed political debate between people. It does not arm people with a tool for asserting left values in concrete discussion between people at the grass roots who want to mobalize "their support groups" as you put it.

It can simply be countered by "Yes. Well we can get results for people too. So?"

[ 26 March 2006: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 26 March 2006 04:59 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Pogo:
I would also say that the conservative framework was as much created outside political parties as within. Isn't it just as much or more the progessive movements outside the NDP's fault that no clear message is out there for the NDP to latch on to?

I don't want to bring this important discussion to a simplistic level, but if the NDP is short of clear messages, it could start by opening a album of photographs of demonstrations, strikes, protests, vigils over the past 2-3 years across Canada, copy down what's written on the placards and banners, and take it from there. I predict you will see a complete revamping of the NDP's platform. Consider that the progressive movements' contribution to the NDP's ability to communicate.


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Cueball
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posted 26 March 2006 05:02 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What?! "Behead the editorial staff of the Jylland-Posten." Is that what you mean?
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 26 March 2006 05:29 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Catchfire:
But I feel there is a separate battle for ownership of certain key words (security, patriotism, fiscal responsibility) that the right has been winning for decades.

I think it's because statistics show that Republican "red" states are almost all "have not" states where educational achievement and income levels are lower on average than blue ones. The Yanks vote like we do - so as not to elect right-wing whackos. And in both countries where FPTP short-changes real democracy, people vote out of fear. On the right owning the word "fiscal", it has to be down to a lack of literacy/awareness among N. American's, because in both countries, right-rightist governments have dinged-up more national debt than any other nation in world history.

U.S. National Debt by Presidents - graph


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rasmus
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posted 26 March 2006 05:41 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
One of the things that Lakoff hammers in, repeatedly, is if you blame your failures and right-wing successes on external factors (poor education, stupid voters, unfriendly media), you're going to keep hitting your head against a wall. It is defensive, self-exculpatory thinking. Because what can you do about those things, actually? (The media hated Tommy Douglas, too, but that didn't make him water down his proposals. The media hated the Winnipeg general strikers who were asking for things we take for granted.) That attidude is the seed of the sheer defeatism and weakness that afflicts the NDP. And in the political sphere, when people see weakness, they attack and exploit it, they don't give you a pass.
From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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posted 26 March 2006 05:49 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Like "getting results for people" it's a bland, safe and non-distinctive image/message.

Would you prefer plagiarizing "Make the rich pay" from the Workers Communist Party (Pro-Tirane) of the 70s??


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rasmus
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posted 26 March 2006 05:54 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
When you have nothing to say, you just do redbaiting non-sequiturs. Which says more about you than anyone else.
From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 26 March 2006 05:59 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by rasmus raven:
When you have nothing to say, you just do redbaiting non-sequiturs. Which says more about you than anyone else.

Wrong. He also does Muslim-baiting. Stockholm, could you please refrain from posting offensive messages?


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 26 March 2006 06:03 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Could this author have written guerilla tactics on the ideological battlefield in the information age? Just curious, eh.
From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 26 March 2006 06:20 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by rasmus raven:
One of the things that Lakoff hammers in, repeatedly, is if you blame your failures and right-wing successes on external factors (poor education, stupid voters, unfriendly media), you're going to keep hitting your head against a wall. It is defensive, self-exculpatory thinking. Because what can you do about those things, actually? (The media hated Tommy Douglas, too, but that didn't make him water down his proposals. The media hated the Winnipeg general strikers who were asking for things we take for granted.) That attidude is the seed of the sheer defeatism and weakness that afflicts the NDP. And in the political sphere, when people see weakness, they attack and exploit it, they don't give you a pass.

Unless you pull "copyright" on me, I'm preserving your above post and sending it to a whole bunch of people. You got it right.


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Catchfire
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posted 26 March 2006 06:29 PM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What I was trying to say, rasmus, is that I think that while compelling, Lakoff's argument fails to address the rhetoric ownership that Conservatives have been so adept at. When conservatives utilize semantic figures like "patriotism," "security" and "fiscal responsibility" they do it successfully not merely because they fit a certian conservative frame, but because they have actively posessed this rhetoric. These words are philosophically neutral, but politically conservative. Why? When liberals try to use these words, they fail not only because of Lakoff's theory—that they are using conservative tools to take down the conservative house—but because this recourse to rhetoric has been taken from them.

The thing is, they should be able to use these words, conservative framework notwithstanding. In the 17th Century, when James I came from Scotland with a tenuous claim to Elizabeth's throne, he employed the Queen's rhetoric with regards to union and body, and tried to refit it to his own political goals, with marked, but arguable success. Should we assume, because American conservatives got to these words first they are no longer available to the left? I disagree.

On a similar note, I also think that it's a lot harder to convince voters to accept legislation that helps other people, like minorities and the underprivileged; than it is to convince them to help themselves—to lower taxes, and to appeal to baser emotions, like pride for a military empire. Conservatives have been more effective, certainly, in presenting coherent, precise platforms, but I don't think it's possible to discount that their job is easier than a leftist's.


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Pogo
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posted 26 March 2006 07:08 PM      Profile for Pogo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
When Conservatives get up and propose lowering taxes or removing regulations immediately a number of organizations such as business groups and think tanks will pile on with support. I don't see that happening if the NDP moved further to the left. Indeed last election when the NDP proposed the inheritance tax the opposite happened, many so called friends attacked us.

If the NDP moved further to the left there are too few progressives to support the move and these groups are often too timid to provide real support. We would lose far more support than we would gain and we are not in a position to accept losses.


From: Richmond BC | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Pogo
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posted 26 March 2006 07:20 PM      Profile for Pogo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by rasmus raven:
Stockholm, you talk about the base as though this is a static thing, and also, as if it's simply a demographic statistic. How do you measure or determine that 8%?[ 26 March 2006: Message edited by: rasmus raven ]

If anything I find the 8% to be high given the limited anecdotal evidence I have. Most NDP supporters barely know who the NDP is and would have trouble listing more than a few key policies. At any particular point in time the base will be static. It can change over a period of time but not much over an election campaign. Elections used to be considered as important times to educate the public, but I think that modern media has diminished this role.


From: Richmond BC | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
up
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posted 26 March 2006 11:14 PM      Profile for up     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
And I guess this returns me to the question I keep asking: what does the left (NDP) stand for?

I agree. The NDP has become so reactionary that when the voter puts the various messages together in his head, it no longer creates a 'grand narrative' (RR loves that word) behind it.

When you put together the neo-cons frames in your mind you get a context. When you put our frames together in your mind, you no longer get a context. What would an NDP society look like? What is the end goal of all these policies and frames? I don't know. Despite knowing the NDP and its policies very well, no underlying narrative or context really springs to mind.

somehow simply reacting became the context. the context has become the NDP is against a lot of things. But thats not a vision, not a narrative. It doesnt spring to mind a meaningful context of what the NDP is and what its goals are.

quote:
Let's also remember that US conservatives didn't "reframe" anything overnight or in the context of a single election. This has been an ongoing project for 30 years or more - at least since the "Vietnam syndrome" set in in the 70's. They have built a well-funded infrastructure which "forced" Bill Clinton to the right so that even when they lose, they win.

Looking to "re-frame" issues for the NEXT election, is not the right way to go. The NDP needs a long-range strategic plan which goes beyond finger-pointing, moral righteousness and internal purges.


I fundamentally disagree with this. In fact, the whole theory suggests that it shouldn't take long to build efective frames, because their meaning is not created but stored in the voter. In fact, this suggestion, and the ideas under-pinning are exactly what's wrong.

Effective frames drawing the message and meaning from the voters ideas and experiences themselves, coming together to draw a context for an understandable society (like the neo-con frames do) is something that can and would happen almost instantly. There is no educating to do. If you believe you have to educate, i.e, change the voters underlying conceptions to generate the frame and the context you want, youre going to be sitting 4th in the national parliament bobbing around 20 seats.

quote:
"Getting results for people"

Which people? What results? How are they getting them? Don't all parties do that?

Doesn't this "frame" pose more questions than it answers?

To go one step further, if the NDP got "results" for "working families" by holding the balance of power in a liberal minority, isn't bringing down the government (and losing those results) counter-intuitive to the slogan? How will they get results now?


No no. this again is exactly what's wrong and what the article is trying to tell us. The problem with that shitty sound bite was never people. It was the getting results. What results? The voter doesn't visualize, doesn't bring his own meanings together from that soundbite and to see an underlying context to be created by voting NDP. Hell, even I don't and I vote NDP.

If you skip ahead to the end game, I think you see the problem and how it will end in a circle.
Lets assume the NDP creates frames tommorrow that invoke a context, a narative out of the voters experiences and ideas.
How will that be any diferent than the Liberal narrative and context? It won't. It will be the same.

But then you say, but the Liberals don't actually do what they promise, and the narrative they evoke with their frames!
So now you become reactionary again against the Liberals. Anywhere and everywhere you attack their frames necessarily on an individual basis, and by either not refering your own frames (beacuse they will evoke the same context as the Liberal ones you are attacking), so essentially borrowing right-wing frames to destroy them (corruption comes to mind), trying to bring enough frames offline so that the frames together can no longer build a context/narrative (which, if you borrow right-wing frames, necessarily bring our own narrative offline since its the same).
Or you say the Liberals are lying and their frames actually create a right-wing world not a left! Which is even worse because to the voter this means his experiences are wrong, and how he puts them together in a context is wrong, ie, ' the 'educating the voter' theme we keep seeing pop up from time to time, and which will never never work. You can't invalidate the voters experiences and the context he draws from those. It just doesn't work.
If the first approach is succesful, which it is from time to time, then the conservatives get in. then beacuse we have become simply reactionary, our own frames no longer can be put together to form a context by the voter, and we often have ended up borrowing right-wing frames (like corruption) to bring down the Liberal frames and the context they draw, which happens to be the same context we are trying to draw, which means we have inadvertently destroyed our own context while tyring to destroy the Liberal one, because they are the same.
And then RR has to post this again and round and round we go.

If the Liberals already 'occupy' the narrative context we want to, what can we do?


From: other | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 26 March 2006 11:23 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Effective frames drawing the message and meaning from the voters ideas and experiences themselves, coming together to draw a context for an understandable society (like the neo-con frames do) is something that can and would happen almost instantly. There is no educating to do. If you believe you have to educate, i.e, change the voters underlying conceptions to generate the frame and the context you want, youre going to be sitting 4th in the national parliament bobbing around 20 seats.

I think you might be missing something here. It doesn't take years in order to "educate" the voter, it takes years to develop a level of trust with a critical mass of voters whereby they believe you represent the ideas you are representing and not just packaging a message to win an election. And I believe this.

I think it is important for a party like the NDP to speak about principles and ideas and repeat the same idealistic message, repeat the frames, consistently rather than test a new sales pitch every election.


From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Aristotleded24
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posted 26 March 2006 11:24 PM      Profile for Aristotleded24   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Pogo:
When Conservatives get up and propose lowering taxes or removing regulations immediately a number of organizations such as business groups and think tanks will pile on with support. I don't see that happening if the NDP moved further to the left. Indeed last election when the NDP proposed the inheritance tax the opposite happened, many so called friends attacked us.

It's Time For An Inheritance Tax


From: Winnipeg | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 26 March 2006 11:49 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Aristotleded24:

It's Time For An Inheritance Tax


You think political cowardice can be cured by persuasive and intelligent analysis?

The wealthiest families in the society (the "311,000", to follow the CCPA article) control the levers of production, finance, and mass communication. They used those levers to launch a scare campaign against a perfectly modest proposal (not in the Swiftian sense either!).

The result? The NDP got scared. How convenient.

Now on this forum we hear babblers saying that if the NDP had adopted more leftwing positions, more votes would have gone to the Liberals! That must explain why Layton tried to insert himself to the right of the Liberals in the last campaign.

My opinion: It no longer matters that much, in isolation, what positions the NDP takes. The NDP has little living connection with any mass movement, and it is severing the few that it has, seeing them as an obstruction to the attainment of political power. Since it also lacks the "advantage" of the Liberals and Conservatives - namely, living connections with the wealthy elite - its policy pronouncements can draw no real blood. And everyone unfortunately knows it. The social democratic emperor has no clothes.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Aristotleded24
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posted 27 March 2006 12:01 AM      Profile for Aristotleded24   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:
You think political cowardice can be cured by persuasive and intelligent analysis?

Your continually grinding your axe with the NDP has blinded you to what's going on.

Pogo stated:

quote:
When Conservatives get up and propose lowering taxes or removing regulations immediately a number of organizations such as business groups and think tanks will pile on with support. I don't see that happening if the NDP moved further to the left. Indeed last election when the NDP proposed the inheritance tax the opposite happened, many so called friends attacked us.

So my point in posting the CCPA link was to show that when the NDP proposed the inheritance tax, that there were those who backed up the idea.


From: Winnipeg | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
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posted 27 March 2006 12:26 AM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Unless you pull "copyright" on me, I'm preserving your above post and sending it to a whole bunch of people. You got it right.

Feel free, though you might want to clean it up if it's out of context.

Catchfire -- yes, I take your point, and after all, it's basic Gramscian analysis, isn't it, that building a counterhegemony is a struggle. At the same time, as Lakoff and numerous others have written about, Conservatives didn't just suddenly arrive at this position: it was a long and deliberate process of intellectual work. They were attacking the then prevalent social democratic "common sense". Now, I agree with you that dominant social forces make it easier for them to establish a frame. But that doesn't mean we haven't been doing a terrible job on our own side.

Pogo, as for the idea that the slogan "getting results for people" was supposed to be transparent to the NDP ingroup as to what the results were, but opaque (and therefore "safe") to everyone else-- well, that's the problem isn't it? The NDP is perennially doing things that its ingroup readily interprets as clear, but no one else does. For example, calling for a debate on Afghanistan instead of actually initiating one by taking a position: this is supposed to signal to the ingroup, nudge nudge, wink wink, that maybe we might take a position that's different from the government, and if we did, imagine what it would be! The problem is, to must everyone else, it doesn't communicate much at all, except perhaps timidity and caution. And in politics weakness never goes unpunished.

This problem of the NDP always speaking in a code only its ingroup understands is so pervasive, it is a cognitive dysfunction of the organization as a whole that seriously damages its strategic capacity. Put simply, NDP decision-makers can't seem to put themselves in other people's shoes, the shoes of people who aren't like them. In the recent issue of Maclean's that profiled Harper's core team, it described how Patrick Muttart, who grew up working class, told their ad team, over and over, "the people these ads are for AREN'T LIKE YOU. YOU DON'T KNOW THEM. DON'T MAKE ADS FOR YOURSELVES." If only the NDP were good at that! Muttart also created a stable of archetypes to personify their target and non-target audiences.

Pogo, as for your idea that what we are talking about is going "to the left", this is a misreading, in my view. It's not starting with the idea of moving left or right. It's starting with how you conceive of political communication, in particular. As a consequence of one conception, the one the NDP has, you are going to find weakness, defeatism, and a timid sense of hiding in the centre. As a consequence of the other way of thinking, you probably are not. But it is not, in the first instance, an argument about moving to the centre or the left. It's an argument about human cognition (which I am not sure you have understood yet? Have you read the link?) Lakoff is a Democrat, after all. How radical do you think he is? (Read the link.) Paul Martin is more of a lefty than most Democrats.

Looking at our current predicament, the point is, there are any number of issues that are on the agenda right now, which the majority of Canadians are onside with, where the NDP could use much better language and rhetoric to activate the appropriate moral impulses in people, without moving any further left on any particular one of them (although I would prefer, personally, they DID move left on certain others). Politically, the effect would be to drag the centre of discourse to the left, not necessarily because the NDP's positions had moved, but because its way of talking about these was more intelligent and powerful. So it is about better tapping into a pre-existing value base as much as about shifting to the left.

On the role of movements -- I agree, if by this you mean that like the NDP, their communications leave much to be desired (although some third sector groups are definitely better than the NDP). Lakoff would also agree, and that's why he spends so much time referring generally to progressives, the progressive movement, and the infrastructure we need to build. (Read the link!) But it's much easier for the NDP to start making these changes now than it is for us to start herding all those cats at once. Again, if you say the NDP shouldn't do anything differently unless we persuade everyone to do it that way, you set yourself an impossible task, and the net result is defeatism and weakness. And in politics, weakness never goes unpunished.

[ 27 March 2006: Message edited by: rasmus raven ]


From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 27 March 2006 12:35 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Aristotleded24:

So my point in posting the CCPA link was to show that when the NDP proposed the inheritance tax, that there were those who backed up the idea.


Yes, I understood that, believe it or not - my point still is that you are not going to convince the scaredycats who will grasp at any excuse to claim that a left-sounding position has cost the party support. I have been facing this knee-jerk reflex, unsupported by any factual evidence, from the first NDP campaign I ever worked in.

Since you're asking, that was 1969 - and we won.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
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posted 27 March 2006 02:07 AM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Just to touch again on whether Lakoff's point is fundamentally about moving left vs. moving to the centre (as opposed to whether this is a consequence of his fundamental point): the Marxist left suffers from a lot of the same flawed communication strategies that Lakoff identifies. The tendency to believe "the truth will set you free" and that people will respond rationally to facts and rational arguments. As Lakoff says, when a fact doesn't fit a frame, the frame wins. That's why the left's tendency to dump facts and statistics in response to simple but potent stories is so ineffective.

[ 27 March 2006: Message edited by: rasmus raven ]


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Cueball
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posted 27 March 2006 02:40 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Catchfire:
What I was trying to say, rasmus, is that I think that while compelling, Lakoff's argument fails to address the rhetoric ownership that Conservatives have been so adept at. When conservatives utilize semantic figures like "patriotism," "security" and "fiscal responsibility" they do it successfully not merely because they fit a certian conservative frame, but because they have actively posessed this rhetoric. These words are philosophically neutral, but politically conservative. Why? When liberals try to use these words, they fail not only because of Lakoff's theory—that they are using conservative tools to take down the conservative house—but because this recourse to rhetoric has been taken from them.

These are not philosophically neutral words and phrases. Quite the opposite, and this is why they fail in the mouths of leftists -- they speak to the right not the left.

"Partiotism," is directly at odds with the internationalist ideal and traditions of the left, valuing "nation" over our common community as human beings. "Security," emphasizes conflict over negotiation, and peace. "Fiscal responsibility" emphasizes economics as the central standard by which the quality of governance are judged, as opposed to other factors such as quality of life, environmental sustainability,

When we use these words and phrases, all we do is assert correctness of the right wing construct (frame,) rather than asserting our own.

[ 27 March 2006: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
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posted 27 March 2006 02:50 AM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I tend to agree with Cueball's answer more than my own response to that post. But these are interesting examples where Lakoff's analysis seems insufficient and needs to be supplemented with other kinds of analysis. Lakoff thinks progressives can reclaim such terms within a progressive frame. And I agree to some extent. For example, "food security" and "social security" are progressive terms that invoke the notion of security differently, and there are probably other ways of doing this.

Yet I disagree with him as well. From my own perspective, patriotism is not a progressive value. I can't reconcile it to my own dominant frame, which is more one of solidarity. I see that from his perspective, there is a liberal patriotism in the US, pride in the particular democratic values of America, and that, as Catchfire says, the right has (by linking it to other aspects of their frame, perhaps), taken ownership of the word, but that liberals might reclaim it. Personally, even in its etymology, I see the patriarchal values that characterize the "strict father morality". Yet if I didn't, it would not be a term I'd want back.

Fiscal responsibility is another interesting case. You could argue that there is the individualist notion of responsibility and self-discipline favoured by the right, and a more giving kind of responsibility to (care for) others characteristic of the left, and that the former is what is invoked here by the word "fiscal", on the model of learning how to save as a child, and so on. Compare "social responsibility". But as you suggest, Catchfire, we can also think of it as having been appropriated by right wing discourse over time, appealing, to be sure, to values like thriftiness and so on, and that now it has simply become part of a more powerful system of dominant ideology. On the other hand, frames aren't god-given, they evolve over time.

I'm not really sure there is a single best analysis of these questions. Hence the sort of meandering, uncertain post.

[ 27 March 2006: Message edited by: rasmus raven ]


From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
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posted 27 March 2006 11:59 AM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Five more of the 10 chapters of Lakoff's book are online.

Chapter 2 -- Enter the Terminator!

Chapter 3 -- What's in a word? Plenty, if it's "Marriage"

Chapter 4 -- Metaphors of Terror

Chapter 5 -- Metaphors that Kill

Chapter 6 -- Betrayal of Trust: Beyond Lying

Here's a page of links to all kinds of posts and articles about "framing" albeit from a decidedly more pop, partisan perspective. It's interesting to read the articles on GOP language.

Framing

[ 27 March 2006: Message edited by: rasmus raven ]


From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
arborman
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posted 27 March 2006 01:37 PM      Profile for arborman     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The real problem is in allowing the parameters of the debate to be determined by others.

If the debate is about taxes or taxation, the right will always win in the public mind.


From: I'm a solipsist - isn't everyone? | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
rici
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posted 28 March 2006 09:49 AM      Profile for rici     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
In a column published recently in Tribune Media Services "Global Viewpoints" (which should be available in various newspapers), Zbigniew Brzezinski offers a clue to the opposition in how to frame the debate. In the context of the usual "Bushites have lost America" argument, he suggests the following as the "countercreed" which might spark the world:

quote:
The countercreed that I fear may be arising is a combination of the widespread revulsion against globalization as a self-interested process of the relatively few rich to disempower the poor along with an intensified anti-Americanism which views the United States as not only the motor of that unfair globalization but also the source of political and cultural imperialism.

He previously dismisses the European-style social democracy ("quality of life") "countercreed":

quote:
It is very difficult to see comfortable Europeans waging a global struggle on behalf of five-week vacations.

Get it while you can (Probably a day or two)


From: Lima, Perú | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 28 March 2006 10:20 AM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
If the debate is about taxes or taxation, the right will always win in the public mind.

I disagree.

In a conversation on obesity yesterday, it was mentioned that most elementary schools in Ontario no longer have a gym class -- cut along with taxes. Now, with childhood obesity on the rise, increasing healthcare costs, associated taxes, and lost productivity - as parents take time off to tend to children with related health problems, the tax cuts are more than offset.

The problem for the NDP is, again, framing. Where does the NDP stand on taxes?

The right, ideologically opposed to social spending, presents taxes as an expense without benefit. Money leaves your wallet and never returns while fat-cat politicians (conservatves!) party at the expense of the poor, abused taxpayer.

Tommy Douglas understood the importance of taxes and the need for tax dollars to be spent wisely.

Today the NDP tends to follow the right when it comes to taxes. They may not promise tax cuts, but they instead offer to tax the rich which, in turn, plays into the right's carefully cultivated public psychology as tax as punishment.

Taxes could instead be presented as a means to improve quality of life for everyone. Through healthcare, protecting wilderness, building community centers, recreation centers, care for seniors, festivals, promoting tourism, developing beautiful streetscapes, etc ... taxes allow us to provide for ourselves a quality of life none of us could individually afford.

If taxes are framed not as punishment and not as dollars lost to a big faceless goverment, but as a means to affording a better life, I think the message of the right could be blunted as they could then be positioned as attempting to deprive Canadians of healthy, happy lives.

[ 28 March 2006: Message edited by: Frustrated Mess ]


From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
stupendousgirlie
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posted 28 March 2006 10:44 AM      Profile for stupendousgirlie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
This is a bugaboo for the NDP and while some on babble might argue that the NDP has stated it's position clearly, I think it is lost on most voters - assuming they are even paying attention.

This is also a bit more than "public relations 101" as well. The NDP has built so many associations with a variety of interests that I sometimes wonder if it is even possible for the party to take a stand on anything other than the traditional issues that would be considered "safe" - namely, health care and education.

This is an exciting time for the NDP. The party has an opportunity to contrast itself from the CPC and the Liberals. Right now the NDP has ideas but no plan to form a government. I have argued until I am blue in the face that if the party places forming a government as it's sole purpose in life, then the party would have to state clear positions on a number of issues and it could possibly decide whether continued association with certain groups and organizations is either helpful or a hinderance.

Very simply, most voters in Canada don't take the NDP seriously because it is seen as being unable to win. Perhaps voters would pay greater attention if the focus shifts from an advocacy role to that of a party with serious designs on forming a government.


From: Wondering how the left can ever form a national government | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged
Polunatic2
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posted 28 March 2006 11:00 AM      Profile for Polunatic2   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Lakoff used "taxes" to make his point in Chapter 1.
quote:
Imagine the following ad:

Our parents invested in the future, ours as well as theirs, through their taxes. They invested their tax money in the interstate highway system, the Internet, the scientific and medical establishments, our communications system, our airline system, the space program. They invested in the future, and we are reaping the tax benefits, the benefits from the taxes they paid. Today we have assets—highways, schools and colleges, the Internet, airlines — that come from the wise investments they made.

Imagine versions of this ad running over and over, for years. Eventually, the frame would be established: Taxes are wise investments in the future.

Or take another metaphor:

Taxation is paying your dues, paying your membership fee in America. If you join a country club or a community center, you pay fees. Why? You did not build the swimming pool. You have to maintain it. You did not build the basketball court. Someone has to clean it. You may not use the squash court, but you still have to pay your dues. Otherwise it won’t be maintained and will fall apart. People who avoid taxes, like corporations that move to Bermuda, are not paying their dues to their country. It is patriotic to be a taxpayer. It is traitorous to desert our country and not pay your dues.

Perhaps Bill Gates Sr. said it best. In arguing to keep the inheritance tax, he pointed out that he and Bill Jr. did not invent the Internet. They just used it—to make billions. There is no such thing as a self-made man. Every businessman has used the vast American infrastructure, which the taxpayers paid for, to make his money. He did not make his money alone. He used taxpayer infrastructure. He got rich on what other taxpayers had paid for: the banking system, the Federal Reserve, the Treasury and Commerce Departments, and the judicial system, where nine-tenths of cases involve corporate law. These taxpayer investments support companies and wealthy investors. There are no self-made men! The wealthy have gotten rich using what previous taxpayers have paid for. They owe the taxpayers of this country a great deal and should be paying it back.


The frame could be something like "tax benefits" or "tax investments" which speaks to values and invokes positive images.

[ 28 March 2006: Message edited by: Polunatic2 ]


From: Toronto | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
arborman
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posted 28 March 2006 04:37 PM      Profile for arborman     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Frustrated Mess:

I disagree.


Don't get me wrong - I agree with you. But you had to use 3 paragraphs to make your excellent points.

The right wins when we discuss the merits of 'tax relief', because they set the boundaries of the debate. 'Do you want to pay less taxes or not?' As opposed to 'Do you want another six dollars a week of take home pay rather than keeping phys-ed in schools'.


From: I'm a solipsist - isn't everyone? | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 28 March 2006 05:05 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Okay, but that's the point of framing, right? Because we have done such a poor job of it, if the right were to speak of 'tax relief' and we replied with 'healthy kids' few would make the connection.
From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 28 March 2006 05:11 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Really? You don't think they would. Why do we always make John Q. Public to be dumb?
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 28 March 2006 05:29 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You could even make it a slogan: "They say: Tax relief. We say: healthy kids."
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Pogo
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posted 28 March 2006 06:24 PM      Profile for Pogo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Cueball:
You could even make it a slogan: "They say: Tax relief. We say: healthy kids."

Or they say 'tax relief', we say 'getting results for people'.

I wasn't going to post here again until I had a chance to get through the readings...


From: Richmond BC | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 28 March 2006 07:03 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Does Lakoff et al address the whole issue of volume? I mean, ...what's the significance of a clear and intelligently framed message when an ideologically antagonistic message is being shouted in 100 different places at once? The truthfulness of one's message becomes rather meaningless when very few people hear it. And that isn't about to change all that much, even with the internet.

I admit I haven't carefully read the whole thread. Perhaps someone has already addressed this. The right wing uses the concept of a "wedge" in their nefarous attempts to dislodge the scientific world view from its rightful central place and replace evolution by natural selection with "intelligent design". Perhaps it is time the left did the same in order to overcome a louder message from the right, the way they successfully manufacture consent, brainwash the population, and so on.

Maybe my Leninism is showing? I dunno....

[ 28 March 2006: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 28 March 2006 07:58 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
You could even make it a slogan: "They say: Tax relief. We say: healthy kids."

But see, that's just packaging again. Are the principles and idealism really behind it? Does the frame resonate with comitment and sincerity?

The last time I opened a can of Bud, there was no instant party.


From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
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posted 28 March 2006 08:48 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Just on N. Beltov's point, yes he does talk about that, and he offers a story of how they got there.
From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 28 March 2006 09:13 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
For some reason I am reading this thread backwards. I will eventually read the links from rasmus.

However, for the time being, I want to comment on the BRZEZINSKI article. It's about a year and a half old, but it's still sorta interesting. Here goes:

quote:
Brzezinski: In the past, in particular during the Cold War, there were major waves of anti-Americanism, usually associated with the left. Today, anti-Americanism is a pervasive global outlook that embraces both the left and right.

Interesting, if true.

quote:
It is Americans who will make sure the guilty will be punished.

This shit from a statesman who knows very well that his home country has had a long-standing official doctrine that their combatants are above international law, including the law regarding international war crimes. What a sick laugh.

quote:
The countercreed that I fear may be arising is a combination of the widespread revulsion against globalization as a self-interested process of the relatively few rich to disempower the poor along with an intensified anti-Americanism which views the United States as not only the motor of that unfair globalization but also the source of political and cultural imperialism.

OK, getting better....

quote:
Americans need to wake up to the fact that something very significant has happened in the wake of 9/11. We were all shocked by that, but then a small group with extremist views exploited that shock and hijacked American foreign policy

Another sick lie. US imperialism has always been horrific. This new cabal has differing features, tis true, but the Monroe Doctrine, for example, is a fuck of a lot older than Mr. Big Shit Zbignew Brzezinski. Gimme a fucking break!!

quote:
That is why there is now the need for a choice: Will America return to the past successes of global leadership or damage itself critically in the extremist pursuit of global domination?

Apparently the cat is out of the bag. < snerk >


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
rici
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posted 28 March 2006 09:54 PM      Profile for rici     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by N.Beltov:
I want to comment on the BRZEZINSKI article. It's about a year and a half old, but it's still sorta interesting.

Oops, quite right. I hadn't noticed it's age. Anyway, I hope I didn't come off as approving of Zbiggy. I just thought his framing of what he calls the countercreed was pretty good: "a self-interested process of the relatively few rich to disempower the poor."

The question is, if that formula worries Zbiggy, why should we be scared to use it?

As for Zbiggy's ahistoricity, I note that a much earlier expression of anti-imperialism which "views the United States as... the source of political and cultural imperialism" can be found in the famous (and still frequently quoted) Mexican lament:

quote:
Poor Mexico, so far from God and so near to the United States.

¡Pobre México! ¡Tan lejos de Dios y tan cerca a los Estados Unidos!


which is attributed to Porfirio Díaz (1830-1915).

[ 28 March 2006: Message edited by: rici ]


From: Lima, Perú | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 29 March 2006 06:27 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Frustrated Mess:

But see, that's just packaging again. Are the principles and idealism really behind it? Does the frame resonate with comitment and sincerity?

The last time I opened a can of Bud, there was no instant party.


No it is not the same, nor is it the same as "getting results for people." If it was "we say: healthly kids" alone, you would be right, but because "healthy kids" is jusxtaposed against "tax Relief" (the right wing frame) it obviously is asserting a different frame.

"Healthy kids" instead of "tax releief." Social welfare is prioritized as more important than the financial values.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 29 March 2006 10:49 AM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I meant turning it into a slogan without the groundwork of establishing principles founded on ideals.
From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 29 March 2006 11:04 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I made the point at the begining of this thread:

quote:
...socialist ideas have been around for 200 years. They have been applied with varying degrees of success. These ideas are well worked into the popular imagination and are commonly understood.

Articulating these ideas in a Canada specific framework should be relatively simple, and will be understood as the public do not need to be heavily backgrounded.

It is not as if the NDP has to reinvent the logic and conception of public responsibililty for the whole, and that the state is the natural guardian of that responsibility, or that the economy should be bent toward that goal.



From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 29 March 2006 11:14 AM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
It is not as if the NDP has to reinvent the logic and conception of public responsibililty for the whole, and that the state is the natural guardian of that responsibility

Reinvent, no. But let me ask you, do you associate those ideas and principles with the NDP?

Personally, I see the NDP as capitalism with a smile.


From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Left_Wing_New_Democrat
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posted 29 March 2006 12:58 PM      Profile for Left_Wing_New_Democrat     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Personally, I see the NDP as capitalism with a smile

I would disagree. The NDP has simply realized that the majority of people are not ideologically of any 'ism'. Therefore to be a party of 'socialism' in a crusade against 'capitalism' is not going to work for people in Canada as it might in other countries more aware of political doctrine or the 'isms'. The NDP should be more left I agree but the NDP has yet to abandon our tradition, history or socialism completely. Jack seems to be a leader more concerned with helping people than advancing an 'ism'.

quote:
neo-fascist

This is just wrong. Nobody can truly think that crime is not to be combated through policing. We simply awknowlege this truth and pair it with the build up the social safety net in a dual stratigy against crime. That being said, we did flip flop as this was not the position of the past leaders of the CCF or the NDP but we have yet to be in a position where we felt we can really affect this issue either.


From: Lucknow | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 29 March 2006 01:44 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
No. Crime is primarily combatted by social integration. I agree that policing and courts act as a kind of deterence, but most crime is spur of the moment, and the people perpetrating the crime rarely think think about the consequences, and if they do, think nought of the jail sentence they might serve because they think they are going to get away from it.

quote:
Originally posted by Frustrated Mess:

Reinvent, no. But let me ask you, do you associate those ideas and principles with the NDP?

Personally, I see the NDP as capitalism with a smile.


Well this I agree with. But my point is, using the NDP as the only available vehicle that their is plenty of space for the NDP to manouver should it decide to become something other than capitalism with a smile.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 29 March 2006 02:32 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The NDP has simply realized that the majority of people are not ideologically of any 'ism'. Therefore to be a party of 'socialism' in a crusade against 'capitalism' is not going to work for people in Canada as it might in other countries more aware of political doctrine or the 'isms'.

So the NDP doesn't stand for anything? More of a party of ambivalentism? I am imagining Layton's next speech:

"I don't think there is any one right answer. Or any one wrong answer. Or even an answer. If we are to move this Canada forward, then we must hear every voice and agree with all of them and contradictions must be harmonized into a single shrug that every Canadian can rally around."

[ 29 March 2006: Message edited by: Frustrated Mess ]


From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 29 March 2006 04:06 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Has the Chenney ring. Known unknowns and all that.
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 31 March 2006 09:29 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Framing: This morning, a CBC reporter interviews someone about a student that passed away. "What is your reaction?" asks the reporter. That's framing. That's "framing" the discussion into the narrow channel of views represented by "reactions" rather than, say, thoughtful opinions. My "reaction" to such a "question" is to draw attention to the "thought" of the reporter and provide something consciously thoughtful. Reactions are for reactionaries.
From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
ravenj
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posted 31 March 2006 02:18 PM      Profile for ravenj     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
From Frustrated Mass

Personally, I see the NDP as capitalism with a smile.


How about capitalism without the tears? Left to its device, unchecked capitalism can swallow up someone & spit out the bones. Social democracy can moderate the extremes.

Just to give you an example: I grew up in a country without any medical insurance (public or private). When my sister needed an operation, it almost bankrupted my parents. What do you do: say no & let your child die, or take on multiple jobs & borrow to the max to pay for the operation? It took them a good decade to pay off their loan & must have shortened their lives by a few years.


From: Toronto | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 03 April 2006 09:31 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What is Social Democratic about the NDP? I could handle that. At the least I would not be appalled.

All this guff about law and order, and such, added to the distinctly neo-liberal performance of the NDP provincial parties undermines the notion that the NDP realistically acts as an social democratic alternative, at best it provides a sop for left protest. But that attachement is notional and a result of the parties history, not what it is today.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 03 April 2006 12:11 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Crime is primarily combatted by social integration.

Maybe we could also try some early education. I'm thinking maybe some pamphlets and such for early highschool students. Suggestions:

"You don't really need that crap!"

"Being 'dissed' isn't the end of the world!"

"If you don't have a Playstation, you can always read a book!"

"You may never be a millionaire; get over it!"

"Small televisions and family sedans aren't just for losers!"

"Out here you may be tough, but in prison you're worth a carton of cigarettes, tops!"

... and so on. Help them understand that alternatives are possible.


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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posted 03 April 2006 12:25 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
All this guff about law and order, and such, added to the distinctly neo-liberal performance of the NDP provincial parties undermines the notion that the NDP realistically acts as an social democratic alternative

I think you will find that virtaully every social democratic party that has found itself in government in Europe has not hesitated to take a hard line on law and order when the situation has called for it. This was true of France under Mitterand and in all the Scandinavian countries etc...


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
kylebailey260
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posted 03 April 2006 02:56 PM      Profile for kylebailey260     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Not sure about the Nordic countries being counted as 'tough on crime.' Hasn't Sweden had one of the very lowest incarceration rates, in both prisoners/criminal and prisoners/capita?

I certainly agree that we need to do a much better job of defending taxation. We should be making a big deal out of the fac that the only countries with higher HDI rankings than us have big government supported by high tax burdens- but have also done a fantastic job of maintaining full employment. Not to mention income equality, gender equality et cetera. The Nordic News Network has done a really good job of presenting alternative framings.


From: Montreal | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Drinkmore
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posted 03 April 2006 03:13 PM      Profile for Drinkmore     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by kylebailey260:
Not sure about the Nordic countries being counted as 'tough on crime.' Hasn't Sweden had one of the very lowest incarceration rates, in both prisoners/criminal and prisoners/capita?

I certainly agree that we need to do a much better job of defending taxation. We should be making a big deal out of the fac that the only countries with higher HDI rankings than us have big government supported by high tax burdens- but have also done a fantastic job of maintaining full employment. Not to mention income equality, gender equality et cetera. The Nordic News Network has done a really good job of presenting alternative framings.


Prisoners per 100,000:

USA 724
Canada 107
Sweden 78
Denmark 77
Finland 66

From International Centre for Prison Studies


From: the oyster to the eagle, from the swine to the tiger | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Makwa
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posted 03 April 2006 03:14 PM      Profile for Makwa   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Magoo:
"You don't really need that crap!".."If you don't have a Playstation, you can always read a book!".."You may never be a millionaire; get over it!".."Small televisions and family sedans aren't just for losers!"
Nice set of smart mouth jabs at the poor, Mr. M. You do like making friends and influencing people.

From: Here at the glass - all the usual problems, the habitual farce | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 03 April 2006 03:39 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
My favourite argument, being bandied about here of late has been the one that we have to be "tough on crime" in order to protect the poor, as they are the primary victims of crime. Of course this arguement ignores that the fact that the poor are also the primary perpetrators.

The fact that "poornees" generates crime seems to be lost on some people whom like to think they are on the left. Like, what is that. Arguing for stiffer sentencing only punishes those whom are already being victimized by the system, ther real solution is elminateing the poor, not jailing for a long time.

When faced with the difference between starving and an extra 2 year in jail people start with the immediate problem which is survival todaym not what might become of you later. Further, making longer sentences is as likely to increasep the violence of peoples attempts to not get caught.

With a 7 year mandatory sentencing requirement for gun crimes, a fellon is more likely to shoot their way out of an arrest, or kill witnesses just to avoid the sentence, turning what might have been a gun possession misdermeanour worth 2 months in jail into a murder prosecution worth 20 to life.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
otter
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posted 03 April 2006 04:27 PM      Profile for otter        Edit/Delete Post
As so many posters have already observed, the NDP is more interested in getting elected these days than they are in representing any particular issue. Nor does the party have the courage to stand up for any particular issue in defiance of 'popular opinion'.

All this leaves one wondering where Canada's health care system would have been if Tommy Douglas had worried more about his party's popularity than he did about social justice?

If the NDP wanted a cause celeb to challenge they only have to look in our streets to find it. The growth of homeless, poverty, single parent families living in dispair and the working poor all are front and center in the lives of every Canadian every day.

This is the 'emperor's new clothes' issue of the 21st century. Yet not one single party, federally or provincially [forget municipally] has the political fortitude to throw this issue in the face of self-serving Canadian voters. Taking a stand means confronting the unpopular issues. Showing courage means daring to say that getting elected is far less important than putting an end to this social disgrace.

but don't expect any of the minions that control NDP policy to ever take a stand that might negatively impact upon their poll numbers.


From: agent provocateur inc. | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 03 April 2006 04:29 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I don't even think its that good. The point is that taking a stand on base principles within the frame, as the conservatives did, is that it would imporve their poll numbers.
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 03 April 2006 04:48 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Nice set of smart mouth jabs at the poor, Mr. M.

"The Poor"? No, hardly. Just at anyone who thinks they need some consumer toy badly enough to steal for it, or who thinks that if they don't have the biggest, flashiest, or most stuff of everyone on their block that they're just going to wither up and die.

Somewhere along the line it seems that people got the idea that if they couldn't be rich, famous millionaires with arms full of blondes, they're nobody. Maybe we need to remind people that it's possible to be happy without all those things. How 'bout "Get Happy or Die Trying"?


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 03 April 2006 04:50 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Magoo, do you seriously count yourself as being on "the left?"
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 03 April 2006 05:02 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm not big on labels. Or dogmas.
From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 03 April 2006 05:11 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That is interesting, because this idea that crime is accounted for by consumer-lust and greed, and purely motivated by personal moral depravity is right wing dogma:

quote:
"The Poor"? No, hardly. Just at anyone who thinks they need some consumer toy badly enough to steal for it, or who thinks that if they don't have the biggest, flashiest, or most stuff of everyone on their block that they're just going to wither up and die.

Somewhere along the line it seems that people got the idea that if they couldn't be rich, famous millionaires with arms full of blondes, they're nobody. Maybe we need to remind people that it's possible to be happy without all those things. How 'bout "Get Happy or Die Trying"?


[ 03 April 2006: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 03 April 2006 05:16 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, what can I tell you? Like Adolph Hitler, I'm a lifelong fan of pants. What of it? Surely you don't try to live your life consistent with an assumption that the other guy is 100% wrong about everything.
From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 03 April 2006 05:18 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Pardon?
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 03 April 2006 05:28 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The point about social integration, is that most people are going to want "stuff." The point is that there will also always be a certain percentage of the population of people without means to get the stuff they want who want it "badly enough to steal for it."

The point is as opposed to saying that those people are not wrong for doing whatever it takes to get stuff including stealing, but that the way to combat crime it to reduce the number of people whom do not have the means to get stuff, thereby reducing the pool of potential criminal "talent."

Do you see that this is the arguement being made, and not that stealing is not wrong but that by providing a more equitable society, where "stuff" is more readily available, you also reduce the cost of policing.

This is aside from the fact that some people only steal for absolute necessities, not just bling bling.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 03 April 2006 05:53 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Do you see that this is the arguement being made, and not that stealing is not wrong but that by providing a more equitable society, where "stuff" is more readily available, you also reduce the cost of policing.

I don't think that the people who are willing to steal, say, a car, are going to suddenly turn honest as soon as they can afford to buy a car, and say "Well, now that I have that car I covet, I'm happy! We're good now!".

As long as someone has something they don't, there'll still be a problem for them. If it's not a car, it's a more expensive car. If it's not a more expensive car, it's something else.

For the rest of us, it's not an issue. I can't imagine myself feeling the need to steal something just because someone else has one and I don't.

quote:
This is aside from the fact that some people only steal for absolute necessities, not just bling bling.

I have no interest in harsh punisment for a man who steals a loaf of bread. But let's be honest here: natural disasters notwithstanding (where drinking water and canned food become valuable), when was the last time looters passed by the consumer electronics store in order to loot some educational materials and some nourishing food? Why are kids mugged for their sneakers, but never for their schoolbooks? When was the last time anyone bothered doing a late night robbery at the health food store ("$10,000 Worth of Tofu Stolen, Say Police") ?

I think the majority of theft is either bling, something that can be exchanged for bling, or something that can be exchanged for drugs.


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Aristotleded24
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posted 03 April 2006 05:54 PM      Profile for Aristotleded24   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Cueball:
The point about social integration, is that most people are going to want "stuff." The point is that there will also always be a certain percentage of the population of people without means to get the stuff they want who want it "badly enough to steal for it."

I think with social integration comes social responsibility. We live in an increasingly individualistic culture, which tells us increasingly, do what's good for you, and don't worry about anyone else. This manifests itself in such behaviours as people refusing to stop to help stranded motorists on the highway to criminals shooting one another over their "proceeds of crime." There is a cultural shift required, so people consider themselves not as individuals, but as an interconnected web, and that every action or lack of action has consequences, and this shift will change our behaviours not only individually, but collectively as well.


From: Winnipeg | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 03 April 2006 07:14 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Magoo:
I think the majority of theft is either bling, something that can be exchanged for bling, or something that can be exchanged for drugs.

Have you ever been poor Magoo?


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 03 April 2006 07:25 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You mean like sharing one pair of shoes with my brother and living in a van? No. But my father is a construction worker, and so there were many things — "stuff" — I or we wanted and couldn't afford. You know what we did? We waited until we could afford it, or we did without it. And I'm here, as a survivor, to tell my story. Yes, that's right, I sometimes wanted "stuff" and didn't get it. No, not food. But plenty of "stuff" such as some people might find themselves stealing.

Does that count, or do I have to be sleeping in a rain barrel and gnawing on a dead pigeon before I can understand the desire to steal a sports car?


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Kevin_Laddle
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posted 03 April 2006 07:41 PM      Profile for Kevin_Laddle   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Magoo:

I think the majority of theft is either bling, something that can be exchanged for bling, or something that can be exchanged for drugs.

Whoa! I like you guy, but this poor bashing is way, way, way over the top. It is pure right wing propaganda that all poor people who steal are selfish, evil, greedy little thieves. The facts paint a very different picture; an absurd proportion of those convicted of robberies come from disadvantaged or minority backgrounds. When your growing up, and all you hear from the media is that you are worthless because of the colour of your skin, and the government is slashing your single mother's welfare cheque, crime can be an awfully alluring call. The fault of this human tragedy lies with governments like that of Mike Harris. Heartless scum bags who refuse to hear the calls for help of its very citizens.


From: ISRAEL IS A TERRORIST STATE. ASK THE FAMILIES OF THE QANA MASSACRE VICTIMS. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Makwa
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posted 03 April 2006 08:16 PM      Profile for Makwa   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Magoo:
I think the majority of theft is either bling, something that can be exchanged for bling, or something that can be exchanged for drugs.
OMG, what is is with you and TVland AfroSpeak and just plain narsty stereotypes? Can you please get off this increasingly irritating and increasingly racialized hobby horse?

From: Here at the glass - all the usual problems, the habitual farce | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 03 April 2006 08:26 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Long thread.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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