A decisive minority of idiots, fashionistas and the innocent.
Politics is all about getting voted into power. If you don’t get voted in, you’re a loser – that’s it. There are no prizes for second place; it’s defeat any way you cut it. All political analysis starts and ends with that. No matter how high-principled a politician is, that’s the imperative they’ve got to work with. When they’re in power, the imperative then becomes to stay in power for as long as possible. The good ones hope they may do some good when they’ve achieved that pinnacle and they usually do. The bad ones just hope to rewrite mediocrity or outright failure in their foundations and autobiographies.
Politicians, as they always have and always will, pander to the concerns and fears of the electorate, no matter how unfounded or illogical those things might happen to be. There is nothing new in this. That’s how you garner votes and get elected.
This is exacerbated in a modern democracy by the floating voter effect. Left wingers invariably vote for the left and right wingers for the right. Politicians pay some attention to their own voters but they’re already in the bag and very little to the opposition voters, whom they know will never vote for them anyway. Where they really concentrate all their attention, is on the floating or uncommitted voter, promising them pretty much anything that will swing the vote in their direction.
A factor that greatly influences the floating voter effect is quite simply the amount of interest the people are taking in politics at the time of the election. This is usually governed by the state of the economy but occasionally by an external threat, such as a potential war with another country.
When times are bad and people are fearful about employment and therefore money, they start looking to the current political parties to fix the situation. In response to dire economic circumstances, the policies of the main left or right leaning parties will tend to polarise to their respective extremes. If they cannot fix it then the electorate will turn to extremist parties with extremist policies. In the end, if things get bad enough, the people will vote for any new and untried face who says convincingly they have the answer. Hello Herr Hitler.
When times are good and the economy is on a peak, people in general take less interest in politics and tend not to vote. Why bother? There’s nothing to get excited about, nothing to fix. The few who do, will certainly not vote for a mainline party whose policies threaten to derail the good times. In response, the policies of both left and right leaning parties will tend to retreat to the centre and a very innocuous centre it is, making them politically indistinguishable. They get into ‘style’ politics; that’s to say, content free politics. It is also the time when extremist parties find it difficult to make any progress since anyone who bothers to vote is not interested in fringe parties who might be even more likely upset the current happy situation.
We thus arrive at a situation where national policies are adopted that only a small percentage of the electorate actually have any concern about or even any real interest in.
We live in recessionary times. These were preceded by a decade and a half of prosperity. Government coffers were full which allowed them to promise pretty much anything to the floating voter because they knew they had the money, or thought they had, to meet the commitments. They’d never had to deal with a recession. They’re on a learning curve now.
AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming or man-made global warming) was slowly foisted upon us by diverse people who know these things, saw the opportunity and took it. They didn’t have to convince the whole electorate, just the young, the uncommitted and the floating voter. With the cooperation of a degenerate journalistic establishment who concentrated more on presentation than on any critical analysis of policy, they did it with just the right spin too. To be pro AGW was seen as being somehow virtuous, forward thinking and stylish but in my view, hiding behind the AGW facade were always the forces of creeping totalitarianism.
That might seem like an extreme statement but it seems self-evident to me. When a political movement tells me I should feel guilty about taking a jet flight to go on holiday, that it’s wrong to have a decent car, that I should feel happy to accept a lower standard of living, that I should have only a certain number of children, that I really shouldn’t eat meat, that I should be glad to pay higher utility bills, that I’m suffering from global warming when I’m freezing, that I should pay carbon taxes when I’m a Carbon-based life form and that I am even obliged to use ‘low-energy’ light bulbs which not only contain lethal chemicals but provide terrible light, then I know I’m dealing with a bunch of Fascists. If it looks like a Duck, waddles like a Duck and even quacks like a Duck, then it’s probably a bloody Duck.
The world economy is in recession. What does this mean fiscally? Forget Economics and cast it in very personal terms; you’re a person who has a lot of debts and your outgoings currently exceed your earnings. What do you do? You get a second job to earn more, cut back ruthlessly on what you spend and start paying off your debt. From the government perspective, these simple actions translate directly into higher taxation to earn more money, draconian cutbacks of public spending and the rescheduling or maybe even the floatation of a lot of government debt. Bite down on it folks, that’s what’s ahead of us all in the years to come.
In that environment, massive expenditure fighting Global Warming, like a lot of the silly promises of the good times, will go to the wall.