Saturday, 3 November 2018

Pandering to the public

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Her [Angela Merkel's] critics say that on major policy questions she is indecisive, unknowable and panders to public opinion.
From a Guardian article by Jon Henley today.

Pandering to the voters is now a bad thing for the left, who once saw themselves as on the side of ordinary people. The  left were never in favour of freedom, but now they also think that 
doing what the electors want is wrong. Carried too far, pandering to public opinion can be a grave threat to democracy. 

Actually, to be fair, pandering to public opinion when you are convinced that what the
public wants is not what is in its best interests, is not a good thing. The name for politicians who do this is populists. They are to be distinguished from conviction politicians whose convictions are popular with the electorate but not with most other politicians. The name for politicians in this second category is democrats.

The populists, by my definition, are taking an easy option to win plaudits, whereas the democrats need courage and independence of mind - they may eventually win elections but they attract a huge amount of hatred. 

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