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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Thursday 28 June 2012

Creative Destruction: The Cognitive Dissonance of the Political Right

The Far Right advertise themselves as champions of free speech. They might even be inclined to say "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it" (although I don't know how many could tell you where the quote came from). It's funny, though - when others say things that don't agree with these Libertarians of Speech, it's not that uncommon for them to dismiss or insult those opinions. It's all competition, fair game, results in stronger opinions, they will say.  In business, if you can't answer so what and do so in 30 seconds, youre opinion has no value; you have no value.
But then, you have a Federal Conservative Government that is proactively stifling opinion (evidence-based opinion at that) that disagrees with their talking points. Of course, that's different - that's about austerity. There's no more money to be had, so we need to rein in spending.
But, if we're reining in spending, why the complete bungle that is the F35 scandal? Not only did the Harper government try to stifle the facts - they right-out lied about them. That's not very free-speechy. Then you've got John Baird announcing increased funding to a global counter-terrorism fund - that doesn't seem very austerity-minded, either. Maybe it's all relative.
But again we have John Baird telling us we should stop pretending that everything is relative. Ah, but he was referencing terrorism, so maybe it's okay to be relative in, um, context.

But there is no such thing as context - Vic Toews made that clear to us when he said you're either "with us of with the child pornographers."

The CPC, you see, is all about protecting Canadians from external (like foreign money - not very free-trady of them) and internal (like socialists and separatists) threats in, I guess, the name of free, democratic, Canadian expression.  Except, John Baird proposed going over the heads of our democratic system and Stephen Harper has invited a well-recognized international threat onto our shores.

Is it just me, or is there a growing logic gap here?
The CPC and much of their base support are growing more frustrated by the hour with the way the world is playing out around them. They're externalizing this mounting anxiety onto others but really, they need to start looking inwards.

At the root of these confabulations of logic and the growing malaise within the CPC (and the country) is the notion of cognitive dissonance - when you have two beliefs that come in conflict. The Tory braintrust is very much in conflict between what they logically know is right and what they feel, emotionally, is right.

Fortunately for them (and all of us) there's a release mechanism out there that can ease the tension and help square the circle around this cognitive conundrum. It'll cost a bit, but less than some of their other recent spending sprees.  It'll also help the economy, improve security and start tackling the big challenges of today, many which are communication-based.  It would even provide a political win, which they sorely need.

We can only open the door for them, though - it's up to Harper and Co to walk through.

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