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They talk to you like you’re an idiot


 

Dan Gardner considers the way politicians talk.

Adults do not repeat precisely the same phrase again and again unless they have suffered severe brain damage or they are following the advice of an expensive consultant who tested the phrase on focus groups and found it presses the right buttons.

Dan’s column could be paired with a column Elizabeth Payne wrote recently in response to the farewell speeches that accompanied the dissolution of Parliament last month.


 

They talk to you like you’re an idiot

  1. I love it. So true. There should some kind of punishment for repeating yourself over and over, cause i certainly feel punished hearing it. Clowns, except i don't laugh.

  2. So this is the politicians' fault?

  3. So this is the politicians' fault?

    • Well, 'battered voter' syndrome has been clearly apparent during 5 years of continuous electioneering by 'our' federal government.

      • If I start to feel like there is no way out and attack a politician, will I be able to rely on that for a defence? Details please. ;-)

    • It took them three days to apologize for throwing that girl out of a rally. Let's see how long it takes Soudas to do damage control on this gaffe.

      It's not like anyone ever thought different, but that still doesn't mean you're allowed to talk about it, Mr. Smith.

      • "I apologize for my unworthy comments – and there's a cool million for each of you if you accept"

      • “A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth.” – Michael Kinsley

  4. I have long wondered if there is finishing school for pols we don't know about because I find MP to be inexplicable and juvenile and where does the behaviour come from. I am certain pols know how to behave in company, or at least most of them do, but you would never know it by watching them.

    To me, it is inexplicable how pols in Parliament or on talk shows say white is black and black is white and they never blush or look shamefaced. I often think our political system must reward psychopaths because the people who climb the greasy pole the highest also seem to be the least normal/average.

  5. I have long wondered if there is finishing school for pols we don't know about because I find MP to be inexplicable and juvenile and where does the behaviour come from. I am certain pols know how to behave in company, or at least most of them do, but you would never know it by watching them.

    To me, it is inexplicable how pols in Parliament or on talk shows say white is black and black is white and they never blush or look shamefaced. I often think our political system must reward psychopaths because the people who climb the greasy pole the highest also seem to be the least normal/average.

    • No sane person would put up with the mountain of crap in politics.

  6. It took them three days to apologize for throwing that girl out of a rally. Let's see how long it takes Soudas to do damage control on this gaffe.

    It's not like anyone ever thought different, but that still doesn't mean you're allowed to talk about it, Mr. Smith.

  7. They also talk to us as if we have memory loss, and the news organizations go along with it. As soon as the election starts it's as if nothing went before.

    For instance, as far as I can tell no one has asked Harper if he will continue to conceal information about public finances from the public the Parliamentary Budget Officer and Parliament. Shouldn't that be one of the five questions every day?

    When he proposes something, why isn't the question "Given your previous withholding of information and contempt of parliament, how will we know the real costs of this proposal?"

  8. They also talk to us as if we have memory loss, and the news organizations go along with it. As soon as the election starts it's as if nothing went before.

    For instance, as far as I can tell no one has asked Harper if he will continue to conceal information about public finances from the public the Parliamentary Budget Officer and Parliament. Shouldn't that be one of the five questions every day?

    When he proposes something, why isn't the question "Given your previous withholding of information and contempt of parliament, how will we know the real costs of this proposal?"

    • Heck, he never had to tell anyone why he fired helena Guergis.

  9. No sane person would put up with the mountain of crap in politics.

  10. "I apologize for my unworthy comments – and there's a cool million for each of you if you accept"

  11. Heck, he never had to tell anyone why he fired helena Guergis.

  12. “A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth.” – Michael Kinsley

  13. They talk to you like you're an idiot

    Last night on At Issue – Chantal brings up one of my pet peeves that I've raised here in the past – the decline of whatever standard of PPG reporting through the use of twitter – a groupthink facilitator (my point).

    AC agrees – too much banter on twitter – should do less. So, what's new? I count 23 tweets from him in the last hour or so… http://twitter.com/acoyne

    Kinda like his earlier claim that pundits rely too much on polls, then quotes a number of polls.

  14. Well, 'battered voter' syndrome has been clearly apparent during 5 years of continuous electioneering by 'our' federal government.

  15. They talk to you like you're an idiot

    Last night on At Issue – Chantal brings up one of my pet peeves that I've raised here in the past – the decline of whatever standard of PPG reporting through the use of twitter – a groupthink facilitator (my point).

    AC agrees – too much banter on twitter – should do less. So, what's new? I count 23 tweets from him in the last hour or so… http://twitter.com/acoyne

    Kinda like his earlier claim that pundits rely too much on polls, then quotes a number of polls.

  16. If I start to feel like there is no way out and attack a politician, will I be able to rely on that for a defence? Details please. ;-)

  17. Well, that was a depressing excercise, reading those three columns (I include the Larry Smith column too- thanks Stewart). At this point in the campaign I am, for the first time ever, seriously considering not voting. I can find absolutely no motivation to vote for any of these damned fools. This bothers me because a) as an amateur historian, I understand and appreciate how precious the right (privilege?) to vote is and b) I have 2 sons and 1 daughter and I MUST set a good example. The mail-in ballot application is sitting here on my desk in sunny Southern Cal ready to be faxed to Ottawa. I've sent in my beloved's, who is excited to be voting in her first election as a new Canadian (which makes the latest Tory talking point about Zsuszanna Zsohar particularly repugnant to me), but at this point I'm not even sure its worth the trouble.

  18. Well, that was a depressing excercise, reading those three columns (I include the Larry Smith column too- thanks Stewart). At this point in the campaign I am, for the first time ever, seriously considering not voting. I can find absolutely no motivation to vote for any of these damned fools. This bothers me because a) as an amateur historian, I understand and appreciate how precious the right (privilege?) to vote is and b) I have 2 sons and 1 daughter and I MUST set a good example. The mail-in ballot application is sitting here on my desk in sunny Southern Cal ready to be faxed to Ottawa. I've sent in my beloved's, who is excited to be voting in her first election as a new Canadian (which makes the latest Tory talking point about Zsuszanna Zsohar particularly repugnant to me), but at this point I'm not even sure its worth the trouble.

    • It's too bad one can't use a ballot to subtract one from the vote of a party, rather than adding to another. first past the post still wins, even if it's negative!

      • I'm only up for this if I can subtract votes from more than one party :)

  19. Naheed Nenshi practiced politics in full sentences and got elected as mayor of Calgary. Maybe more candidates should try this option.

  20. Naheed Nenshi practiced politics in full sentences and got elected as mayor of Calgary. Maybe more candidates should try this option.

  21. It's too bad one can't use a ballot to subtract one from the vote of a party, rather than adding to another. first past the post still wins, even if it's negative!

  22. I'm only up for this if I can subtract votes from more than one party :)

  23. If the Tories aren't careful, they might find that attacking Zsohar could be as catastrophic as Campbell attacking Chretien's face. We all remember how he reacted to that, invoking his feelings as a child, being taunted on the playground.

    It was a devastating appeal to emotion, and there is not doubt that the CPC would be teeing up Iggy to knock one out of the park if they looked like they were advocating this at all. This would be handing Iggy the election on a silver platter; it would give him a chance to show his humanity and connect emotionally to voters.

    The CPC should take a pretty hard line on this, and say something like "this election should be about the candidates themselves, and we do not condone anyone attacking a leader's family members." I mean, there are perfectly self-serving reasons for them to take this approach anyway.

  24. Naheed Nenshi was and is very unique. I am not sure there is anyone like him in Federal politics.

  25. This was posted in response to Gardner's piece:

    Slowest hand 12:14 PM on April 8, 2011

    "Judging by most of the public responses to articles in on-line newspapers (especially when the subject is politics), politicians are right."

    Slowest hand, I couldn't have said it better myself!

  26. I appreciate being spoken to at a level I can understand. I don't really understand what the article is about. And what did you mean, slow of mind?

  27. I appreciate being spoken to at a level I can understand. I don't really understand what the article is about. And what did you mean, slow of mind?

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