I keep a weblog like it's still the 90s. For commentary and dissent please visit jontaylor.ca, or various other purveyors of thought online.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Andrew Coyne-> I love you

AC on the politics of the environment:

But it is precisely because these are such big, complicated, important issues that they rarely prove decisive. Their significance being obvious to anyone from a mile off, the parties are careful not to stray too far from one another, but rather hug as close as they can to the centre. And because these issues are so intractable -- that’s what makes them issues: otherwise they’d have been solved by now -- the public is skeptical that any party has the answer. No one wins elections on health care, and I doubt the environment is any different.

That’s not to say the Tories could not lose an election over it: if a party is, or seems to be, completely out to lunch on the issue, it can simply disqualify itself from consideration. But the Tories will have correctly calculated that much of the public’s concern for the environment is essentially fraudulent. While there are true believers on both sides, the broad mass of the public wants Something Done about global warming, but wants Someone Else to pay for it. All that is required to satisfy these voters is to put on a reasonably convincing show of action, to flatter their consciences without disturbing their pocketbooks. As with gifts and remedial math tests, it’s the thought that counts.