913 Moderation



I like the issue of moderation in the context of politics and policies. It is being observed that in Australia - but just as much in the US and Europe - moderation has taken a backseat in public discourse. Political parties and governments have veered toward the fringes on both the left and the right.

I've added an essay  WASATIA  to my book  en.light.en.ment  in a new edition 43 ... I like to acknowledge and support an Islamic organisation that espouses the qualities of moderation, while all over the world societies are grappling with shifts to the extremes of politics.

Especially in view of the current  strife in Gaza,  I deem it important to pay heed to - and make their voice heard - a Palestinian organisation that abhors violence and wishes to contribute to bringing the conflict in Israel / Palestine to a peaceful end.

(Wasatia goals)




How Roseanne made Donald Trump possible 


(Telegraph UK, via SMH)

The fundamental operating model of (Australian) politics is breaking down



"In 1996 more than one in three Australian politicians rated themselves as “moderate” - that is, centre-left Liberal and centre-right Labor politicians. This share has shrunk dramatically. At the most recent federal election in 2016 only one in 10 politicians described themselves as moderate.


"Many commentators have suggested that political disillusionment is driven by discrete groups, like working-class men or lower-income families.


"The breadth of political polarisation across the community suggests that its causes are deep and longstanding. People used to watch the same nightly news programs, read the same articles in a handful of newspapers. Many listened to a pastor or priest each Sunday, were members of unions, service clubs and community organisations. These forces bound the community together and helped normalise people’s views and political ideas. Not everyone had the same opinions, but there was common information from which to conduct a productive debate. Whether left, right, working class, middle class, religious or atheist, people were still hewed to common sources of information and shared values.


"In the 21st century, these binding forces have weakened and voters have become more disparate. Fewer people are members of churches, unions, service and community groups. Rather than watching the evening news on TV, many Australians now get most of their news through personalised social media feeds, which can reinforce group-think among ever-more partisan communities.


"The internet is the new political battleground. Political differences are being exploited by organisations that target individuals using data from Facebook, Twitter and massive email databases. Rather than prosecuting a single public manifesto, political warfare now involves personalised messages directed at the known fears and prejudices of individual voters with unprecedented precision.


"The political implications of increasing voter polarisation are profound: the fundamental operating model of Australian politics is breaking down. That operating model was based on the “median voter principle”, which assumes that the electorate is a continuum from conservatives on one side to progressives on the other. The combination of compulsory voting and a two-party system meant that the strategy to win the most votes in Australian politics was always to position your party as close to the median voter as possible.


"As the electorate becomes more divided, this operating model isn’t working nearly as smoothly as it once did. More ideological voters don’t want centrist compromise, which is why they keep rewarding parties that decry it. In recent years the political groups that have most successfully navigated these dynamics have been the populist fringe or single-issue parties.


"Their political MO is to exploit the growing ideological divide, cultivate rivalries between communities and appeal to disparate voters."