Politics: promises: part 0

Self-tutoring about politics: the tutor reflects about promises.

“Broken promise” was a term oft heard in the 80s. My memory is that government spending cuts were frequently discussed back then. Conventional wisdom was that, campaigning, a party wouldn’t mention spending cuts, but rather the opposite. From office, they’d later cut programs or fail to deliver new ones they’d committed to during the campaign.

On first thought, in a democracy, such practices shouldn’t be possible long-term, since a party that breaks a promise can be removed from office next time. However, there is a way that a party can get away with breaking a promise: if people don’t really care.

Most parties like to be in power. Once there, they have vast resources to carry on research about what voters “really” want. Moreover, people’s priorities can change in a few years. Therefore, what seemed a prominent issue the year before the last election, may barely matter now – at least to voters.

Politicians have to “live in the moment,” because their voters do. I don’t believe I recall a party getting voted out because they broke a promise.



Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

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