Do voters really know the philosophy of the party they vote for?

By André Faust (Oct 21,  2018)

An election has come and gone here in New Brunswick, but we could go into an early election if the kids cannot get their shit together.

When it comes to voting do people know or understand the philosophy of the party they are voting for? Do people just vote on the campaign marketing plan or do they really know what their chosen party stands for?

I would argue that most people don’t know what their party stands for, except for the Greens from the discussion, verbal, in the media and online it does appear that green supporters understand what green stands for.

For the two old-school parties the Liberal and Conservatives voters do not know the political differences between the two. During the last election, the common phrase was Liberals and Conservatives are one of the same. If one knew and understood the philosophy of each they would realize that there is a fundamental philosophical difference between the two.

According to (Jana, Keith, and Goldman) there are some fundamental differences between the two and in both camps there exist small l and large L for the liberal camp and for the conservatives you have small c and large C.

What Jana, Keith, and Goldman describe is more the difference between center-left liberals and center-right conservatives which pretty well describes our provincial conservative and liberals.

So what does it mean to be Liberal or conservative? Remember this is just a general description of the ideologies between the two in the province of New Brunswick. Harper’s conservative border lines extremisms.

To be a liberal is to have a core value system that believes in freedom of thought, and speech placing limitations on government, tolerance, our charter of rights and freedom is built on liberal ideologies. Liberal ideology a mixed economy between state own and private enterprises. When it comes to social order Liberals try to find that balance between individual freedoms and social order. Which when you look at the constitution and the Charter of rights is based on these fundamental values and ideology.

Conservatives, on the other hand, tend to focus on personal wealth and private ownership of business enterprises which foster self-reliance and individualism. When it comes to crime and punishment, conservatives tend to be more punitive towards offenders, rather than focusing on rehabilitation of the offender. Tolerance conservative is less tolerant and is more ethnocentric and more than often be hostile toward minority groups such as newcomers coming in either in the province or in the country.

Extreme liberalism and Conservatism are really in their own categories, while they do have the fundamental ideologies they also push the envelope at both ends.

Related to Liberal ideology or philosophy is the Green Party. The green party has a lot more in common with liberal philosophy than conservative philosophy yet they have their own philosophy.
The Greens political philosophy aka ecopolitcs core ideology encapsulates creating an ecologically sustainable society which is rooted in environmentalism, nonviolence, and social justice than the liberals, but still within the parameters of center-left. The NDP also shares Liberal ideology/philosophy or inverse can be said Liberals share NDP ideologies. While the NDP are not radical left out of the five parties they are left because the NDP has adopted socialist philosophy as their core values, for example, social democracy and democratic socialism.

The People’s Alliance of New Brunswick while different than the Progressive conservative share some of the same philosophy, but the Peoples Alliance also share Liberal values as well in terms of transparency. Both the Conservatives and the Peoples Alliance of New Brunswick financial philosophy tend to follow Hayekian economics which says that it is business that should inject money into the economy to stimulate growth, and both PC and PANB seem to favor austerity to balance the books. The Liberals and Greens, on the other hand, tend to be more Keynesian in the sense that if you want the economy to grow the states has to put money into peoples pockets.

I have just skimmed the surface of political ideologies and philosophies, that has been countless books that have been written about political philosophies.


 

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