Stuck in the middle with you

Earlier this year, New York University journalism professor Jay Rosen took a stab at describing "the actual ideology of the American press." But the picture he painted may have just as well been portrait of me - and, arguably, many other journalists in this country. Referring to us as cosmopolitans, Mr. Rosen wrote the press "associate the middle with the truth."

As such, we see political moderates and pragmatists as having the most sense - and the most chance of winning an election. Meanwhile, the extremes are perceived as being "deluded and irresponsible."

It's an extraordinarily influential frame for understanding politics - swaying the platforms and policies of both the Liberals and New Democrats in this province. But the success of the petition campaign against the harmonized sales tax has me questioning my beliefs.

After all, that campaign appealed to the right rather than the left side of the brain - as well as across the left-right political spectrum. That suggests populism may be just as valued as pragmatism by British Columbia voters. And that could provide a political opportunity for embrace such a strategy.

1 Comment

Populism is the way to government in BC - the middle just happens to be popular from time to time. WAC Bennett was a populist and even though he was loathed by the left at that time, the "new left" brings him up as an iconic BC figure so often it makes my head spin. So populism has always been the ticket in BC and Vander Zalm just provided more proof.

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