Cherry-picking or ruling out
Friday, 26 May 2023, 13:08
Friday, 26 May 2023, 13:08
In case you have been living on another planet, local elections are being held throughout Spain this Sunday. The last two weeks (it seems like months) have been full of bright, shiny promises to entice punters to vote for one party or the other.
Why do politicians feel that pulling a new roundabout, health centre or sewage works out of their hat will woo the undecided over to their side? Because they have discovered that it does.
It's a bit like finding love. Most of us will admit that there are things about our partners that we love, put up with or hate. However, there are certain things which we would never accept.
If you are mesmerised by a person's flash car, swanky villa or huge personality and ignore the fact that, at weekends, they drown kittens in a well, the relationship may well be doomed to fail. You can't cherry-pick the parts of somebody's personality you like, while ignoring his/ her fundamental character flaws.
In the same way, we shouldn't be bedazzled by the promise of a glittering, new roundabout, while turning a blind eye to the party's views on healthcare, education, immigration, the economy, human rights or the welfare state.
The "greatest minds of our times" may not be in politics; but one of the first lessons to be learnt at politician school is how to distract attention and gift-wrap unpopular measures with nice-sounding and incomprehensible twaddle.
Their job is basically to put their best face forward and try to make you forget all their balls-ups during the previous legislation.
As we are all too aware, they have behind them an army of spin doctors, press officers and media outlets who are there to gloss over their failures and exaggerate their triumphs.
Returning to the analogy of looking for love: nobody, on a dating site, is going to show their weeping back sores; rather they are going to publish a photo taken from a very favourable angle where they look enigmatic, attractive and 20 years younger (just like the politicians' campaign posters).
To be able to make a well-founded decision, we need to take a step back from the constant cacophony of offers and promises and analyse what the parties really stand for at a local and national level. There should be certain stances, policies or behaviour that automatically rule out one party or the other, whatever sparkly offers they may be bearing.
We should base our decision on a series of core issues which are either dear to our heart or abhorrent. Once we have ruled out the non-contenders, we will be left with few options to choose from. In both love and politics, all that glitters is certainly not gold.
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