Politics Is centrism the most sensible position to take politically?

FireKraquora

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Thread starter #1
First of all, I acknowledge that the left/right axis is an oversimplification, and many do not fit neatly into either category. But a glance over social media will show you that many in political debates will cheer for every issue that their "side" is on, like a footy supporter. The axis is often quite sufficient.

Let's look at the 10% of people who are most "extreme" towards the left or the right. It sounds like a fringe group, but keep in mind that these two groups represent 1 in 5 people.

If you are in the far 10%, then essentially 90% of the population disagree with your views. 50% of them passionately so.

If you are a centrist (if there is such a thing as a genuine centrist), then you can be friends with the centre-left and centre-right, with perhaps only the aforementioned 10% extremes on either side genuinely disagreeing with you. 20% of the population against you, vs 90% for the previous groups.

There are several posters here who believe that the opposing "side" only have the beliefs that they do due to a lack of intelligence or a lack of knowledge/education... or even morals. I find this idea to be arrogant and absurd. There are many variables that go in to how one forms their political belief system, including both nature and nurture.

I contend that centrists, who can pick and choose the strong and weak arguments from both sides, are the most sensible and rational of us. No blind cheerleading, just logical assessment of each issue on its own merits.

There are only a couple of posters here who I believe could be accurately labeled as centrists, amongst many more who are quite clearly passionate in one direction or another but still claim to be centrist.

If you agree, what steps will you take to try to drag yourself towards the centre? If you disagree, why?
 

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#2
The label of centrist, like 'classical liberal', is being abused so much it should arouse nothing but suspicion.

The main shortcoming I see with centrism is when there are 2 diametrically opposed options (e.g. go to war, don't go to war) what is the centrist position, and why is it seen as ethically valid?
 

EasternTiger

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#4
FireKraquora surely you're not suggesting the most prudent approach would be to contemplate ideas from both sides?

Blasphemy!

Whilst i disagree with almost everything KV spews out from the bottomless pit of bitterness and hatred that resides deep within his tortured psyche, he nailed it with the first 2 words of his post.

'The label.'

Stop labeling everything and everyone and you are well on your way to being a fence sitter centrist.
 
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First of all, I acknowledge that the left/right axis is an oversimplification, and many do not fit neatly into either category. But a glance over social media will show you that many in political debates will cheer for every issue that their "side" is on, like a footy supporter. The axis is often quite sufficient.
They're just a vocal minority.

Elections are won in the center. It's where most people sit. If most peoples minds were already made up one way or another, elections would be kind of moot.

I mean shit, look at the two major political parties in Australia, the USA and the UK. The way fringe extremists crap on you would assume one party is full of furry hat wearing Communists, and the other are wearing deaths head motifs, swastikas and black trenchcoats by Hugo Boss.

The reality is you cant really even tell the major parties apart unless you look really really closely. Most of their policies are virtually identical. The left leaning major parties are Center (left) and the Right wing parties are Center (right).

Elections are basically a popularity contest now-a-days. I'm going to struggle to vote Labor because I really dont like Shorten. Morisson doesnt appeal tome either, but realistically, despite all the shit slanging, their policies are not that much different from each other.
 
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#7
A Royal Commission into Parliamentary Corruption would do it. Regardless of left or right, 85% of Australians believe the government is corrupt.
Why are we given lefty-righty issues to vote on at the expense of competent government? It seems, since the NSW election, the biggest issue is which party has the most racist ministers.

FYI it is The Liberal Party. Hands down.

If he hasn’t already done so, Morrison will be breastfeeding two babies of different “ancestry” tomorrow morning to show his tolerance.
 

FireKraquora

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Thread starter #8
The label of centrist, like 'classical liberal', is being abused so much it should arouse nothing but suspicion.

The main shortcoming I see with centrism is when there are 2 diametrically opposed options (e.g. go to war, don't go to war) what is the centrist position, and why is it seen as ethically valid?
I agree re the first paragraph. It has been abused by both sides. Very few admit that they are "extreme" in their views, choosing to consider themselves as more balanced than they actually are.

In these black and white situations (yes or no to war) I believe that a centrist can sit on the fence and debate the pros and cons, or they can take the side that they believe in, while regularly taking the opposite side's views on other issues. As I noted, there is perhaps no such thing as a genuine centrist. But someone who can think critically and often argue the pros and cons of each side is a wise and logical person, IMO.
 

twotooto

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#9
Why are we given lefty-righty issues to vote on at the expense of competent government? It seems, since the NSW election, the biggest issue is which party has the most racist ministers.

FYI it is The Liberal Party. Hands down.

If he hasn’t already done so, Morrison will be breastfeeding two babies of different “ancestry” tomorrow morning to show his tolerance.
Do you find having conversations with yourself leads to less disagreements?
 

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#11
The main shortcoming I see with centrism is when there are 2 diametrically opposed options (e.g. go to war, don't go to war) what is the centrist position, and why is it seen as ethically valid?
Obviously you can't be centrist on two diametrically opposed options which is why centrism isn't and never will be an actual ideology. It's more an expression that you stand between two political choices on offer, agreeing with some policies in Column A and some policies in Column B. Likewise there's no inherent ethical validity in being a centrist, although one might at least make the case that they're not overly influenced by partisan politics.

But I don't understand why people go to extremes to highlight themselves as a centrist as if that makes them more learned and just. I mean, if you're always trying to take the middle ground and compromise between the extremes of politics for the sake of being in the middle while playing the "bOtH sIdES aRe IdIOtS" angle then what exactly do you really stand for?
 

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#13
Socialism is the natural state of human society.
Anything else is an aberration.
Yes, thats why countless dictatorships have been socialist. Cuba, Venezuela, Cambodia, North Korea, several African countries.

That's why the worst dictatorship of all (the NSDAP) were socialists (read Evans, trust me, these guys were hardcore socialists).

Socialists are almost always violent individuals.

If you sincerely believe in socialism, seek therapy.
 
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#14
The label of centrist, like 'classical liberal', is being abused so much it should arouse nothing but suspicion.

The main shortcoming I see with centrism is when there are 2 diametrically opposed options (e.g. go to war, don't go to war) what is the centrist position, and why is it seen as ethically valid?
Because only intellectual dwarves look at complex issues like "war" and assume there are only two options.
 

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#15
Define centrist.

I have the following political views:

Pro gay marriage
Pro drug legalisation
Pro choice (first two trimesters max)
Low taxes
Small government/budget surpluses
Pro Business deregulation/free markets
Anti corporate welfare (as above, but worth mentioning on its own)
Anti middle class welfare (welfare is for the poor, most of us are not poor)
Pro guns
Anti war/interventionist foreign policy


People on the left and the right hate me, do I win a prize?

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
 
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I agree re the first paragraph. It has been abused by both sides. Very few admit that they are "extreme" in their views, choosing to consider themselves as more balanced than they actually are.

In these black and white situations (yes or no to war) I believe that a centrist can sit on the fence and debate the pros and cons, or they can take the side that they believe in, while regularly taking the opposite side's views on other issues. As I noted, there is perhaps no such thing as a genuine centrist. But someone who can think critically and often argue the pros and cons of each side is a wise and logical person, IMO.
 
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#17
I’ve never met a self-proclaimed centrist who wasn’t right-wing.

While self-righteousness isn’t unique to any individual political grouping, there is a special form of it amongst “centrists”, that as though they’re the only people to ever have independent thought.

As for elections only ever being won from the centre, 12 years of Howard, 12 years of Reagan/Bush and 18 years of Thatcher/Major suggests otherwise. When the indefinite detainment without charge of asylum seekers is bipartisan policy in this country we’ve drifted some way from centrism.
 
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#22
True centrists don't vote and just pretend politics doesn't exist..... like me


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That’s very smart, politicians govern like the good people of Australia don’t exist.

Voting is like paying money to play a sideshow game at the circus. You have several people screaming at you to play their particular game, but regardless of the game you play you will always lose out.
 

FireKraquora

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Thread starter #23
I agree that the further ya deviate from it it the more crazy shit getz
This basically sums up what I was saying. The extremes often believe in hatred and violence against their perceived enemies, and their minds are completely closed to any concept that goes against their ideology. Hence, I suggest that by being as close to the centre as possible, one is the furthest away from the nutter extremists of either end.
 

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#25
The main shortcoming I see with centrism is when there are 2 diametrically opposed options (e.g. go to war, don't go to war) what is the centrist position, and why is it seen as ethically valid?
The main shortcoming I see with centrism is that it is severely compromised as it tends to wedge itself between two very narrow viewpoints.
 
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