Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Accessible Politics

For a while I've been thinking how hard it is to truly make politics accessible. I mean, unless you take the road of satire that is. (Image: Rickwrites) The fact of the matter is that some people just aren't interested in politics, but those people aren't who I'm taking about. My concern is for people who want to be involved in politics, but just can't understand the complex roles or petty squabbling. So how can I overcome this problem here at Thinking:Revised?

I think the best route I can take to make politics more accessible is to stay away from political jargon unless I explain it beforehand. For example, I'm sure a fair number of my readers know what an "earmark" is, but many don't. What is an earmark? It's jargon for the act of attaching a request for state project (schools, bridges, parks, entertainment, etc.) funding to an unrelated bill.

Then there's the issue of petty squabbling. The squabbling in politics is usually petty, but the underlying issues are big. Why is it petty then? Well, the problem with politics is that most issues are not fresh. Since they have already been debated on merit for generations, or even just a few decades, political commentators don't have anything new to say.

So, what can I do? To be honest, though I think it is blatantly obvious, I'm not exactly offering an unbiased viewpoint here. For me, I have taken the approach of satire for the most part. I think this can be effective when writing a biased style because if the satire is good everyone gets it. Petty squabbling should be made light of. The big issues are what deserve to be discussed seriously. Today I'll post the first of two post on the need-to-knows of politics. The first will focus on Canada, the second on the United States.