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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 7:44 pm
 


In commentaries about politics, the idea of the “mushy middle” is often used as an insult. It’s depicted as a weakness, as the person who straddles it is unable to decide on a firm set of beliefs, or who tries to please everyone instead of taking a strong stand. Similarly, compromise is seen as a sign of weakness, and an inability to defeat the enemy. People who stick with their ideologies and their principles are seen as strong leaders, compared to the weak and indecisive compromisers.

However, you can see the effects of that type of thinking when you look at today’s politics. People who have different opinions are not treated as fellow citizens with different opinions-they’re seen as enemies who need to be completely crushed. Anybody who suggests that the other side might have a point, or that they might need to cooperate, is seen as a traitor and a sellout. The result has been an increasingly nasty and polarized politics, which has disgusted many people and caused them to tune out altogether. Time and again, I’ve heard people complain that the political parties spend almost all their time insulting each other, instead of outlining how people will benefit if they get elected.

The real irony in Canada is how the results of compromise are often better than the original idea. Some of the Anglophone Fathers of Confederation wanted Canada to be a plain union without any provinces, but many of the Francophone and Maritime Fathers insisted that it be a federal system, and that the provinces had specific constitutional powers. As a result, different parts of Canada have had provincial governments who can defend their interests when dealing with Ottawa, something that Albertans, for instance, can appreciate!

In the 1980s, Pierre Trudeau tried to patriate the Constitution and add in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but most of the provincial premiers only agreed to support it if the notwithstanding clause was added to the Charter. This made sure that accountable, elected officials would have the last word on many issues. The popularity of the Charter, however, ensures that the officials only use the notwithstanding clause when popular demand requires it.

The great American industrialist Andrew Carnegie once pointed out that strong men knew when to compromise, and that all principles might be compromised to serve a greater principle. Similarly, at its best the “mushy middle” avoids the headaches associated with hard-left or hard-right policies, as seen by Victorian-era capitalism or Communism. An increase in taxes doesn’t necessarily mean that the government is going to implement big socialism, and a cut to a program doesn’t automatically mean the government is taking a slash-and-burn approach. Instead, blending the best from different sides of the spectrum can ultimately be the best approach.

When they’re done right, compromise and striving for the mushy middle aren’t weaknesses-they’re strengths. Pigheadedly sticking to one ideology is not true courage. It is learning when to stand fast and when to bend, and how to blend the best from different perspectives.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 9:29 pm
 


It's the peril of the modern age in that compromise is now seen as weakness and stupid pigheaded stubbornness has somehow become a virtue. That this mentality is at it's peak in the United States, a nation that wouldn't even exist if men of strong belief and good will hadn't been able to reach a compromise, is pretty damn tragic. I don't like the left at all but this way of thinking is far worse on the right (e.g. Ezra Levant being the worst at this in the Canadian exchange of ideas), where any attempt now to get along or engage in the slightest bit of basic civility is now seen as cowardice and even treason to "the cause". The lights have never been brighter than now but somehow it's making the darkness on the fringes that much murkier. :|


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:54 am
 


Thanos wrote:
It's the peril of the modern age in that compromise is now seen as weakness and stupid pigheaded stubbornness has somehow become a virtue. That this mentality is at it's peak in the United States, a nation that wouldn't even exist if men of strong belief and good will hadn't been able to reach a compromise, is pretty damn tragic. I don't like the left at all but this way of thinking is far worse on the right (e.g. Ezra Levant being the worst at this in the Canadian exchange of ideas), where any attempt now to get along or engage in the slightest bit of basic civility is now seen as cowardice and even treason to "the cause". The lights have never been brighter than now but somehow it's making the darkness on the fringes that much murkier. :|


Brilliant post.

It stands to reason that center ice is closer to both nets but stubborn people often don't see any achievement if their goal is not met.

I don't like the left either, but I don't like the right. I have some ideas that are way left and some that are way right. Center looks ok to me.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 8:40 am
 


Thanos wrote:
That this mentality is at it's peak in the United States, a nation that wouldn't even exist if men of strong belief and good will hadn't been able to reach a compromise, is pretty damn tragic.|


Huh? The Founding Fathers didn't compromise with Great Britain and that's why we're independent. And then the endless compromises over slavery led directly to the US Civil War which ended not in a compromise but in complete and unconditional surrender.

The American mentality has never been about compromise over issues of conscience or principle and I hope that it never is.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 8:49 am
 


BartSimpson wrote:
Huh? The Founding Fathers didn't compromise with Great Britain and that's why we're independent.

They certainly tried; the Olive Branch Petition comes to mind. But George III, Parliament, and co. were so angry about some boxes of tea at the bottom of Boston Harbor they thought sending in the Army to kill off ideas of democracy was a better idea.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:30 am
 


DanSC wrote:
BartSimpson wrote:
Huh? The Founding Fathers didn't compromise with Great Britain and that's why we're independent.

They certainly tried; the Olive Branch Petition comes to mind. But George III, Parliament, and co. were so angry about some boxes of tea at the bottom of Boston Harbor they thought sending in the Army to kill off ideas of democracy was a better idea.


That worked out well, didn't it? :P


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:47 am
 


BartSimpson wrote:
DanSC wrote:
BartSimpson wrote:
Huh? The Founding Fathers didn't compromise with Great Britain and that's why we're independent.

They certainly tried; the Olive Branch Petition comes to mind. But George III, Parliament, and co. were so angry about some boxes of tea at the bottom of Boston Harbor they thought sending in the Army to kill off ideas of democracy was a better idea.


That worked out well, didn't it? :P

"If one leaf of tea was saved, then it was worth it." -British person


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:42 pm
 


:lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 2:21 pm
 


BartSimpson wrote:
Thanos wrote:
That this mentality is at it's peak in the United States, a nation that wouldn't even exist if men of strong belief and good will hadn't been able to reach a compromise, is pretty damn tragic.|


Huh? The Founding Fathers didn't compromise with Great Britain and that's why we're independent. And then the endless compromises over slavery led directly to the US Civil War which ended not in a compromise but in complete and unconditional surrender.

The American mentality has never been about compromise over issues of conscience or principle and I hope that it never is.

^^^^^^^
Bullshit.

Your founding fathers sent a letter to George III, begging him to directly interfere with legislation passed by Parliament in regards to the colonies. Not very democratic to ask the monarch, who was by this time a figurehead in a constitutional monarchy, to interfere with a democratically elected legislature. Seeing as the last monarch who tried to mess with parliament lost his head, he was right to refuse you. Historical facts suck when they're brought to light, don't they. :idea:


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 2:23 pm
 


Argument to moderation...

I believe the middle is extreme in its own disruptive and ambiguous way.

Often when the choice is between true and false, a compromise will betray the truth just to please the false.

The moderates have their own bloody hands, usually from inappropriate inaction and appeasement. They compromise themselves and the rest of us by demanding we appreciate and consolodate deep political contradictions and issues, muddying them up into a gross brown mess. Problems don't get solved, they get patched, or redefined as compromise. Allowed to continue for nothing more than a false and undeserved demand for fairness.

In fact, the only type of self-styled moderate I feel any sympathy for is the truly apathetic. They accept the compromises and move forward, but don't purposefully propagate the idea of moderation as an actual solution, or back-pat themselves for how 'rational' it is to find the middle ground between information and misinformation.

Not all ideas are equal, and not all ideas deserve equal time. There are incorrect people out there and bending my stance just to appease their chop-licking base will do only them favours.

For all of Canada's great compromising, the Natives sure have a different perspective on the grand wisdom and open views of moderates.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 3:50 pm
 


ShepherdsDog wrote:
^^^^^^^
Bullshit.

Your founding fathers sent a letter to George III, begging him to directly interfere with legislation passed by Parliament in regards to the colonies. Not very democratic to ask the monarch, who was by this time a figurehead in a constitutional monarchy, to interfere with a democratically elected legislature. Seeing as the last monarch who tried to mess with parliament lost his head, he was right to refuse you. Historical facts suck when they're brought to light, don't they. :idea:


What bullshit? The letter was sent, the request was denied, and a war ensued. No compromise took place, did it? :?:

Also, that democratically elected legislature wasn't elected by anyone in North America so their 'democratic' vote was not very democratic to us.

MP wrote:
Hey, I have a great idea! Let's tax people who have no say over the taxes we impose on them!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 8:24 pm
 


BartSimpson wrote:

Huh? The Founding Fathers didn't compromise with Great Britain and that's why we're independent. And then the endless compromises over slavery led directly to the US Civil War which ended not in a compromise but in complete and unconditional surrender.

The American mentality has never been about compromise over issues of conscience or principle and I hope that it never is.


I think Thanos was more likely referring to the compromises the Founding Fathers had to make when designing the U.S. Constitution. From what Samuel LaSelva mentioned, they were pretty sharply divided between having a strong central government that could defend the republic from outside threats (which critics thought was a menace to liberty) and a very loose alliance of state governments (which other critics thought would be too vulnerable to attack by the British, French, Spanish or Aboriginals).

James Madison broke the impasse by proposing a federal system that would provide powers essential to things like national defence to the federal government, and the remainder of the powers to the states. Dividing power between the two levels of government would help safeguard liberty and reduce the risk of tyranny.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 8:33 pm
 


Yup. I never said comprise with any tyrant. But when you build a country from the ground up there has to be give and take. If not and one extreme dominates then you've just traded one tyrant for another. The US was built on liberties for all. That means the lefties have to accept that there's a right to own firearms and the holy rollers have to accept that freedom to choose supercedes their bible.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:18 pm
 


the more compromises made with capitalists, the more the working class loses. the reason we have weekends, a minimum wage, no child labour, workplace safety laws, labour relations boards, maternity leave, some jobs with sick and vacation pay, is because organised workers refused to back down and make bargains with the employing class.

many paid in blood for these things we take for granted.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 7:39 am
 


Quote:
Also, that democratically elected legislature wasn't elected by anyone in North America so their 'democratic' vote was not very democratic to us.

The British system at the time was a unitary system, meaning any MP could speak for/represent any British subject anywhere within British territory. So the merchant in New York or Raleigh was just as well represented as one from Bristol, Halifax or Belfast.


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