Saturday, 2 May 2015

Not listening makes us blue.

How fair will it be for an election to be swung by the psychology of "don't understand"?

Today's Tory press are trying to muddle with the situation around a Labour government's relation to the SNP. Following Miliband's renunciation 2 days ago of any deal with other parties, now several front pages saying: oh look, we've caught them out, they will do a deal. This is based on some of the Shadow Cabinet explaining that a minority government would go from vote to vote talking to other parties to get as much as it can of its own business through. That is not a deal. That is what Miliband already explicitly explained that that is not a deal. It is exactly what happens when there is not a deal, it is the way any minority government has to function, the other parties can jostle with it on passing or not passing each item of its business. It's the way the SNP minority government of 2007-11 worked, getting business through with Tory support so often that to be logically consistent these papers should accuse it of having a deal with the Tories, exactly what is terrible for the SNP ever to be seen by its voters to have. But logically consistent is what these headlines have an interest in not being. To understand what it or is not a deal takes willingness to listen to explanations and understand the system. For the real human minds of many voters, knee jerk prejudice is easier and saves mental effort. Oh look, this headline has made it sound like this means a deal, so it probably does, so it does. Conclusion reached, end of story, mind closed to further listening.

.Because the story is written to fit prejudice that what the politician says is likely to be lies, the voter leaps to the simple conclusion that it is indeed lies in this case. To make any effort to understand the system would be an unwelcome mental effort. It could threaten 2 things for the voter, (i) a prejudice, (ii) their self-esteem of being right in leaping to the hasty conclusion. because these things are threatening, they must be shut out of mind, by insisting: no no no, I DON'T UNDERSTAND. Even if they would understand perfectly well if they chose to listen. So now, anyone trying to explain the technicality of why a minority government's work to pass each vote is not a deal, and why these shadow ministers have not confessed there will be a deal, will just get "I don't understand", and based on it an impatient refusal to listen. And that psychology in enough voters could change the election's outcome.

The voting reform referendum in 2011, already, appeared swung by a "don't understand" prejudice. The argument that the proposed new system took more effort to understand, succeeded in appealing to voters to reject it. That worked better as an argument than the case that it was a fairer system. So this is irrational psychological process is totally capable of swinging election outcomes.

The atmosphere towards Labour is now frighteningly like 1992. SHOULD AN ELECTION BE GIVEN TO THE TORIES BY A KNEE JERK PEER PRESSURE AND A PSYCHOLOGY OF REFUSAL TO LISTEN TO SIMPLE EXPLANATIONS?!! That is the present danger.

No comments:

Post a Comment