Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Personal is political

At first while reading this article I didn't see much of a problem with the political strategy of targeting individual voters. If they're going to send you a bunch of flyers and stuff anyway, it might as well be about issues you're interested in.

However, the scenario presented at the end of the article is disturbing. Politicians might be able to stop publicizing a platform based on their own beliefs and intent, and just tell everyone what they want to hear. My question for this week is, do you think they could get away with this? Would it be possible to tell Voter A "I'll increase welfare programs and cut military spending" and Voter B "I'll increase military spendin and cut welfare programs" and not have people catch on? If the politican were elected and then did as she or he liked without regard to campaign promises, would they be held accountable?


  1. Sorry, this is NOT related to your post but I was just wondering what teaching program you were involved it? a friend is fixing to go to japan in june and he was curious to find that you found some negative comments about a few programs. Do you remember any of the names of hte bad ones? Thanks.

  2. Most English teachers in Japan are either there through the JET program (sponsored by the government) or they work for a private English conversation school. There are numerous small, independant schools and several big chains. The "Big Four" English conversation chain schools are AEON, GEOS, NOVA, and ECC.

    I worked for AEON, which has it's flaws but judging from my research and my experience/observation in Japan is the best of the Big Four. GEOS seemed pretty okay too. ECC was not a presence in my region, so I don't know anything about them. NOVA has a very, very bad reputation. While some teachers do have good experiences with them it seems that this reputation is justified. Their policies and business practices can be very hard on teachers, and they have a high turnover rate.

    I have read people claim on the Internet that working for one of the little private schools is really best, but I never met teachers from those schools in Japan so I don't know. I expect conditions can vary a lot from school to school, whereas at least with the chains you have a better idea of what to expect.

  3. I think politicans can get away with making campaign promises and not keeping them. It just seems par for the course of politics. I am by no means a political scientist, but wasn't it Reagan who said 'Read my lips, no new taxes' and then raised taxes? I think the accountability becomes an issue at re-election..

  4. Not only do I think that this scenario happens, I believe that they get away with their "promises" or "views" all the time. I don't feel that it was ironic how Bush and Kerry in the recent election had completely opposing views on certain main voting points. Each candidate is trying to target the eyes of a different demographic with those issues. Some people will vote based off of one issue, in that case, whatever the candidate says about their views on the the topic could win a person's vote. Some people may hold the fact that taxes got raised when the candidate said that they would be lower, etc. But once the candidate is elected into office, there's not much that the angry people who had promises left empty can do. People trust that elected officials are looking for the citizens best interest, but how?