Modern governments and ideologies are based on the awareness that political power is no longer determined by any one system of beliefs, values, behaviors, or cultures unquestioningly.
Instead, political opponents seek to secure a monopoly based on unifying political ideologies all its members share, which become the “base,” from which they seldom stray very far, with all other views or opinions being “wrong”. The key then becomes to expand by remaining true to its base support and then by “selling” this ideology to others. In this way, discourse becomes central, and the ability to dominate discourse determines who occupies the government position.
As a result, over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the success of a political party has become increasingly linked to its ability to manipulate and control the conversation than for its capacity to confront concrete political problems. While effective in creating an almost obsessively loyal base, the downside has been a far more polarized and divided society.
Today in our political culture, an almost “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” mentality exists. You’re either far-right or woke-left, and political leaders play to this mentality, adding fuel to the fire. There seems to be a far smaller pool of central, slightly left, or slightly right views represented, and that’s a darned shame.
Such an environment results in leadership that uses identity, race, culture, emotions, and fear as weapons to keep their bases loyal and people divided. This division is in the best interest of political opponents because it keeps us from uniting, finding common ground, and eliminating ideological agendas.
In New Brunswick, a stark example is the division between Northern and Southern NB or perceived Anglophone and Francophone ideologies. Even though most significant advances for Francophones in our Official Languages Act have come at the hands of the Progressive Conservatives, the narrative is that somehow it is the Liberal Party who is the true friend of the Francophones. The Liberals have learned to control this particular discourse, despite the evidence. Furthermore, there are often more similarities or differences between political parties than are recognized because the focus is carefully maintained on “emotional” topics.
Historically perceptions in NB are that the Liberals are Francophone-friendly, big spenders who are big on social politics; the PCs are frugal to the point of being austere and very socially conservative or regressive, while the Greens are environmentalists, the NDP is union-friendly and we, the People’s Alliance, got our reputation based on two single positions on language-rights implementation. The truth is very much different, on all counts.
Here at the People’s Alliance, we’re fed up with having a wedge driven between us based on different values and fears. We are one people, one society, with basic, similar needs. While minor ideological differences may exist, these can often be resolved through cooperation and respect.
Our goal is to be what our name implies, an alliance – a unification of the best policies and purposes, a cooperation based on mutual respect and for the best interests of all citizens whether you are a disillusioned Liberal, Green, NDP, or PC, whether you are Anglophone, Francophone, a long-time resident or newcomer to NB – we want you to find a place here in the visions of the People’s Alliance. In fact, we want you to be a part of creating them.
If you have questions about our policies, we invite you to reach out and ask. If you have concerns about our positions, we invite you to reach out and talk to us. And if you want to have a voice in shaping policy, then we invite you to reach out and get involved. Only by listening to each other, respecting each other, and working with each other will we find peace and equality as a united NB.
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