Monday, August 25, 2008

Is Stéphane Dion trying to suck up to people of faith?

Michael Coren thinks so, after he appeared on Coren's show.

I don't mind that he's trying to win votes among people of faith. But I think he's barking up the wrong tree. I think this is naive.

Now, I know that "people of faith" doesn't just include the religious right, and there's a spectrum between the religious left and right. But I find attempts by secular people to appeal to the religious to be naive. And this just underscores the naivete.

In my experience, those who are not conservative Christians-- or not close to being conservative Christians-- vote pretty much the way secular people vote.

Trying to appeal to them isn't really worth it.

If you want to appeal to the religious right, you have to know what motivates them.

The environment isn't generally a big motivator.

The religious right is motivated by family, life, faith, free speech and democracy.

What does the religious right value that will get them to vote for you?

And frankly, I don't think the Liberal leader can really believes in anything the typical conservative Christian would be interested in.

He says that he can count on the Catholic vote, but less so on Protestants.

Well the "Catholic" vote he can count on are of disaffected Catholics, most of whom live in Quebec.

The Liberal Party has spent the last few years villifying the kind of people that Stephane Dion was trying to reach out to. Just recently Dion dared Harper to "clarify" his position on abortion-- as if Harper hasn't stated it in the past. The Party must know what Harper thinks. They behave like there's something unusual about him being in favour of legal abortion, but very ambivalent about it. I can't believe that Michael Coren's audience isn't, for the most part, at least as conservative as Harper on the abortion issue.

But Dion avoids those issues that conservative people want to talk about, after his party has demonized them, and then talks about God and the environment.

That's not the way to go about it.

I often find this naivete among secular people. They're religiously illiterate, they have no faith of their own, then they think they can extend a hand to people of faith by drawing simplistic conclusions based on simplistic syllogisms.

I would say that if you want to appeal to conservative Christians, get to know them. Understand their worldview. Then speak their language.

Most secular politicians fail miserably on this point.

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