I suppose the positive bit of this news is that in spite of what many women think about Tony Abbott’s views on women, they will vote for him anyway to become the next Prime Minister. That this mysogynist notion carries any weight at all is a disgrace – to the question is Tony Abbot a misogynist, 25% say “yes” with another 31% “uncommitted” – but the politics of tribalism and personal identification remains as one of the most powerful forces in modern democracies. Perhaps it was ever thus, but if so it was ever problematic.
The data show the Coalition ahead of Labor 53%-47% amongst women which seems near enough the male ratio. For me, however, those 47%, male or female, are a conundrum that passes all understanding. We have the most incompetent government in our history led by the most incompetent Prime Minister in our history and even in spite of everything, virtually half the population would be willing to return these people to government. And with the certainty that when an election is really called it will only get closer, I do not leave a close result out of the equation and even leave room for that small but by no means insignificant possibility that these people could come back again for another three years.
I wish someone would run a poll about what these Labor voters are worried about should a Coalition Government actually be elected. Are they afraid that abortion will become unavailable? That contraceptives will be banned? That the welfare state will deprive them of some of those goodies they are accustomed to? That they will actually have to work for a living and not sponge off the rest of us? That union power to wreck our livelihoods will be diminished? That entrepreneurs will make more money? That profits will rise? That the boats will stop coming? That the government will stop spending our money on unproductive activities. Just what is it? This I would like to know because nothing is obvious even when paying attention to those media types who cannot stop their anti-Abbott rants. They never make either the case against Abbott or the case for Labor. Just tribal and infantile but no substance that I can see anywhere.
And in discussing this, let me mention something I came across the other day about the Pragmatic philosopher, Charles Sanders Pierce.
The heart of the epistemology of Pierce can be formulated as the claim that sticking to old beliefs is a man’s normal inclination [a woman's too, I'd imagine] and that this is in fact rational. In order to learn, we update old beliefs with a certain unwillingness in the face of counterevidence, facts that we stumble upon daily. The updating process runs via hypothesis making: inference to the best explanation. What counts as the best explanation depends not only on the newly encountered facts, but just as much – or even more – on our old beliefs. Again, this is rational.
By all means stick to old beliefs until circumstances force you to re-evaluate and think things through again. But unless one has a positive death wish for our economic prosperity and the continued good fortune of this country, I cannot for the life of me see why anyone would even consider voting these people back in again.