It seems to me that the public has basically three responses to the rhetoric of politicians: apathy, cynicism and denial. The vast majority of folks don’t seem to care one way or another (unless they are directly impacted by a specific move of government). When the Premier talks of the prosperity he has brought New Brunswickers and all the jobs and economic growth, they look around and say ‘who’s he kidding?’, shrug their shoulders and go about their daily lives. The second group of folks are those that for whatever reason look more closely at the actions of government. These are typically advocates of one type or another or others that just take a keen interest in government activities. I include myself in the latter category. These folks, upon hearing all the inflated rhetoric, the skewed stats, the out-of-context figures designed to confuse people, increase their level of cynicism (especially when reading the propaganda machine called the Times & Transcript). The third group of folks are basically the partisans. Not necessarily hard core partisans but just folks who believe the government’s story hook line and sinker without any critical analysis. These folks range from the cadre of hangers on through to the party faithful – no matter what.
Which brings me to the point.
What is your response when you see the following graph? Apathy? – oh well. That’s just the way it is. The other guys aren’t any better. Maybe I should consider Alberta. Cynicism? – how can the Premier look people in the face and claim his Prosperity Plan is working? Denial? – I don’t believe these numbers. The Prosperity Plan is working. Just you wait until the numbers come out next month.
Collectively, our responses get translated into government action. If we are all lumped into Apathy or Denial – nothing will ever change (note to the Times & Transcript). If we adopt a healthy criticism of government action – non-partisan – maybe we push them to take steps to redress our economic problems.