Mon, Dec 09, 2013 - Page 8 News List

Public opinion outweighing facts

By Herbert Hanreich

This is so because, among other reasons, local politicians do not dare to confront the public with uncomfortable truths and instead choose to bumble through a world it only administers.

This is a global phenomenon. Seeking re-election, such populist politicians play the “culture card,” hiding behind it like cowards when (not) making relevant decisions. They go with the flow, and servants follow their masters.

When the interviewer suggested that in the past politicians elsewhere showed more courage when abolishing capital punishment despite a disagreeing majority, the ministry official simply reiterated the standard answer she had given earlier, saying that the local culture preferred to keep the death penalty.

The problems, obviously, are the local culture and education.

Herbert Hanreich is an assistant professor at I-Shou University in Greater Kaohsiung.

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