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Are Members of Political Parties Capable of Engaging in Open and Honest Debate?

Cato

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A side debate started up on one of the feedback threads following a comment by a poster asserting that staunch party loyalists can engage in truly honest debate on political matters and that the bias of such posters does not allow them to think or speak independently.

A reasonable enough discussion followed this and it would seem a shame to lose those contributions in an off topic thread so I've moved them here.

I am using my own posts as an OP as it can cause objections (reasonable ones) where threads are created from posts belonging to users where they did not create the thread.

For openness, and I have acknowledged this before, I am a member of the Labour Party, albeit a critical one and one who is somewhat disgruntled by their performance in government.

I think that party members are , of course, capable of engaging in debate and often, but not always, can bring a greater level of knowledge to certain aspects of these debates.

However, those who relentlessly pump out the party line, with not criticisms of their own of their parties, do leave themselves open to criticism of supporting their party as one might support a football team or even simply engaging in propaganda rather than debate.

For the most part, though, I have found that many are capable of criticising their parties but can, human nature being what it is, be backed into a corner by senseless criticisms of them simply for being a supporter of a particular party, rather than because of their view, and can end up coming out swinging in support of their own.

The shills/hacks nonsense is tiresome, but those who constantly trot it out are, at least, making the level of maturity of their own debating as obvious as any true propaganda merchant.
 
Last edited:


NewGoldDream

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NGD, no disrespect, you're a good poster but I don't see how anyone such as yourself, hbap, odlum etc or any others with staunch Party loyalty can possibly have a truly honest debate on any Irish political issue.

Your bias simply won't allow you to think and speak independently.
You can't seriously propose that a site on politics in Ireland should have no contributors allied to any mainstream party though.
 

Lonewolfe

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You can't seriously propose that a site on politics in Ireland should have no contributors allied to any mainstream party though.
Well we can hope that in this time of crisis we might look beyond narrow, tribal often non sensical Party loyalties.
 

hiding behind a poster

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NGD, no disrespect, you're a good poster but I don't see how anyone such as yourself, hbap, odlum etc or any others with staunch Party loyalty can possibly have a truly honest debate on any Irish political issue.

Your bias simply won't allow you to think and speak independently.
The problem with that argument is that many posters take it a small step further, and basically sh*t on the rights of those posters to discuss economic or political issues, purely because - shock horror! - they're members of or supporters of a particular political party. I post a good bit on the various economics threads, on which my qualifications give me what David Norris would pompously call "a certain locus standi", but there's a sort of inverse relativity between the length and detail of my posts, and the replies they invariably receive - in other words the longer and more detailed a technical post is, the more likely it is to get a one-line "f*ck you/you're just a hack/shill/lackey/did HQ pay you to post that?" reply. To whicg I always ask "if my arguments are so weak, why not just take them apart?" But its obvious from the lack of engagement in those situations that many posters are NOT here to debate, and therein lies a big problem.
 

hiding behind a poster

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You can't seriously propose that a site on politics in Ireland should have no contributors allied to any mainstream party though.
Hear, hear. Its extremely tedious, the prevailing wisdom on here that says no-one who's involved in a political party can genuinely hold their own opinions about politics. After all, the site is obviously for people interested in politics - and many such people JOIN political parties for precisely that reason.
 

statsman

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NGD, no disrespect, you're a good poster but I don't see how anyone such as yourself, hbap, odlum etc or any others with staunch Party loyalty can possibly have a truly honest debate on any Irish political issue.

Your bias simply won't allow you to think and speak independently.
You can't have a serious debate about Irish politics that exclude the views of members and supporters of the major political organisations of the State.

Was it oversight that meant you included no SF members in your list?
 

hiding behind a poster

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Well we can hope that in this time of crisis we might look beyond narrow, tribal often non sensical Party loyalties.
But the three "mainstream" parties have the support of about 75% of the electorate. Its ridiculous to suggest that a discussion site drawn from that electorate should treat those who support those parties as somehow "unclean".
 

Tea Party Patriot

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The problem with that argument is that many posters take it a small step further, and basically sh*t on the rights of those posters to discuss economic or political issues, purely because - shock horror! - they're members of or supporters of a particular political party. I post a good bit on the various economics threads, on which my qualifications give me what David Norris would pompously call "a certain locus standi", but there's a sort of inverse relativity between the length and detail of my posts, and the replies they invariably receive - in other words the longer and more detailed a technical post is, the more likely it is to get a one-line "f*ck you/you're just a hack/shill/lackey/did HQ pay you to post that?" reply. To whicg I always ask "if my arguments are so weak, why not just take them apart?" But its obvious from the lack of engagement in those situations that many posters are NOT here to debate, and therein lies a big problem.
I wouldn't necessarily say that, I think one of the problems with long posts (and I can digress into them myself occasionally) is the conversational nature of the site. It is to quote Albert Reynolds "a one page man" type post that will get read and get replied to more often than not. The longer detailed analysis gets skimmed over and is either agreed with or dismissed far quicker than it should take to digest it depending on the political viewpoint of the reader.

It is also indicative of politics in general, where a broad number of issues have to be taken in intellectually based on broad facts; delving into the detail of each would be quite a task for any politician (with the exception perhaps of the relevant minister and shadow minister).
 

statsman

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Sinn Féin speak for Ireland. Sinn Féin are not a Partitionist Party, unlike the other main Party's in the 26 county state, who do not/cannot speak for Ireland.
Another scintillating post from my favourite P.ie raconteur. Keep it up.
 

hiding behind a poster

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I wouldn't necessarily say that, I think one of the problems with long posts (and I can digress into them myself occasionally) is the conversational nature of the site. It is to quote Albert Reynolds "a one page man" type post that will get read and get replied to more often than not. The longer detailed analysis gets skimmed over and is either agreed with or dismissed far quicker than it should take to digest it depending on the political viewpoint of the reader.

It is also indicative of politics in general, where a broad number of issues have to be taken in intellectually based on broad facts; delving into the detail of each would be quite a task for any politician (with the exception perhaps of the relevant minister and shadow minister).
So if the long posts aren't read, how can the posters divine from them that I'm supposedly a shill/hack/lackey/paid by HQ to post them?
 

statsman

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So if the long posts aren't read, how can the posters divine from them that I'm supposedly a shill/hack/lackey/paid by HQ to post them?
They just see your username. I wish I was joking, but frequently that seems to be the level of engagement.
 

Tea Party Patriot

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So if the long posts aren't read, how can the posters divine from them that I'm supposedly a shill/hack/lackey/paid by HQ to post them?
A lot of the regulars probably just come to that assumption because you professed your membership of Fine Gale that you are touting the party line.

Personally I have found if I write a long post hammering some "tax the rich" suggestion that it gets replied to and dismissed by certain posters far faster than they could possibly take to read it.

Lets face it if you post on here enough (and that goes for any of us who spend too much time here) when it comes to certain issues there are those opposed to your known point of view who will dismiss without reading as they are going to be on a different agenda.

Edit: What Statsman said below, sad but true:
They just see your username. I wish I was joking, but frequently that seems to be the level of engagement.
 
D

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So if the long posts aren't read, how can the posters divine from them that I'm supposedly a shill/hack/lackey/paid by HQ to post them?
Because such accusations are not based on the content of your posts but on your well-known party political allegiance - and once that becomes apparent you will be accused of being a hack, a shill, a lackey and you will have people winding you up about being on the payroll etc. It might not be fair debate but it's a reality you need to learn to cope with, you're only encouraging more and more of it with your constant moaning about it. The trolls know your sensitivities and use this to wind you up. I don't like to see you being gang-banged as happens at times by a bunch of clowns who don't know their ar$es from their elbows - but part of your problem is that you're a lone target because a lot of the FG posters are either not willing or not able to join in the debate when this occurs.
But will ya make a resolution not to respond to this sort of taunting - by the way, how much are they paying?:D
 

Lonewolfe

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You can't have a serious debate about Irish politics that exclude the views of members and supporters of the major political organisations of the State.
I never said they should be excluded I merely pointed out that a truly honest debate is unlikely in most instances and practically impossible if the subject involves a loyalist's chosen Party.

This means that regular, non-alligned posters must wade through spin, propaganda and lies a lot of the time on here and if they make a point, they may face criticisms that derive from bias and tribe mentality rather than objective analysis.

Was it oversight that meant you included no SF members in your list?
It was an innocent oversight - I don't support them by the way.
 

Lonewolfe

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But the three "mainstream" parties have the support of about 75% of the electorate.
They received the votes of about 75% of the electorate. There's a not too subtle difference there.

Its ridiculous to suggest that a discussion site drawn from that electorate should treat those who support those parties as somehow "unclean".
They should be treated as coming from a tribe or a club and as representing the interests of that tribe/club; interests which are often at odds with the interests of the nation.
 

statsman

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I never said they should be excluded I merely pointed out that a truly honest debate is unlikely in most instances and practically impossible if the subject involves a loyalist's chosen Party.

This means that regular, non-alligned posters must wade through spin, propaganda and lies a lot of the time on here and if they make a point, they may face criticisms that derive from bias and tribe mentality rather than objective analysis.



It was an innocent oversight - I don't support them by the way.
I'm non-aligned, but I want the input of those who support the parties who are either actual or potential decision makers in any debate.
 

hiding behind a poster

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Because such accusations are not based on the content of your posts but on your well-known party political allegiance - and once that becomes apparent you will be accused of being a hack, a shill, a lackey and you will have people winding you up about being on the payroll etc. It might not be fair debate but it's a reality you need to learn to cope with, you're only encouraging more and more of it with your constant moaning about it. The trolls know your sensitivities and use this to wind you up. I don't like to see you being gang-banged as happens at times by a bunch of clowns who don't know their ar$es from their elbows - but part of your problem is that you're a lone target because a lot of the FG posters are either not willing or not able to join in the debate when this occurs.
But will ya make a resolution not to respond to this sort of taunting - by the way, how much are they paying?:D
50% more than they were paying in Opposition :lol: But on your last point, I think the moderators should have a role there - because if posters are saying to themselves "I disagree with that post, but I'm not gonna argue because I'll get gang-banged by the herd in response", you're left with less a debate than a circle-jerk. For example, on the "The Bank Debt Deal Is Dead" thread, I posted outlining how the OP, in claiming that any deal was dead, was actually outlining how its very much alive", I was told by one poster that I was off-topic, because (and I'm not kidding you here) "this thread is about how the bank debt deal is dead".

Translation - "we're all gonna circle-jerk here, and anyone who disagrees can get lost".
 

Lonewolfe

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I'm non-aligned, but I want the input of those who support the parties who are either actual or potential decision makers in any debate.
Do you want to debate in an honest fashion and maybe break new ground, discuss possible solutions which weren't previously considered and perhaps, just perhaps, find some common ground?

Or would you just like to hear the Party line (which you can get on the 6one news) and then be treated to an ad nauseum defence of that Party line?
 


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