Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Well, Yeah. That's a Bit Hypocritical

Today I watched the March 26, 2012 episode of Q and A.

It had a great example of hypocrisy.

The panelists answered a question about political parties getting large donations.   Is it a bad thing?  Should it be outlawed?

One of the panelists was Larissa Waters.  She's a senator for the Greens party. 

Waters made it known that her party is against big donations.

Then George Brandis from the Liberal Party pointed out that the Green party had recently accepted a million dollar donation. 

Brandis tried to get her to see the hypocrisy in this.  She refused.  Or maybe she really didn't see it?

She claimed their case was different because no policy influence was sought or given. 

Does she not realize that it's very likely the other political parties might try to claim the same thing?  And maybe they too would believe it.  

Who knows.  In some cases, it could be true.  Sometimes people might donate a lot of money without wishes for policy influence.  They might just support a political party...no strings attached. The problem is you can't really know for sure, one way or the other.

I mean maybe some entities donate and say, We'll give you this money and we expect in return that you'll do....whatever.   But other people might not be as upfront.  They might be more subtle. They might not even know they want something.  

Larissa Waters was asked why the donation was accepted if the Green Party is against large donations.

She said they're trying to change the law, but until it's changed, they're going to continue to comply with it.

Tony Jones responded with an analogy.  It's like smoking in a public place until it's banned.

Waters response made her seem a bit clueless.  She announced that she had given up smoking years ago.  I'm not sure if she was making a joke, or if she truly didn't understand the analogy.

I'm thinking up my own analogies.

Well....

It would be like someone, in past decades, believing in seat belts, but not wearing them because it's not a law.  They'd go without a belt because they want to comply with the law.

I do understand accepting the large donation.

From the small bits I hear about American news, Obama did the same thing.  He was against the whole Super Pac thing.  Then, all of a sudden. it was announced that he had his own Super Pac.

If you can't beat them, join them.  

I think what Larissa Waters could have said is that the Green Party IS against large donations. But until large donations are outlawed for everyone, the Green Party can't survive in a system where the other parties are able to accept large donations.  

It's not the most noble thing to do.

The best thing would be if a political party refused large donations, still survived, and then said, Look we stood by our principles and survived.  It can be done!  

I don't know if that's possible, though. 

Anyway....

I guess what I'm trying to say is I don't necessarily think the Green Party (and Obama) did the wrong thing.  I just think Waters could have maybe expressed herself in a less hypocritical way.

You know what.  

I always feel like a hypocrite when I complain about hypocrites.

It's an interesting thing to me.

With hypocrisy, I think there's a type that's known to the hypocrite and a type that's unknown.

I can think immediately of things that make me a hypocrite.  Like I judge people sometimes for eating meat. I sometimes feel superior to them.  Yet I eat dairy products.  Or I feel snobby towards people using plastic bags at the grocery store. Yet I take long showers. Stuff like that.

But I'm guessing maybe I'm also hypocritical about stuff, and I don't even know I'm a hypocrite.  I may be completely blind to it.  

I'm pretty self-aware, though.   So maybe not.

There are certain people in my life who are extremely hypocritical at times. It's very frustrating to me.

My hunch is that they're oblivious to it. I guess they're in some sort of denial? Or they lack self-awareness...at least in certain situations.

I wonder what was going on in Larissa Water's head.   Did she know she sounded hypocritical, but she was trying her best (and failing) to get out of a sticky situation?   Or was it all lost to her?  

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