Service of Hidden Agendas

February 10th, 2012

Categories: Cheating, Communications, Credibility, Deception, Hidden Agenda, Manipulation, Mixed Messages

Pundits were discussing why NJ Governor Christie wants a referendum on gay marriage rather than a senate/house vote [that’s happening now]. The Governor says a referendum is the best way to learn what the citizens want. One political analyst noted that the Governor really has a different reason: To bring out the conservative vote in the 2012 election as it’s likely these voters would choose Republican candidates.

Another example of a potentially hidden agenda involves adding the option for voters in the New York metro area to place their votes well ahead of an election as Florida does. Why doesn’t this happen here?

I thought setting up voting systems ahead of the one day might be costly but according to the political fat-chewers, the real reason might be that both political party leaders are concerned that if too many people vote, it will affect the outcome in a way none can predict. That makes them nervous. Isn’t democracy about everyone voting so as to be heard? Don’t politicians pay lip service to the concept and urge us to vote?

Can you name some hidden agendas of a political, business or personal nature? How do you tease out the motivation, line of thought and accurate rationale of the canny dissimulator so as to make the right decision yourself?

6 Responses to “Service of Hidden Agendas”

  1. Lucrezia Said:

    Governor Christie is no fool and knows the strategy of bringing out the conservative vote could easily backfire and activate hordes of otherwise lazy liberals who would sweep in gay marriage faster than you can say “Christie,” and with it hand over the state, electoral votes and all to “O.” Are the so called pundits asleep? Must they be informed this is New Jersey, not Alabama? So now let’s give the good governor credit. It’s highly possible he is merely trying to do the right thing.

    As to getting people out to vote, any attempt to do so was squashed with the arrival of the new voting machines. Now, instead of getting your citizens duty over and done with in about a minute, you could take up to 15 trying to properly color in all the little dots in the prescribed manner. Failure to do so voids the ballot and you are given two more chances to make things right. So now, that humble minute could escalate into 45!

    So much for democracy. The fact of the matter remains that someone does not want us to vote. Unless efficient voting machines are brought back, there is no arguing with an all too visible truth.

  2. Daphne Bloomberg Said:

    Where do I begin?

    To put a referendum to a vote the supporters must gather signatures.
    Referendums have to be well worded as most people vote “no” because they are uninformed. The opposing view is forced to organize and raise money to defeat a referendum.

    It is an old trick to push voters out to the polls if they are not excited about the head of the ticket.

    In our state even if the legislature passes a bill and the governor signs the bill the opponents will bring it to a referendum. In other words it is not over until the people speak. We will go to referendum if gay marriage passes in our state. Newt did it on the question of choice in the early nineties.

    You are correct; Christie is saving himself and his party any embarrassment by not sending the gay marriage act to the legislature. It sidesteps a vote on their record.

    Referendums also activate both sides of an issue. I believe our gay friends are organized and energized enough to fight.

  3. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Lucrezia,

    Maybe Christie is doing the right thing, but maybe he’s passing the buck so that he isn’t connected with an issue that is old hat and no biggie to most but inflammatory to some in NJ as well as in Alabama.

    I was so shocked at the clumsy voting system in New York and how many thousands of steps backwards it is compared to the simple, old fashioned machines I used all my voting life that the first time I used the paper-fill-in-the-dots system, I wrote a post about it. The hidden agenda here is how anyone agreed to pay the geniuses who came up with it.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Daphne,

    What a great point you made about the wording of referendums! They are so often convoluted and stuffed with double negatives that while a voter may understand the issue, few understand what the question is and are insecure as to whether their “yes” or “no” represents what they want.

  5. Hester Craddock Said:

    “Hidden agenda” has a vaguely sinister sound to it, but there is nothing sinister or dishonest about make a sophisticated argument or using complex tactics to achieve a goal. These practices have been around since mankind first climbed down from the trees and before.

    After ten long years of an unsuccessful siege, the Greeks departed Troy leaving behind a large wooden statue of a horse as an offering to the Gods. The joyous Trojans seeing their enemies depart, accepted the offering in the spirit they thought it was intended, hauled it into their fortified city, and the rest is history! (Incidentally, as a consequence of findings brought to light by recent archeological digs, it seems most likely that the story of the fabled Trojan horse really happened.)

    As with many of the schemes dreamed up by politicians, Governor Christie’s referendum may backfire on him. On the other hand, would any educated human being in her or his right mind, really want to see still greater participation by our increasingly ignorant masses in our electoral process? If we are governed badly now, can anyone imagine how much worse it would be, were those few independent, honest thinkers that we do now have to be replaced by yet more corrupt ignoramuses such as most of those that lead us – especially at the top.

  6. Anonymous Said:

    This is a bit of a non-issue unless one is a bit naive. Referenda and surveys aren’t promulagted or designed to find out what people think, they are designed to tell people what to think

    Just look at this sort of thing: http://languagetesting.info/humour/fun.php

    or, more directly, (and my browser wouldnt load the whole of that page so) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0ZZJXw4MTA

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