Impoverishment of political debate
Other Names: Superficiality of political debate
Trivialization of political debate
Avoidance of substantive issues in political debate
Nature: Domestic politics, partly under the influence of the media, is becoming so shallow, mean and meaningless that it is failing to produce the ideas and leadership needed to guide national policies in a rapidly changing world. Issues have in many cases become trivialized to the point where meaningful debate has become almost impossible. Government is increasingly crippled by a superstructure of politics that makes ideas harder to discuss and exalts public opinion over leadership. Politicians are encouraged to avoid hard issues which may affect their positions in opinion polls instead of responding to changes in the world, elected officials allow their thinking to be determined by the risk of televized attacks by their opponents, personal security by the press, cynicism on the part of the public, and the need (in some countries) to raise large sums of money to purchase television time to combat such criticism. When every decision is taken in this light, effective decision-making becomes severely constrained, stifling creativity and strong stands on major issues.
Claim: The political system becomes unable to define and debate critical questions, let alone resolve them. Politicians are locked into where they are today, rather than being able to lead society effectively into an appropriate future.
Problem Type: F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update 01.01.2000 – 00:00 CET