Bryan Caplan  

In Praise of Corny Canadian Politicians

Putin's Textbooks; or, Why Rus... When Is It Wrong To Vote?...

Yesterday, I was on Canada's CBC Radio's "The Current." Today, I'm at #132 on In part, I gave my standard spiel about irrational voters. But they also gave me a chance to make an original point.

In the podcast, the host plays a corny Canadian commercial where some politician rambles on about his love for his children. Syrupy music plays in the background. Then they ask for my reaction. I think I surprised them, because I said that corny ads are, comparatively speaking, a good thing. It's a lot better for the world if politicians compete for "World's Best Dad" than if they compete for "World's Fiercest Protectionist" or "World's Biggest Scourge of Big Oil." As long as the median voter wants bad policies, politicians do the world a favor when they avoid the subject of policy altogether.

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COMMENTS (3 to date)

I bet that being a "good dad" is also positively correlated with being a reasonable person, so maybe you're on to something here.

Billy writes:

I disagree. When I hear a politician talk about how he is the "world's best dad" I instinctively think of a politician who can't wait to treat us all like children.

Eric Crampton writes:

I can imagine a million Canadians getting very angry listening to you. I like that thought.

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