Brian Edwards Media

Posts Tagged 'Focus Group Research'

Leadership, Followship and the Tyranny of the Focus Group


Why would a political party hoping to win an election advance policies which it knew or suspected a majority of voters wouldn’t like? The only reason I can think of is that it believed that the pursuit of those policies was in the national interest, that it was, put simply, the right thing to do.

‘The right thing to do’ may not be, and frequently isn’t, the popular thing to do. The present election provides two examples: Labour’s proposed Capital Gains Tax and its declared intention, if it wins the election, to gradually raise the retirement age to 67. Both are, in my submission, the right thing to do, but they come into conflict with the self-interest of the wealthy in the first instance and, in the second, the self-interest of those who feel cheated because the goalposts are to be  moved, however slowly, and their retirement from work deferred.

Advancing such unpopular policies makes it more difficult to get elected because it means persuading people to change their minds rather than simply giving them what they already want. It requires leadership.  Read the rest of this entry »