Monday, July 30, 2007

The calm before the storm

Seeing as how this is an election year in Norway (this Fall), I've been very surprised that there has been virtually no campaigning up until this point. The only major political headlines have been silly season stuff, excluding the donations to political parties-blurb I commented on in an earlier post. This headline also falls in the silly-season category: Charlotte B. Rennesand - an FrP politician from Rogaland - stated on Saturday that consciously giving birth to handicapped children is reprehensible and unneccessary. Predictably, she caught all kinds of crap for this statement, and rightly so, I might add. Today she laments having been criticized by complete strangers, often in the form of phone calls, and states that she was only providing the society with her personal view, which she is entitled to have. You can pretty much be as deluded as you want to be as long as you don't vehemently disturb your community, as evidenced by the fact that Lene Alexandra Øyen and Vendela Kirsebom haven't been chemically lobotomized yet. And sure; she's entitled to a personal opinion like everybody else. However; first of all there's a big difference between having an opinion about something and communicating this to as wide an audience as you can. Also, if you're a politician and a public figure and you sign your "work" with your name and official party affiliation two months before the election, there's reason to pause and think.

First, it should be obvious that you published this on behalf of your political party, and second, you're telling me that you didn't expect a statement like this to rise controversy just before an election? Of course, more PR-savvy FrP politicians have denounced the statement, but the fact that people like Rennesand and that bozo who recommended Norwegian men to get mail-order brides instead of bothering with Norwegian women have risen to the point where they have a say in Fremskrittspartiet ought to give some food for thought to the central governing body. Also, as a voter, it is quite disturbing to know that there is no filtering mechanism to weed out these people before they end up on a ballot where we're forced to choose between this specimen and some other whack job. What would be wrong with demanding an IQ test from our politicians?

Yeah yeah; I know - it's because it would be hard to sell advertisements in the political sections of newspapers and around large segments on TV if these are empty.

11 comments:

Anders said...

..evidenced by the fact that Lene Alexandra Øyen and Vendela Kirsebom haven't been chemically lobotomized yet.

No, I think you're wrong there. I'm pretty sure there has been some kind of chemically treatment, as I've heard they speak. In fact, I'm almost 100% positive.

As for the Rennesand comment: When I read things like this, I'm starting to wonder "what the he.. was she thinking"? Granted, this may be her opinion, but if you just got a hint of political tactics in your body (not to mention common decency) you don't go public with it. That's were Kjell Mange Bondevik was good; he had many opinions that the majority of the public didn't like, but he was very careful not to promote them in public.

But of course, there is always the slim possibility that Rennesand is an undercover agent for SV...

Kjerstin said...

I think IQ tests would be of limited value here (indeed, I think they are of limited value, period). If I remember correctly, there was a Danish member of Mensa a few years back who advocated exactly the same opinions as this FrP politician, on exactly the same grounds (only people with a certain level of IQ should be allowed to grow up, so as not to waste resources on people of no value).

On the other hand, demanding that people think their statements through before hitting the "send" button would certainly be a good thing.

Pigeon said...

Also the fact that it's better to know what they really think before the elections.
If she's elected no surprise if she vote a law in that sens.

Wilhelm said...

That's were Kjell Mange Bondevik was good; he had many opinions that the majority of the public didn't like, but he was very careful not to promote them in public.

Tru, tru. He didn't write endless commentaries about how he thinks unwed couples are going to hell, together with practicing homosexuals (probably the world's worst expression, but it's there, so what can you do about it?), and the believers in pretty much all other religions. That's not what he's known for - dude was way to politically savvy for that.

Wilhelm said...

Kjerstin: Mensa as an organization issues bumper stickers. That in itself is a very bad omen. Also; documentaries starring Mensa members invariably come across as after-school specials about autism. The members are always propped up with Star Wars effects, and their social "gatherings" consist of them one-upping each other with recitation of meaningless trivia such as "did you know that the closest star is XZ light years from Earth". "Oh yeah; but did you know that the distance between Sirius and Mars is XHWTSGST km?"

They give nerds a bad name....

Wilhelm said...

Also the fact that it's better to know what they really think before the elections.
If she's elected no surprise if she vote a law in that sens.


Tru, but I'm still kind of scared that this kind of people can get as far as on the ballot for the second (or third) biggest political party in Norway.

Kjerstin said...

Kjerstin: Mensa as an organization issues bumper stickers. That in itself is a very bad omen. Also; documentaries starring Mensa members invariably come across as after-school specials about autism. The members are always propped up with Star Wars effects, and their social "gatherings" consist of them one-upping each other with recitation of meaningless trivia such as "did you know that the closest star is XZ light years from Earth". "Oh yeah; but did you know that the distance between Sirius and Mars is XHWTSGST km?"

Which just illustrates why IQ is not necessarily a useful parameter.

Wilhelm said...

I believe that an IQ test provides a useful measure of some parts of your intelligence - essentially your ability to do math-related problem solving - in other words, you can improve your IQ score by taking math classes, for example. Obviously, it doesn't say anything about your social intelligence or other aspects. In other words - I believe that if you're really smart, you'll get a high score on an IQ test. However, getting a high score on an IQ test doesn't necessarily mean you're smart, as demonstrated by Mensa members. It's the implication versus equivalence thing.

My point was merely that any standardized test would probably weed out specimens such as this one.

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