Political Hypocrisy

Many Canadians rail against what they see as hypocrisy in politics but we speak with an author who argues that that's a bit... well... hypocritical. Today we raise the prospect that we may be hardwired for hypocrisy.


Political Hypocrisy - Robert Kurzban

It's been the c-word that's been on many lips during this federal election campaign... coalition. From the get go, Conservative leader Stephen Harper raised the spectre... warning of a reckless, undemocratic coalition led by Michael Ignatieff's Liberals should the Conservatives be given only a minority government... The Bloc Quebecois's Gilles Duceppe, countered - arguing that Mr. Harper used to think coalitions weren't such a bad thing at all - before he was in power. It's led some to say with great indignation that Mr. Harper is being hypocritical. And others to shrug it off ... as not such a big deal. Regardless of how one weighs in on that one... one thing that is clear... hypocrisy is a decidedly non-partisan political tradition. We heard from Catherine Ford and political economist Stephen Clarkson with their picks for the most notorious moments in the history of Canadian political hypocrisy.

These kinds of stories will come as little surprise to Robert Kurzban. He argues hypocrisy comes to us a little more naturally than we might like to think. Robert Kurzban is a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, and his new book is called Why Everyone (Else) is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular Mind. We reached Robert Kurzban in Portland, Oregon this morning.

Political Hypocrisy - David Runciman

Well, for some, the phrase "political hypocrisy" is a redundancy. But it's also a rich field for study, and David Runciman has studied it extensively. He's a reader in political theory at Cambridge University and the author of Political Hypocrisy: The Mask of Power, from Hobbes to Orwell and Beyond. David Runciman was in Cambridge, England.

Related Links:

Last Word - Crime and Punishment Promo

We ended the program this morning with a preview of something The Current's Sujata Berry is working on for tomorrow's program ... an examination of Crime and Punishment in Canada. Sujata got the last word this morning.

Other segments from today's show:

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