Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Certainty Effect in an uncertain world

If all that Americans want is security, they can go to prison.
- President Dwight D. Eisenhower

In the wake of Jill Meagher’s disappearance, Robert Doyle and Ted Baillieu were quick to capitalise on people’s fears by calling for more CCTV. Most recently, Tony Abbott has pledged his support to such programs if he’s elected, offering $50 million from the Proceeds of Crime fund.

This is all fairly unsurprising - they’re motivated by a need to get (re)elected, and Doyle and Baillieu in particular have a history of blustering, “Tough On Crime” stances that look good to voters while trampling their rights. What’s interesting is the mindsets of the people who vote for them - and the media outlets who, in typically bureaucratic language, call for them to call for it.