community politics

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Term invented by candidates of the Liberal Party in Britain in the 1970s to denote the tactic of fighting elections on issues of importance to small, local communities. As a process, community politics both draws on the identity of a local community and its shared interests, particularly those which it has in preserving and enhancing the local environment, and helps build the community by making people more aware of those interests and by raising their estimation of the relative importance of local issues. The process and the tactic are, therefore, relevant to a much wider context than Britain. Opponents of community politics have often been contemptuous of the pettiness of the issues it brings to the fore, an attitude to which one Liberal candidate, Bill Pitt, replied by saying, ‘You cannot reach for the stars when you always have to look at your feet to make sure you are not treading in dog dirt’.

Lincoln Allison


Subjects: Politics.

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