Talk:Wedge issue

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This page needs cleaning up in terms of language and content. A lot of the expression is messy.

Also, while the example of the Tampa is perfect for a study of wedge politics, the way it has been worded (e.g., referring to the people on the boat as refugees rather than asylum seekers) is politically loaded. El T 14:39, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

This page is filled with Original Research, unencyclopedic language, unreferenced speculation and huge POV problems.

Emissions Trading Scheme in Australia[edit]

Following the definition of wedge politics according to this article - would it be a sufficient idea to put the proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) in here as a wedge issue? It split the LNP base significantly and caused the leadership shakeup of November/December 2009 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:00, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Edits by GoldDragon[edit]

Please follow wiki protocol and discuss your edits here. Wikipedia is not intended to be the advertising section for your favourite political party. NPOV is the goal. --Clausewitz01 (talk) 14:25, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

I reverted your edits again, as arts funding and the coalition are not wedge issues. A wedge issue is defined as something used to divide a party or their support base. You simply copied and pasted this material from the 2008 Canadian parliamentary dispute article, without really explaining why it would be a divisive issue. GoldDragon (talk) 00:08, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Wow, the great GoldDragon is entering a discussion. You would be correct if the original version stated what you are trying to spin, however it doesnt. A wedge issue is a sharply divisive political issue, especially one that is raised by a candidate or party in hopes of attracting or disaffecting a portion of an opponent's customary supporters. In this case, the Conservative party is utilizing Quebec as the wedge issue to create disaffection with the policies and actions of the Liberal and NDP parties. The reference to the use of Arts funding is merely an example of the tactic. --Clausewitz01 (talk) 21:41, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Arts funding was never a wedge issue, as it didn't divide any party, it harmed the Tories in Quebec. GoldDragon (talk) 00:57, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Either you do not understand what a wedge issue is, or you are choosing to pretend not to. I am going to assume the former, unless you directly tell me differently. A wedge issue is used to define a support base by pushing your supporters closer to you. It is not used to divide a political party, but rather to define the policies of one party in strong contrast to another party. It is a fundamental to winning an election. It is necessary to define who you are not in order to define who you are, hence a wedge issue. Thus the Conservative party is taking a stance that is very favourable to their base, driving a wedge between themselves and the perceived or created threat of Quebec Separatists. This is very favourable to the Conservative support base. The arts funding issue is an example of the overarching use of Quebec and the threat of Quebec Seperatists as a Wedge issue to firm up the core support of the Conservative party. Please indicate if you actually comprehend this or if, as is more likely, you are editing to disguise the tactics of the Conservative part. --Clausewitz01 (talk) 01:16, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
This is the definition of a wedge issue: A wedge issue is a social or political issue, often of a divisive or otherwise controversial nature, which splits apart or creates a "wedge" in the support base of one political group. An issue that galvanizes a party's own support base is not a wedge issue, neither is an issue that is "driving a wedge between themselves and the perceived or created threat". Again, don't throw around excuses such as "you are a Tory", etc. GoldDragon (talk) 02:02, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Well GoldDragon, your party affiliation is established then, thanks for clearing up what was already patently obvious. As is your desire to constantly pick fights on Wikipedia, you seem to enjoy these, but you are truly alone in that enjoyment. Some of us, myself included, come to Wikipedia with the desire to produce a neutral encyclopedia. You may want to increase your reading comprehension and research skills though, since the rest of the world doesn't agree with your narrow definition of a wedge issue: "A sharply divisive political issue, especially one that is raised by a candidate or party in hopes of attracting or disaffecting a portion of an opponent's customary supporters." "A sharply divisive political issue, especially one that is raised by a candidate or party in hopes of attracting or disaffecting a portion of an opponent's customary supporters. " "Wedge issue is a social or political issue, often of a divisive or otherwise controversial nature, which is used by one political group to split apart or create a "wedge" in the support base of an opposing political group, with a view to enticing voters to give their support to the first group. The use of wedge issues gives rise to wedge politics." "wedge issue in the US, a divisive political issue, especially one that is raised by a candidate for public office in the hope of attracting or alienating an opponent's supporters." --Clausewitz01 (talk) 03:31, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

A party that uses wedge issues does have the effect of attracting supporters from a rival party, however there are other non-wedge issues that can attract opposing supporters as well. First and foremost, a wedge issue is designed to divide an opposition party, rather than necessarily gaining opposition support. GoldDragon (talk) 17:45, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Now your understanding this a bit better, but still not quite there. Though wedge issues are used to divide the party support base of an opposition party, I have never seen an example of it being used to actually divide a political party. Perhaps to divide something like the NDP/Liberal/BQ co-alition could be divided by a wedge issue. And before you go legalese on me and claim the BQ wasnt part of the coalition, I know it wasnt technically part. I've added an article to the front page as a link with more detailed descriptions of how wedge issues are used. The best example of wedge politics is Margaret Thatcher, she was the absolute master of this tactic. --Clausewitz01 (talk) 21:52, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

You have been more polite in your recent post, which is good progress from your earlier posts that were full of POV accusations, but you still have trouble sticking to the material at issue. I was never going to debate the BQ being part or no part of the coalition.
I am going strictly by the definition of this article when it comes to wedge issues. The clearest example is the one in Australia when the governign Liberals decided to get tough on immmigration, which resulted in the opposition Labour being split between party principles (to be more compassionate in allowing greater immigration) and unions (this interest group in Labour opposed immigration.)
Billingualism, which Pierre Trudeau, is a wedge issue for both his Liberals and Robert Stanfield's PC party. GoldDragon (talk) 18:28, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't know what tactics of Thatcher would constitute a wedge issue, according to the definition of this article. GoldDragon (talk) 18:28, 22 December 2008 (UTC)


I have removed the Liberal example, pending the insertion of an example as used by the Conservative and NDP parties in Canada, leaving the Liberal example biases the page.

The portion I removed is in quotations here for return when other examples are back: " The Liberal Party has raised bilingualism and multiculturalism as issues that divide the Conservative Party base. Much of the Conservative Party's western base, in Alberta and British Columbia are not strongly supportive of such policies, though officially the CPC remains in favor. " --Clausewitz01 (talk) 12:37, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
That is fine, while bilingualism is a wedge issue, it is not such a big deal in the 2000s, whereas it was a problem for Robert Stanfield back in the late 1960s. GoldDragon (talk)
The liberal party has also extensively used National Unity/Threat of Quebec as a wedge issue. I am not satisfied with this article without Canadian examples. When I find a solid NDP one, I will rebuild the article extensively. Perhaps NATO or Kyoto is the best NDP one, more research required. --Clausewitz01 (talk) 21:54, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Legalization of Cannabis[edit]

Wouldn't that also be a potential wedge issue? The opinions are divided within most parties, and being a drug issue, most people probably have a strong feeling about the problem. I'm not sure whether the topic has been used for wedge politics before, but it's bound to come up again soon and I'd guess it will be during the next presidential elections. -- (talk) 13:47, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

First Use[edit]

This article would benefit greatly from information and/or examples of first-use, if not very early-use, of the technique. For example, was it invented for the Southern Strategy and perfected by Rove? Or, was this used way back when... by the ancient Greeks or Romans? Arbalest Mike (talk) 14:24, 2 July 2015 (UTC)