Noticing the 5-second mindkill

by shminux1 min read28th Mar 201314 comments


Personal Blog

I've been reading news and a headline popped out at me:

Some Conservative backbenchers stirred up controversy in the House of Commons Tuesday when they accused their own party of preventing them from speaking out in Parliament.

(For the US audience, the Canadian (and British) House of Commons is like the House of Representatives, only with less democracy.)

My first thought: how dare the Prime Minister muzzles democratically elected MPs!

(For the US audience, the Prime Minister in a majority government has the power of the President and the majority leaders in both chambers combined, and much much more. "MP" (Member of Parliament) is the equivalent of a "Rep." Backbenchers are the reps who don't get a portfolio in the administration. Indeed, basically no separation of the legislative power from the executive. As I said, less democracy. Blame the Brits.)

Then I keep reading:

Warawa [the MP in question] did not specify the topic, but it’s widely believed that he wanted to bring up his motion calling on parliamentarians to condemn sex-selective abortion.

My next thought: oh, good on the Prime Minister to prevent that crazy lunatic from pushing his pro-life agenda!

And finally, my third thought: WTF did just happen? I changed my mind 180 degrees instantly because I disagree with the person's opinion, even though the original issue didn't go away. Mindkill in action. Had he been trying to promote, say, legalization of marijuana instead, I would have been twice as indignant about the evil PM. 

Now, I do notice this sometimes (often when reading something on LW), but probably not every time it happens to me. I want to notice it more often.

So, I'm asking people to give your own (hopefully non-political) examples of noticing your instant about-face and hopefully some experience in recognizing it more reliably.