Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Is politics an art?

I've been sitting on this post since July. It was inspired by some comments made on the Capitol Fax blog. You notice a pattern here, I troll there a lot! Anyway this should be worth some interesting thoughts for those of you who are interested.

Perhaps the appropriate term is a craft. Certainly it could be an art or science, but it's just that there probably more art to it than science. Perhaps the art is left to those public officials who have an agenda, at that a serious agenda where the consequences are taken seriously. The science is probably left to those who work in the system.

Perhaps the campaign workers who help to move a campaign forward. They might provide the science, that is the science of making polls. Then perhaps there's the art of identifying those in the electorate who will vote for you. There is an art or perhaps a science in crafting a message.

In my time studying political science, there was a question posed. Is political science a science?

It was an essay question when I took this course, scope and methods in political science. I answered that it was a science and there was at least one person that I know of that answered that it wasn't a science. Who's right?

I wonder if anyone has a handle on the differences between politics being an art or science. It could be argued that politics contains both in some respects and that perhaps there is more art than science to it.

The only thing I can say about political science is that it's a field of study that can be studied scientifically with a scientific method not much different that what you might find in a natural science such a biology or physics. It's certainly a field that is much deeper than using the scientific method. And politics itself is certainly a lot deeper than what could be portrayed in the press.

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