Friday, April 28, 2017

Stereotypes are dangerous beasts especially when used to link age and attitudes

I have already written about the political affiliations of French voters and how it changes by age but it is such an important subject I am going to make the point again.

In the UK the dominant narrative is that young are pro EU, pro multiculturalism, pro change, pro immigration. The old are all of the above with 'pro' replaced by 'anti. I guess the young would be called 'progressive'

Marine Le Pen is protectionist on the French economy, fervently opposed to the EU, suspicious of Muslims, supports limiting immigration and fearful of multi-culturalism. GQ magazine provides a summary, albeit it a tad biased, of her policies and believes them to be a 'nightmare for progressives'.

You would think that the last person on earth that French youth would vote for was Le Pen. Wrong, as is shown by this chart from the FT.

One explanation is 'well that is the French for you' - the typical explanation that Brits have about anything that happens over the other side of the channel. A more accurate explanation is that it shows how useless age stereotypes are. Dick Stroud

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