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Polarization is the division of society into opposite poles, or stances, on an issue.

Political polarization is the process by which the population or public opinion tends to divide according to the relative proximity of each to the left or the right in its radical aspects. - The HUB

Examples of polarization

Mask mandates

  • On one end of the political poles, right-wing activists and protestors participated in a long blockade to protest mask mandates. 
  • On the other end of the political poles, left-wing activists and protestors have advocated for mask mandates to protect the health of vulnerable members of our population, and to avoid overburdening our hospitals.

Fossil fuels

  • People who lean more right on the political spectrum may conclude we need fossil fuels to live, that phasing out too quickly would leave people without a way to provide for their families, that they are essential for our economy etc.
  • People who lean more left on the political spectrum may conclude that a transition is necessary, that we have alternatives to live, that we can provide worker's with training support and we need a new way of operating our economy, for example.

Defunding the police

  • On one end of the political poles, more right-wing leaning folks (and often centrist) may conclude that we need police to handle crime.
  • On the more left end of the political poles, folks might conclude that police do more harm than good, and that we need to invest in social services to prevent crime.

If you have any suggested revisions or additional resources to share related to the above content, please email them to kenzie@lehub.ca.

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