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wedge politics




wedge politics (plural wedge politics)

  1. (politics) A strategy or pattern of behavior by a politician, political party, or advocacy group which is intended to have a divisive effect on one's political opponents or on the electorate, especially by emphasizing an issue which polarizes opinion along racial, regional, or other demographic lines.
    • 1991, "Racial politics: Duke victory made GOP fear it had gone too far," Arizona Daily Star (USA), 29 Oct.:
      It was an ugly example of wedge politics, the politics of division.
    • 2003, Alan Ramsey, "Hollow ring to Sir Echo," Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), 15 March (retrieved 20 Sep 2010):
      John Howard . . . has, quite superbly, controlled the political agenda by wedge politics—by dividing the electorate on some emotional issue and forcing the Opposition to side with the moral but unpopular position.
    • 2009, "Flyers alleging Ignatieff is anti-Ukrainian cause stir in Manitoba," CBC News (Canada), 17 June (retrieved 20 Sep 2010):
      The quotes . . . are part of a Conservative divide-and-conquer strategy, said Liberal MP Anita Neville. "It's the worst kind of wedge politics—pitting one group against another: ‘We love you more than they love you,’" she said.

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