Politics Idioms (Page 1)
- Body politic
A group of people organised under a single government or authority (national or regional) is a body politic.
A carpetbagger is an opportunist without any scruples or ethics, or a politican who wants to represent a place they have no connection with.
- Casting vote
The casting vote is a vote given to a chairman or president that is used when there is a deadlock.
- Champagne socialist
A wealthy person who has left-wing views is a champagne socialist, especially if their political beliefs are seen as shallow or hypocritical.
- Dog-whistle politics
When political parties have policies that will appeal to racists while not being overtly racist, they are indulging in dog-whistle politics.
- Economical with the truth
If someone, especially a politician, is economical with the truth, they leave out information in order to create a false picture of a situation, without actually lying.
- Fifth columnist
A fifth columnist is a member of a subversive organisation who tries to help an enemy invade.
- Fourth estate
This is an idiomatic way of describing the media, especially the newspapers.
- Get on your soapbox
If someone on their soapbox, they hold forth (talk a lot) about a subject they feel strongly about.
- Greasy pole
The greasy pole is the difficult route to the top of politics, business, etc.
- Gunboat diplomacy
If a nation conducts its diplomatic relations by threatening military action to get what it wants, it is using gunboat diplomacy.
- Megaphone diplomacy
If negotiations between countries or parties are held through press releases and announcements, this is megaphone diplomacy, aiming to force the other party into adopting a desired position.
- On the stump
When politicians are campaigning for support and votes, they are on the stump.
- Politically correct
Things or people that are politically correct use language that will not cause offence.
- Pork barrel
Pork barrel politics involves investing money in an area to get political support rather than using the money for the common good.
- The ayes have it
If the ayes have it, those who voted in favour of something have won.
- Toe the line
If someone toes the line, they follow and respect the rules and regulations.
- Wedge politics
In wedge politics, one party uses an issue that they hope will divide members of a different party to create conflict and weaken it.
- You can't fight City Hall
This phrase is used when one is so cynical that one doesn't think one can change their Representatives. The phrase must have started with frustration towards a local body of government.
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