I experienced a bit of cognitive dissonance earlier today. I was listening to a report on The World (PRI) about the bombing of the Australian embassy in Jakarta, and a reporter (Stephen McConnell) was explaining the Australian political situation for an American audience. (Why? They’ve got an election coming up in a month. Comparisons to the Madrid bombing should be obvious at this point.)
He explained, “It’s a two-horse race. You’ve got the conservatives, who in this country are called the Liberals, and then there’s the Labor Party, which would be much more aligned to something like the Democrats…”
It’s a lot more complicated, of course, but the idea of conservatives calling themselves liberals just seemed bizarre, considering that the terms are opposites here in the US. For all practical purposes, conservative and liberal are swear words when used by someone of the opposite ideology!