Critiquing voting strategies
Posted: 12 December 2017 07:41 PM   [ Ignore ]
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As so happens, I got into a political discussion on social media the other day, and in the course of things (as things go in these circumstances) came up with two criticisms of the ever-so-popular party-line voting strategy employed by a lot of voters, where they vote party every election, from the perspective of a voter:

First - consider some party, say the Whigs. You vote for them one time, and they win and do what you want. You’re happy. They’re happy. The next election cycle, you vote for them and they do something you don’t like at all. The next election cycle, you vote for them again and they do whatever they want. At this point, the Whigs have absolutely no incentive to do anything you, the voter, wants, despite your vote, because you have shown no motivation to change your vote based on their behavior.

Second - consider the same behavior, always voting for the Whigs. What strategy would the Whigs or an opposing party (say, the Democrats) have to alter your vote? The only option for the Democrats here is to forcibly remove your vote, and for the Whigs, to defend your vote if the Democrats attempt to remove it.

It seems to me given these conclusions that faithful party-line voting is a terrible idea.

Rebuttals?

Other voting strategies that people commonly employ that have problems?

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Posted: 13 December 2017 11:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I think this is the voting strategy that no one wants to hear, but is the truth: Put up Repub candidates that are so incredibly bad that Dems flock to the polls to vote their guy in. Then have the Dem who wins enact Republican ideas. SO you get a string of Repubs: Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton, Bush 2, Obama, Drumpf. And when someone comes along to upset the applecart (Bernie) make sure he doesn’t have a chance.

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Posted: 13 December 2017 03:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Party-line voting is a bad idea in the long term as politics are very dynamic, but in the short term it balances out because voters are not generally monolithic in what they want, which provides enough flexibility for the party to survive voter dissatisfaction.

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Posted: 13 December 2017 04:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Beltane - 13 December 2017 03:12 PM

Party-line voting is a bad idea in the long term as politics are very dynamic, but in the short term it balances out because voters are not generally monolithic in what they want, which provides enough flexibility for the party to survive voter dissatisfaction.

I’m not sure of non-monolithicism. I saw a stat in the recent Moore vs. Jones Alabama election that African Americans voted for Jones at a rate of something like 95%. That’s pretty party line, and I think it’s a fairly safe guess that these voters consistently vote the same way every election.

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Posted: 13 December 2017 09:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 13 December 2017 04:13 PM
Beltane - 13 December 2017 03:12 PM

Party-line voting is a bad idea in the long term as politics are very dynamic, but in the short term it balances out because voters are not generally monolithic in what they want, which provides enough flexibility for the party to survive voter dissatisfaction.

I’m not sure of non-monolithicism. I saw a stat in the recent Moore vs. Jones Alabama election that African Americans voted for Jones at a rate of something like 95%. That’s pretty party line, and I think it’s a fairly safe guess that these voters consistently vote the same way every election.

That’s only one election, but you make a good point that I did not think of about black voters—they are quite monolithic at the polls. All minority groups are, it must be said.

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Posted: 14 December 2017 04:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 12 December 2017 07:41 PM

As so happens, I got into a political discussion on social media the other day, and in the course of things (as things go in these circumstances) came up with two criticisms of the ever-so-popular party-line voting strategy employed by a lot of voters, where they vote party every election, from the perspective of a voter:

First - consider some party, say the Whigs. You vote for them one time, and they win and do what you want. You’re happy. They’re happy. The next election cycle, you vote for them and they do something you don’t like at all. The next election cycle, you vote for them again and they do whatever they want. At this point, the Whigs have absolutely no incentive to do anything you, the voter, wants, despite your vote, because you have shown no motivation to change your vote based on their behavior.

Second - consider the same behavior, always voting for the Whigs. What strategy would the Whigs or an opposing party (say, the Democrats) have to alter your vote? The only option for the Democrats here is to forcibly remove your vote, and for the Whigs, to defend your vote if the Democrats attempt to remove it.

It seems to me given these conclusions that faithful party-line voting is a terrible idea.

Rebuttals?

Other voting strategies that people commonly employ that have problems?

Me thinks you are thinking too much.  Yes, mostly we vote by party but in elections where there are several offices to fill none of us know anything about all candidates so if we have little or no knowledge we vote for the party we fell that does the most for most for us.  Think you vote for the “man”?  A political science prof. once put his students straight on voting for the man, and yes I was in that class.  First he asked who the major party candidates were in the last election, first for POTUS.  Most all raised their hands. Next for VP, not so many raised hands, then for governor even less hands.  You get the idea.  Go a little father down the land and nobody could name both candidates and probably never will.

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Posted: 14 December 2017 07:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Yeah but what if one party goes so totally off the rails, that facts, truth, honesty no longer mean anything to them anymore?

What if one party has make it absolutely clear that they are here to serve the needs of the oligarchs who financed their campaigns?

What if one party is intent on doing profound systemic damage to our government?

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Posted: 14 December 2017 10:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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deros - 14 December 2017 04:41 AM

Me thinks you are thinking too much.  Yes, mostly we vote by party but in elections where there are several offices to fill none of us know anything about all candidates so if we have little or no knowledge we vote for the party we fell that does the most for most for us.

The simple solution for this is to, before the election, go to your local courthouse and get a list of the people on the ballot. Similarly, use a write-in ballot so you can spend some time and not worry about memorizing your conclusions for the voting booth.

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Posted: 15 December 2017 07:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 14 December 2017 10:38 PM
deros - 14 December 2017 04:41 AM

Me thinks you are thinking too much.  Yes, mostly we vote by party but in elections where there are several offices to fill none of us know anything about all candidates so if we have little or no knowledge we vote for the party we fell that does the most for most for us.

The simple solution for this is to, before the election, go to your local courthouse and get a list of the people on the ballot. Similarly, use a write-in ballot so you can spend some time and not worry about memorizing your conclusions for the voting booth.

Or read the info flier the election committee sends all voters before each election. 
I don’t think Colorado is unique in the practice.

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