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Why, then, should we reward them with our vote?

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 09:20:33 AM EST
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Votes are not rewards. They are political acts that should be done for advantage.

I vote for a somewhat weak local Democrat because I know that the voters in my locality would pick a much worse right winger if she failed. That's not a reward, it's self-preservation.

by rootless2 on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 10:06:43 AM EST
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If you want the local party to replace the bums with someone better you don't vote for the bums.

Because Spain doesn't have open primaries, the only way sympathisers can pressure the parties is at the general election. Even acquaintances who are members of PSOE admit that, as members, they have little influence on who the cadres and candidates will end up being.

And, in this case, it's beginning to sound as if ZP and his entourage believe that the severity of the crisis, the economic environment they have had to act in, and the pressures they received from the EU to enact certain policies exonerate them so even after the worst election result since democracy was restored in 1977 the PSOE leadership intends to steer the party into the next Congress. I'm beginning to suspect ZP wants to directly influence the choice of his successor even though he didn't even run for a seat in parliament this time around.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 10:12:13 AM EST
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Of course a vote is a reward. Do ut des. And politicians all over the world do know that they have to reward their voters or at least fake a reward.

It seems to be a special pathology of the american democrats that they don't want to recognize that. Say what you want about machine politicians, but they did understand that.

(The american right tends to call Obama a Chicago machine politician. I always sigh: "If only!")

by IM on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 10:27:11 AM EST
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What a peculiar claim to be made in the middle of a discussion of how PSOE lost an election by chosing Mrs. Merkel over their own voters.

The problem is not that politicians are playing the game wrong, however, it is that activists are. The program advanced by NoLesVotes is to "punish" the main parties by assisting the PP to take power.  

by rootless2 on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 12:13:57 PM EST
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The main parties are punished by voting for the minor parties, in part because the absence of open primaries prevent people from "primarying" the socialists-in-name-only. That the right wing won is seen as an acceptable side effect of trying to vote out the bums on your own side.

But, also, in countries with adequate PR systems the left gets their seat share whether it's split 50-0 or 30-20, so there's no problem whatsoever with getting 15% of the vote.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 12:52:29 PM EST
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Do you think it worked? To me, and obviously I may be wrong, you still have a duopoly, but the worse side is now in power - and as you noted the PSOE leadership is excusing it own performance as due to exigencies.
by rootless2 on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 12:58:45 PM EST
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The PSOE leadership continue to work at lowering the chances I'll vote for them next time around by being self-righteous about being bastards.

And your point is?

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 07:21:01 PM EST
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>The problem is not that politicians are playing the game wrong, however, it is that activists are.<

That is an assertion you should try to prove.

Do you also think the electoral losses of 2010(democrats) and 2008 and 2006 (republicans) can be blamed on activists playing the game wrong? I would blame the economy, at least regarding 2010 and 2008.

The conservative irish government lost power too; I and conventional wisdom would explain that with the economic conditions. What is your explanation, Fianna fail activists staying at home?  

by IM on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 03:21:42 PM EST
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I think your views are extremely coloured by experience with majority first past the post system. In a proportional system, it's very possible for a small party to achieve more influence by being in opposition than being in government.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 02:01:45 PM EST
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