Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-15-2019, 03:48 AM
chappachula is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 5,850

Brits: what does the term "tactical voting" mean?


I see this concept mentioned, but don't understand it all.
Fight my ignorance, please.


Use short words, and American spelling, please.



I live on the other side of the planet, and normally don't care much about internal British politics.
but I'm interested in this election because, from far away, I like to watch clowns with bad hair, and Brexit is fascinating, like watching a disaster movie.
And also, more seriously, because Corbyn scares me to the depths of my soul. I'm trying to understand how the pundits analyze his loss; and they keep mentioning "tactical voting"
  #2  
Old 12-15-2019, 03:59 AM
Malden Capell is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: London
Posts: 2,396
We have the same voting system as you: first past the post. So the candidate with the most votes gets the seat. That could mean in a five-candidate competition that a winner is declared with 21% of the vote.

That winner may be utterly reviled by nearly every one of the other 74%. So tactical voting is the idea that you vote for the candidate best placed to prevented that reviled candidate from winning.

If it the polls showed:

Candidate A: 38%
Candidate B: 27%
Candidate C: 20%
Candidate D: 10%
Candidate E: 5%

with candidate A being the one B-E voters uniformly hate, then under tactical voting voters for candidates D and E at minimum could deliberately switch their votes for candidate B so B outnumbers A:

Candidate A: 38%
Candidate B: 40%
Candidate C: 20%
Candidate D: 1%
Candidate E: 1%

That's the theory, anyway. In a wider sense there have been websites that allow people in one constituency to say 'I'm a Labour voter but Labour can't beat the Tories here so I'l vote Lib Dem if someone else in [specific constituency] votes Labour, because Labour can win there'.

Tactical voting was the hope that the built-in gaming of FPTP that allows 43% of the votes (the final Tory result) to get a majority of seats in Parliament would be countered by an efficient distribution of Labour/LD/SNP/Green/PC votes. It failed.
  #3  
Old 12-15-2019, 05:04 AM
Velocity is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 16,615
Another non-Brit layman chiming in:

So is it like this - suppose you are a liberal American, and you have three candidates you can vote for for governor/Senator/president:

Trump, Bernie, and Biden........

....your dream candidate is Bernie, but you absolutely do NOT want Trump to win, and Bernie is lagging far behind Biden, so you vote for Biden instead? So instead of Bernie getting 15% of the vote, it turns into him getting only about 1% instead?

Last edited by Velocity; 12-15-2019 at 05:05 AM.
  #4  
Old 12-15-2019, 05:11 AM
Malden Capell is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: London
Posts: 2,396
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
Another non-Brit layman chiming in:

So is it like this - suppose you are a liberal American, and you have three candidates you can vote for for governor/Senator/president:

Trump, Bernie, and Biden........

....your dream candidate is Bernie, but you absolutely do NOT want Trump to win, and Bernie is lagging far behind Biden, so you vote for Biden instead? So instead of Bernie getting 15% of the vote, it turns into him getting only about 1% instead?

That's the idea yeah.

If tactical voting had been a thing in the US in 2000 perhaps Nader voters would have voted tactically for Gore and history would have been quite different.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  #5  
Old 12-15-2019, 05:52 AM
Aspidistra is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 6,022
Tactical voting is what everyone who's ever voted in a primary with "Because this one has a better chance to beat the other side" as their reason is doing
__________________
Science created the modern world. Politics is doing its best to destroy it.
  #6  
Old 12-15-2019, 10:12 AM
CarnalK's Avatar
CarnalK is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 19,387
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aspidistra View Post
Tactical voting is what everyone who's ever voted in a primary with "Because this one has a better chance to beat the other side" as their reason is doing
No, that's just straight up voting for the best candidate.

A simple description: In your local district, you like Party A, hate Party B and neutral on Party C. Voting tactically, you would decide on Party A or Party C based on which was more likely to win the district and deny the seat to Party B.

Last edited by CarnalK; 12-15-2019 at 10:13 AM.
  #7  
Old 12-15-2019, 10:33 AM
Little Nemo is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 84,403
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarnalK View Post
No, that's just straight up voting for the best candidate.

A simple description: In your local district, you like Party A, hate Party B and neutral on Party C. Voting tactically, you would decide on Party A or Party C based on which was more likely to win the district and deny the seat to Party B.
No, straight up voting for the best candidate would be voting for whichever candidate you like the best with no consideration for their chances of winning the election.

What a tactical voter thinks is something like "I think Smith is a better candidate than Jones or Carter. But Jones is okay while Carter is terrible. And Smith's a marginal candidate while Jones and Carter are running neck and neck. So while I think Smith is better, I'm going to vote for Jones because I want to make sure Carter doesn't win."
  #8  
Old 12-15-2019, 10:35 AM
Little Nemo is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 84,403
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aspidistra View Post
Tactical voting is what everyone who's ever voted in a primary with "Because this one has a better chance to beat the other side" as their reason is doing
It can also be the opposite. Some tactical voters might put on a false flag and register with the party they oppose for primary voting purposes. And then vote for the opposing candidate who they think will be least likely to beat their real candidate in the general election.
  #9  
Old 12-15-2019, 10:39 AM
CarnalK's Avatar
CarnalK is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 19,387
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
No, straight up voting for the best candidate would be voting for whichever candidate you like the best with no consideration for their chances of winning the election.

What a tactical voter thinks is something like "I think Smith is a better candidate than Jones or Carter. But Jones is okay while Carter is terrible. And Smith's a marginal candidate while Jones and Carter are running neck and neck. So while I think Smith is better, I'm going to vote for Jones because I want to make sure Carter doesn't win."
The phrase is just generally not used that way. I've always seen it exclusively applied to the situation I described not to every time a strategy is part of your candidate selection.
  #10  
Old 12-15-2019, 11:00 AM
CarnalK's Avatar
CarnalK is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 19,387
Though your example is basically what I said only with names instead of parties and a bunch more verbiage. But voting for Biden in the primary because you think he's more likely to win in the general would not be called strategic voting.
  #11  
Old 12-15-2019, 11:35 AM
dalej42 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 15,745
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aspidistra View Post
Tactical voting is what everyone who's ever voted in a primary with "Because this one has a better chance to beat the other side" as their reason is doing
This is incorrect, at least for the Democratic primaries and caucuses. Voting for your candidate of choice can help him or her earn delegates even if they donít win. And of course, top 3 finishes also help with fundraising. All Democratic primaries allocate delegates proportionally.

I wonít speak for the Republicans as they change their primary rules fairly often. But, in 2016 tactical voting may have helped stop Trump with all those winner take all and winner take most primaries. Trump racked up delegates with small pluralities. The problem in 2016 is that there was never just one strong Ďnot Trumpí candidate.

In the U.K. election, it meant someone choosing between Labour and the Liberal Democratic Party or Labour and the SNP. Allowing two parties on the left to split the vote while the right had only the Tories would mean a Tory win even if more left votes were cast.

Similar situation in Canada where voters sometimes have to choose between the Liberal party or the NDP.
__________________
Twitter:@Stardales IG:@Dalej42 He/Him/His
  #12  
Old 12-15-2019, 04:28 PM
Little Nemo is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 84,403
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarnalK View Post
The phrase is just generally not used that way. I've always seen it exclusively applied to the situation I described not to every time a strategy is part of your candidate selection.
I disagree. I've seen the term tactical voting used for what I described. It can be used to cover any situation where you're voting for somebody other than the candidate who would be your first choice in an ideal situation.
  #13  
Old 12-15-2019, 08:22 PM
Aspidistra is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 6,022
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalej42 View Post
This is incorrect, at least for the Democratic primaries and caucuses. Voting for your candidate of choice can help him or her earn delegates even if they donít win. And of course, top 3 finishes also help with fundraising. All Democratic primaries allocate delegates proportionally.
If you're voting for 'your candidate of choice' meaning the person you honestly think would make the best president of all, then yes, that's not tactical.

If you've looked at all the candidates and say "well, I think Sanders would make the best president, but I'm afraid his socialism would put too many Independents off and Trump might win, so I'm going to vote for Biden" - that's tactical.

Obviously the specific tactics you use depends on what you're voting for. But the constant discussions about 'electability' that crop up in every discussions of every aspect of the Presidential race - that's tactical. You're making a decision on something other than who is the best person for the job.
  #14  
Old 12-16-2019, 02:48 AM
CarnalK's Avatar
CarnalK is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 19,387
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
I disagree. I've seen the term tactical voting used for what I described. It can be used to cover any situation where you're voting for somebody other than the candidate who would be your first choice in an ideal situation.
I don't think so. You may have seen someone say "voting" and "tactical" in the same sentence but what the OP is asking about is as I describe in a parliamentary election context.
  #15  
Old 12-16-2019, 03:18 AM
Little Nemo is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 84,403
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarnalK View Post
I don't think so. You may have seen someone say "voting" and "tactical" in the same sentence but what the OP is asking about is as I describe in a parliamentary election context.
Okay, I'm confused.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarnalK View Post
No, that's just straight up voting for the best candidate.

A simple description: In your local district, you like Party A, hate Party B and neutral on Party C. Voting tactically, you would decide on Party A or Party C based on which was more likely to win the district and deny the seat to Party B.
In your example, you like Party A and you're neutral on Party C. But you're voting for Party C. How is this straight up voting for the best candidate? According to your beliefs, the Party A candidate is the best candidate. But you didn't vote for him.
  #16  
Old 12-16-2019, 04:06 AM
CarnalK's Avatar
CarnalK is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 19,387
You completely mixed up what I said there. The first part was replying to the idea that voting for an electable person in the Democratic primary was an example of "tactical voting". It's not. It's a tactical voting decision but not whats meant by "tactical voting" in parliamentary elections. The second part was what tactical/strategic voting actually means in FPTP/district representation/multiparty/parliament discussions.

Last edited by CarnalK; 12-16-2019 at 04:07 AM.
  #17  
Old 12-16-2019, 05:14 AM
Wrenching Spanners is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: London
Posts: 777
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
No, straight up voting for the best candidate would be voting for whichever candidate you like the best with no consideration for their chances of winning the election.

What a tactical voter thinks is something like "I think Smith is a better candidate than Jones or Carter. But Jones is okay while Carter is terrible. And Smith's a marginal candidate while Jones and Carter are running neck and neck. So while I think Smith is better, I'm going to vote for Jones because I want to make sure Carter doesn't win."
This is correct. Tactical voting is when a voter selects a candidate to ensure that a disliked candidate loses, rather than voting for their favourite candidate.

From the BBC:
Quote:
Put simply, tactical voting is when any of the UK's voters chooses to back a candidate they wouldn't normally support. This is done in the hope of stopping another candidate winning.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-50249649
  #18  
Old 12-16-2019, 08:11 AM
Novelty Bobble is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: South East England
Posts: 9,494
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrenching Spanners View Post
This is correct. Tactical voting is when a voter selects a candidate to ensure that a disliked candidate loses, rather than voting for their favourite candidate.
Yeah, that's my understanding and it would be an applicable term for any sort of voting. "Boaty McBoatface" was a good example where people weren't seriously wanting or expecting the ship to be christened with that name but did want the amusement of seeing the name come top.
__________________
I'm saving this space for the first good insult hurled my way
  #19  
Old 12-16-2019, 08:25 AM
Scougs is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Posts: 716
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrenching Spanners View Post
This is correct. Tactical voting is when a voter selects a candidate to ensure that a disliked candidate loses, rather than voting for their favourite candidate.
Even then, I would say it's not quite as simple as that. The election last week was all about Brexit. The party lines were:

Conservative: get Brexit done
Labour: hum.... ermmm..... we'll figure out a Brexit deal, then take it back to the country in another referendum, and go with whatever that decides. (But Corbyn will remain neutral and not back either side).
Liberal Democrats: no Brexit
SNP: no Brexit
Green: no Brexit
Brexit Party: clue in the name
UKIP: pro Brexit

In my constituency, the last election was pretty close between SNP and Conservative, with SNP winning. If you were anti Brexit, and normally vote Labour or Liberal Democrat, you would probably have voted SNP - not because you specifically want to stop the Conservative candidate, but because the Labour or Liberal Democrat candidate is unlikely to win, and the SNP agree with your choice on this one huge issue.

Tactical voting also comes into play with the minority parties. Anyone who strongly believes in the Green Party has two choices:

vote Green, knowing that there is no chance your party will win the seat, but it will maybe "send a message" that if enough people vote for them that Green issues are important, or
vote for the mainstream party with a chance of winning whose policies broadly align with some of the Green Party's

It's a subtle difference from "stop the Conservatives at all costs" to "this party broadly aligns with my values and might win the seat", but an important one.
  #20  
Old 12-17-2019, 01:36 AM
Northern Piper is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: The snow is back, dammit!
Posts: 30,527
Yes, it's not necessarily "stop A!".

It's more along the lines of:

"I've got three choices, and I want to be sure a candidate gets elected who most closely reflects my views.

A doesn't align at all with my views.

B aligns very closely with my views, but hasn't a snowball's chance in my riding.

C aligns more closely with my views than A does, and has a better chance of getting elected than B, even though B is closer to my own views than C is.

I'll vote for C, because I want someone in office closer to my views than A is, even though B lines up more closely."

I've never understood why "tactical voting" is frowned upon by poli sci types and commentators. There's the phrase: "politics is the art of the possible".

Just as we expect our politicians to be able to do horse-trading to get something done, even if it's not perfect, why the disdain for voters who individually make that same kind of choice, to ensure that their views are at least partially represented in Parliament?
__________________
"I don't like to make plans for the day. If I do, that's when words like 'premeditated' start getting thrown around in the courtroom."
  #21  
Old 12-17-2019, 09:54 AM
Scougs is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Posts: 716
Northern Piper, you put it much more clearly than me.

As for why "tactical voting" is frowned upon, I think it boils down to the fact that it can maintain the status quo.

For many years, I voted Labour. I really, really wanted to vote SNP, but I figured the SNP candidate had no chance of winning (and that certainly appeared to be the case), and Labour were my second choice.

Here's my constituency through the years: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edinbu..._constituency)

You'll see that in 2005, SNP came fourth with 10% of the vote. Given that fact, in 2010, a vote for the SNP felt like a wasted vote, and again they came in fourth, with 12% of the vote. I voted Labour both times.

But what if there were thousands of people thinking exactly the same, and them all voting tactically was what was keeping the SNP from winning the seat?

It may well have been the case, because - just like all over Scotland - I switched to voting SNP in the "referendum backlash" election in 2015.
  #22  
Old 12-17-2019, 11:30 AM
Northern Piper is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: The snow is back, dammit!
Posts: 30,527
My reply is that the third party has to do a better job presenting its positions to the electorate, to the point that voters at least think there’s a chance for them to win.
__________________
"I don't like to make plans for the day. If I do, that's when words like 'premeditated' start getting thrown around in the courtroom."
  #23  
Old 12-17-2019, 05:20 PM
Northern Piper is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: The snow is back, dammit!
Posts: 30,527
Iíve voted in constituencies where it was a horse race between three candidates.
__________________
"I don't like to make plans for the day. If I do, that's when words like 'premeditated' start getting thrown around in the courtroom."
  #24  
Old 12-17-2019, 08:36 PM
RickJay is offline
Charter Jays Fan
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Oakville, Canada
Posts: 42,261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malden Capell View Post
Tactical voting was the hope that the built-in gaming of FPTP that allows 43% of the votes (the final Tory result) to get a majority of seats in Parliament would be countered by an efficient distribution of Labour/LD/SNP/Green/PC votes. It failed.
Of course it did; Prisoner's Dilemma. Since you have no way to compel cooperation, it cannot work. Everyone's motivated to SAY they''ll cooperate but not actually change their vote.
__________________
Providing useless posts since 1999!
  #25  
Old 12-17-2019, 09:36 PM
Dr. Strangelove's Avatar
Dr. Strangelove is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 8,346
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper View Post
I've never understood why "tactical voting" is frowned upon by poli sci types and commentators. There's the phrase: "politics is the art of the possible".
The problem is that you lose information. We want votes to express a true preference. But we also don't want to elect a candidate that everyone but a plurality despises.

It's not so much tactical voting that's frowned up on as the system that requires it: FPTP voting. It wouldn't be an issue with ranked choice, etc.

At any rate, it seems to me that in the US, non-tactical voters get more ire. It was the Bernie bros this time around. More often, it's some third party spoiler that gets blamed for the outcome.
  #26  
Old 12-26-2019, 02:31 PM
UltraVires is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bridgeport, WV, US
Posts: 16,467
The act, if not the term, has a much longer pedigree than that. I remember it as far back as 1996 and it happens a lot in party primaries. Imagine that three candidates, Smith, Jones, and Davis are all running to be their party's nominee for a state office.

The first poll comes out showing the following: Smith 41%, Jones, 40%, Davis 19%. After this poll, Davis might as well drop out because his support vanishes. Voters who care about the race discard Davis and then decide which of the candidates Smith or Jones they prefer because they want to influence the outcome. Only the tried and true Davis converts remain.

There are exceptions (such as Perot in 1992) where Davis might not drop because of a rift in the party or a general hatred of both Smith and Jones, but it has long been a phenomenon in party primaries to vote in a way that matters. If I mostly dislike Smith, somewhat like Jones, but LOOOVE Davis, in the scenario presented, I would probably vote for Jones just so I can beat Smith.
  #27  
Old 12-26-2019, 02:34 PM
UltraVires is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bridgeport, WV, US
Posts: 16,467
Speaking of which and I hope it is not too much of a hijack, I assume that there are no party primaries in the UK. How does one get on the ballot? Say I am a Conservative minded voter in Northscunthropeshire West (made up but sounds like a goofy UK parliamentary district) and I wish to run for the seat. Suppose:

1) A Conservative is a current MP and is running for re-election.
2) A Conservative is a current MP and is not running for re-election
3) Another party holds the seat.

Can I get on the ballot as a Conservative? Can I get on as long as I identify as another party? Is it hard to get on?

Last edited by UltraVires; 12-26-2019 at 02:34 PM.
  #28  
Old 12-26-2019, 02:45 PM
Northern Piper is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: The snow is back, dammit!
Posts: 30,527
Hereís a BBC article on the process:

https://www.bbc.com/news/election-2019-50250829
__________________
"I don't like to make plans for the day. If I do, that's when words like 'premeditated' start getting thrown around in the courtroom."
  #29  
Old 12-26-2019, 03:04 PM
Northern Piper is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: The snow is back, dammit!
Posts: 30,527
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Strangelove View Post
The problem is that you lose information. We want votes to express a true preference. But we also don't want to elect a candidate that everyone but a plurality despises.
But that seems very abstract and a bit patronizing. Voting isnít to give information to poli-sci wonks. Itís to give the voters the opportunity to choose their representative. And voters can be sophisticated and pragmatic in evaluating their choices. ďPolitics is the art of the possible.Ē That applies to voters just as much as elected officials. Iíve made choices in multi-party races by a combination of policies and likelihood of different candidates winning. That choice has always been my true preference.

Quote:
It's not so much tactical voting that's frowned up on as the system that requires it: FPTP voting. It wouldn't be an issue with ranked choice, etc.
Eh? Ranked choice voting is a system for tactical voting. Suppose thereís five candidates running. I despise candidate X and will do anything to defeat him. I may vote for A first, even though I know she wonít win, because her views match mine really closely.

Then iíll cast votes for G, and H, and M, in descending order of my views, and wonít give a fifth vote to X, because I donít want him to win.

Thatís just as much tactical voting as in FPTP.
__________________
"I don't like to make plans for the day. If I do, that's when words like 'premeditated' start getting thrown around in the courtroom."
  #30  
Old 12-26-2019, 03:07 PM
dalej42 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 15,745
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
Speaking of which and I hope it is not too much of a hijack, I assume that there are no party primaries in the UK. How does one get on the ballot? Say I am a Conservative minded voter in Northscunthropeshire West (made up but sounds like a goofy UK parliamentary district) and I wish to run for the seat. Suppose:

1) A Conservative is a current MP and is running for re-election.
2) A Conservative is a current MP and is not running for re-election
3) Another party holds the seat.

Can I get on the ballot as a Conservative? Can I get on as long as I identify as another party? Is it hard to get on?
Nope. You have to be selected as the candidate by the local party. That was constantly an issue with Labour MPs threatened with deselection if they didnít worship Corbyn.
__________________
Twitter:@Stardales IG:@Dalej42 He/Him/His
  #31  
Old 12-26-2019, 03:19 PM
UltraVires is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bridgeport, WV, US
Posts: 16,467
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper View Post
Here’s a BBC article on the process:

https://www.bbc.com/news/election-2019-50250829
Very interesting. Thank you. It seems that the parties have full control over who appears under their banner, much like the old smoke filled room system of early 20th century U.S. Presidential politics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper View Post
Eh? Ranked choice voting is a system for tactical voting. Suppose there’s five candidates running. I despise candidate X and will do anything to defeat him. I may vote for A first, even though I know she won’t win, because her views match mine really closely.

Then i’ll cast votes for G, and H, and M, in descending order of my views, and won’t give a fifth vote to X, because I don’t want him to win.

That’s just as much tactical voting as in FPTP.
Right. There are other ways to game it. Suppose I have a choice between Bush, Gore, Nader, Buchanan, Hitler Jr. and Stalin Jr. Further suppose that in truth, I would rank the candidates in order of: Buchanan, Bush, Gore, and Nader with Hitler Jr. and Stalin Jr. tied for last.

But I know that the final vote will come down to Bush and Gore so I vote: Bush, Nader, Hitler Jr., Stalin Jr., Buchanan and Gore. That way I give most possible points for Bush and the least possible for Gore. I push Buchanan (my preferred candidate) near the bottom so he doesn't screw up the guy I think can/should win (Bush) and push Nader towards the top in hopes that he screws up Gore.

That is tactical voting as well.

Last edited by UltraVires; 12-26-2019 at 03:21 PM.
  #32  
Old 12-26-2019, 03:20 PM
UltraVires is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bridgeport, WV, US
Posts: 16,467
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalej42 View Post
Nope. You have to be selected as the candidate by the local party. That was constantly an issue with Labour MPs threatened with deselection if they didnít worship Corbyn.
That's another question I had. Who is "the local party"? Are they selected by the people?
  #33  
Old 12-26-2019, 03:27 PM
Northern Piper is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: The snow is back, dammit!
Posts: 30,527
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalej42 View Post
Nope. You have to be selected as the candidate by the local party. That was constantly an issue with Labour MPs threatened with deselection if they didn’t worship Corbyn.
Works the other way too, not just for Labour. Twenty Tory MPs were deselected for voting against the Government in the last stages of the parliamentary manoeuvres on Brexit, including Grieve (former AG) and Hammond (former Chancellor of the Exchequer). Grieve didn’t stand in the general. Hammond did, and cake second as an independent, which is a pretty strong showing.
__________________
"I don't like to make plans for the day. If I do, that's when words like 'premeditated' start getting thrown around in the courtroom."

Last edited by Northern Piper; 12-26-2019 at 03:27 PM.
  #34  
Old 12-26-2019, 03:33 PM
Aspidistra is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 6,022
The difference between Westminster-style 'chosen by the branch' and US-style 'primaries' is mostly in who gets a vote.

In 'primaries', there's a bunch of people deciding on the local (say) Republican candidate whose qualification for being a part of the decision is 'I ticked a box once to say I liked this party better than other parties'

In Westminster politics, branches choosing candidates can (and sometimes do) function exactly the same way, except that your qualification for being part of the decision making process is much stricter - you have to choose to sign up as a real member of your party-of-choice, pay dues every year, and possibly also have been a member for long enough before the choosing date that you're allowed to vote. So only people who are REALLY invested in that party take part in the decision, rather than all the people who vaguely like it more than another choice (or say they do)

Since parties have complete control over their selection process, they don't have to have a vote of members - they can just devolve it to a selection committee. But letting your branch members have a free vote on candidates is a good way to encourage more people to become members of your party
  #35  
Old 12-26-2019, 03:48 PM
penultima thule is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 3,419
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aspidistra View Post
But letting your branch members have a free vote on candidates is a good way to encourage more people to become members of your party
Which in turn opens up the ancient and black art of branch stacking.
  #36  
Old 12-26-2019, 03:50 PM
Aspidistra is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 6,022
Just to throw out some numbers, a quick Google tells me that the current membership of the Australian Liberal Party (our version of the Conservatives) is 80,000. That represents about 0.5% of the registered voters of this country. All of these people will get a vote on who goes on the ballot in their local area as the Liberal candidate at the next election (Federal or State). Anyone can become one of these people, but in practice you have to care enough about the party and have enough identification with the party to be bothered - and hardly anyone does.

If you REALLY want to be selected as the next Liberal candidate for BackoBourke division, one thing you can do is to persuade a few hundred of your mates to join the local branch just in time to vote for you when candidates are selected. This process is known as 'branch stacking' and is highly disfavoured

ETA: how'd that ninja get into our party meeting?

Last edited by Aspidistra; 12-26-2019 at 03:51 PM.
  #37  
Old 12-26-2019, 03:59 PM
Northern Piper is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: The snow is back, dammit!
Posts: 30,527
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
That's another question I had. Who is "the local party"? Are they selected by the people?
Not a Brit myself, obviously, but my understanding is that each party has a constituency organization in each constituency. Only party members can belong to a constituency org, by signing up and paying a membership fee. Once youíre a member of the constituency org, you have a vote on business matters. I donít know if nominations are by a nominating committee within the constituency org, or by all members of the org.

This model of party nominations is designed to create parties with consistent ideologies. Parties in parliamentary systems tend to have parties with more clearly defined ideologies than is the case in the US.

On your third question, you donít need to be nominated by a party to stand for election in Britain. To be nominated as an independent candidate, you just need to file a document nominating you, signed by 10 individuals who were on the electoral rolls for the constituency in the last election. You also need to fill out a form with your personal contact info, and a signed consent to the nomination. Plus a deposit of £500.

Bobís your uncle, youíre on the ballot.

https://www.electoralcommission.org....-candidate.pdf

And there arenít sore loser laws, like there are in the US. If youíre denied nomination by the party, that doesnít keep you off the ballot. You either stand as an independent, as Hammond did, or see if some other party will nominate you. Failing to be nominated by a party canít deprive you of the fundamental right to seek election to Parliament.
__________________
"I don't like to make plans for the day. If I do, that's when words like 'premeditated' start getting thrown around in the courtroom."
  #38  
Old 12-26-2019, 04:12 PM
Northern Piper is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: The snow is back, dammit!
Posts: 30,527
Quote:
Originally Posted by penultima thule View Post
Which in turn opens up the ancient and black art of branch stacking.
We call that ďInsta-ToriesĒ and ďInsta-GritsĒ here in the north. There have been cases where a couple of busloads full of people have pulled up at the last minute at the nomination meeting, and an agent for one of the candidates for the nomination has marched up to the desk with a list of all their names and bought memberships for two busloads of people, in cash. Naturally, they voted as blocs for that candidate.

But , to their credit, the parties have been taking measures to reduce that. Now, you have to buy your membership in person, pay for it by cheque or credit card with your own name on the account, and do so a couple of weeks before the nomination meeting. That helps ensure that the party members are committed to the party, and that everyone knows the voting roll in advance.
__________________
"I don't like to make plans for the day. If I do, that's when words like 'premeditated' start getting thrown around in the courtroom."
  #39  
Old 12-26-2019, 04:16 PM
UltraVires is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bridgeport, WV, US
Posts: 16,467
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper View Post
But that seems very abstract and a bit patronizing. Voting isnít to give information to poli-sci wonks. Itís to give the voters the opportunity to choose their representative. And voters can be sophisticated and pragmatic in evaluating their choices. ďPolitics is the art of the possible.Ē That applies to voters just as much as elected officials. Iíve made choices in multi-party races by a combination of policies and likelihood of different candidates winning. That choice has always been my true preference.
Agreed. And I think this is an important feature of voting in a modern democracy. It keeps churning the candidates and keeps the electoral system and keeping two mainstream parties which represent honest and good faith disagreements and healthy arguments.

When one of these mainstream parties get out of whack the system reacts and things move back towards balance.

Before anyone says that cannot be true because Trump, let's put aside our disagreements about Trump and look at recent history. There are many times in my short life where I've heard that either the Dems or Reps were so "extreme" that they were going to go extinct. But it doesn't happen.

When the Dems went too far with Roosevelt, we had Eisenhower. When the GOP went too far with Goldwater, we got Johnson then Nixon and Carter. When Carter went too far we got Reagan. When Mondale and Dukakis went too far, we got a moderate like Clinton. Then the Dems ignored the white middle class too much and we got Trump. If Trump has gone too far, then we will see the Dems (either in 2020 or 2024, 2028 or soon enough) respond with a candidate that not only respects minority rights but the forgotten white middle class as well. When parties ignore or fail to respond to the reason for losses, they stay in the wilderness for a while.

This correction can only happen with consensus voting. If we have people only voting for extreme right and extreme left (and indeed Ranked Choice Voting encourages that), then nothing changes and we stay at a polarizing stalemate. Tactical voting gets people used to compromise.
  #40  
Old 12-26-2019, 04:23 PM
CarnalK's Avatar
CarnalK is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 19,387
You guys completely missed the point. He meant "more information" for the actual practical decision of who the people want as a leader. Why in the world would you think he meant "information for poli sci wonks"? That's fucking ridiculous.
  #41  
Old 12-26-2019, 04:26 PM
UltraVires is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bridgeport, WV, US
Posts: 16,467
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper View Post
Not a Brit myself, obviously, but my understanding is that each party has a constituency organization in each constituency. Only party members can belong to a constituency org, by signing up and paying a membership fee. Once youíre a member of the constituency org, you have a vote on business matters. I donít know if nominations are by a nominating committee within the constituency org, or by all members of the org.

This model of party nominations is designed to create parties with consistent ideologies. Parties in parliamentary systems tend to have parties with more clearly defined ideologies than is the case in the US.

On your third question, you donít need to be nominated by a party to stand for election in Britain. To be nominated as an independent candidate, you just need to file a document nominating you, signed by 10 individuals who were on the electoral rolls for the constituency in the last election. You also need to fill out a form with your personal contact info, and a signed consent to the nomination. Plus a deposit of £500.

Bobís your uncle, youíre on the ballot.

https://www.electoralcommission.org....-candidate.pdf

And there arenít sore loser laws, like there are in the US. If youíre denied nomination by the party, that doesnít keep you off the ballot. You either stand as an independent, as Hammond did, or see if some other party will nominate you. Failing to be nominated by a party canít deprive you of the fundamental right to seek election to Parliament.
Thanks again. There seems to be a lot of merit in the Westminster-style parliamentary "primary" system, but as I am just learning about it, I am still asking questions and not criticizing anything.

However, one thing popped out, and I've heard the complaint before, that the US cannot have a real/true/effective party structure because our primaries allow anyone who simply checks the box for membership in a political party to vote in that primary (indeed some states even have open primaries) thereby making the choices of the voters in that primary not necessarily the true "choice" of that particular political party.

But it seems to me that the same could be said of the UK constituency organizations except that they must pay money for the privilege. Why couldn't it be said that instead of having an unintelligible hodge-podge of ideas voting for primary candidates as is done in the US, in the UK they simply have a rich unintelligible hodge-podge of ideas represented in their constituency organizations selecting candidates?
  #42  
Old 12-26-2019, 04:26 PM
Aspidistra is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 6,022
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
If we have people only voting for extreme right and extreme left (and indeed Ranked Choice Voting encourages that)
It really doesn't. Sure, the 5% who really like the Trotsky-Marxist Party or the White Peeple Forevah Party can keep voting for them happily till the cows come home ... but since the moderate majority are never ever going to vote that way, all these people have to choose someone more moderate as their second choice.

You can be as extreme as you like and get voted for ... but you have to be moderate to get an actual seat
  #43  
Old 12-26-2019, 05:18 PM
PatrickLondon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: London
Posts: 3,798
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
But it seems to me that the same could be said of the UK constituency organizations except that they must pay money for the privilege. Why couldn't it be said that instead of having an unintelligible hodge-podge of ideas voting for primary candidates as is done in the US, in the UK they simply have a rich unintelligible hodge-podge of ideas represented in their constituency organizations selecting candidates?
You don't actually have to be rich to become a voting member of a party in the UK. I believe subscriptions can be of the order of £25 a year or so, with lower rates for the less well off.

Nor does being a member and participating in choosing a candidate mean that, if elected, that candidate (now MP) can act as a political loose cannon. Each party has its own arrangements for formal policy-making year by year, but the manifesto on which a party fights an election is decided centrally. Parties' policy-making processes have changed over time; but whatever the rank and file members may vote for in their regular conferences and/or ongoing policy forums, and whatever ideas individual MPs might push for, are not ipso facto what the party leadership will commit itself to in its manifesto, still less what will actually come forward in each year's legislative programme if they should form the government.

What I find hard to grasp about the US system is a sense of who and what constitutes the ongoing identity and leadership of a party in the absence of a presidential candidate (i.e., most of the time). In our system, a leadership election may well be a battle royal over the soul and identity of the party, but once decided, there is a leader and leadership team deciding (usually) the party line on whatever topic, which its MPs are expected to vote for, whether in government or opposition, or even as a small minor party. That remains the case until there is a vacancy, which is filled as soon as practicable: Westminster politics abhors a vacuum.
  #44  
Old 12-26-2019, 05:24 PM
Northern Piper is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: The snow is back, dammit!
Posts: 30,527
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarnalK View Post
You guys completely missed the point. He meant "more information" for the actual practical decision of who the people want as a leader. Why in the world would you think he meant "information for poli sci wonks"? That's fucking ridiculous.
But the results of poll give you that. If 45% of the voters voted in one constituency voted for A, 30% voted for B, and 25% voted for C, that is the snapshot of who the voters in that constituency thought should form government. What more information do you need?
__________________
"I don't like to make plans for the day. If I do, that's when words like 'premeditated' start getting thrown around in the courtroom."
  #45  
Old 12-26-2019, 05:30 PM
UltraVires is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bridgeport, WV, US
Posts: 16,467
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickLondon View Post
You don't actually have to be rich to become a voting member of a party in the UK. I believe subscriptions can be of the order of £25 a year or so, with lower rates for the less well off.

Nor does being a member and participating in choosing a candidate mean that, if elected, that candidate (now MP) can act as a political loose cannon. Each party has its own arrangements for formal policy-making year by year, but the manifesto on which a party fights an election is decided centrally. Parties' policy-making processes have changed over time; but whatever the rank and file members may vote for in their regular conferences and/or ongoing policy forums, and whatever ideas individual MPs might push for, are not ipso facto what the party leadership will commit itself to in its manifesto, still less what will actually come forward in each year's legislative programme if they should form the government.

What I find hard to grasp about the US system is a sense of who and what constitutes the ongoing identity and leadership of a party in the absence of a presidential candidate (i.e., most of the time). In our system, a leadership election may well be a battle royal over the soul and identity of the party, but once decided, there is a leader and leadership team deciding (usually) the party line on whatever topic, which its MPs are expected to vote for, whether in government or opposition, or even as a small minor party. That remains the case until there is a vacancy, which is filled as soon as practicable: Westminster politics abhors a vacuum.
Interesting. Thank you. Two followup questions if I may:

1) What percentage of voters and/or voting age population become voting members of the party in their own constituency? And if I pay the 25 pounds for membership, do I get to vote in a "primary" where my party's MP is selected? Is my vote on equal footing with other members/the national party or is it something where my vote counts peanuts, but Boris Johnson/Jeremy Corbyn has 80% of the vote while the remaining 20% is given to the whole of the lowly 25 pounds per year member?

In your opinion, does this system tend to shut out moderates as only the most vocal are likely to pay money and get involved in party politics?

2) How does a voter or group of voters go about changing a party platform? Let's say I am a Tory. Neither the Tories nor Labour are in favor of a particular issue. I won't even go into hypotheticals because they cause side debates, so we will call it Issue X. My position on issue X is further to the right than the Tories are willing to go, and certainly too far right for Labour (or any other party). Can I (and others who think like me) join my local constituency and have a vote on what the party thinks of Issue X?

What if my local constituency votes to support Issue X? Is that allowed or can the national party shut that down straight away? If so, what can I do to persuade the national party to support Issue X?
  #46  
Old 12-26-2019, 05:36 PM
Northern Piper is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: The snow is back, dammit!
Posts: 30,527
Following up on Patrick London’s point, last time i checked (for a different SDMB thread, as it happens), the party fees in Canada were roughly comparable; ranged from $10 to $25, I think. Parties want to encourage as much membership as possible, because the more members they have, the more door-knockers and telephone-ringers they have for the campaign.
__________________
"I don't like to make plans for the day. If I do, that's when words like 'premeditated' start getting thrown around in the courtroom."
  #47  
Old 12-26-2019, 05:36 PM
PatrickLondon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: London
Posts: 3,798
@UlteaVires - I'd have to think a bit more about that and come back on those questions later tomorrow (bedtime now, and I'm travelling tomorrow morning).
  #48  
Old 12-26-2019, 05:44 PM
UltraVires is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bridgeport, WV, US
Posts: 16,467
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper View Post
Following up on Patrick Londonís point, last time i checked (for a different SDMB thread, as it happens), the party fees in Canada were roughly comparable; ranged from $10 to $25, I think. Parties want to encourage as much membership as possible, because the more members they have, the more door-knockers and telephone-ringers they have for the campaign.
Ah, so Canada does it the same way? If you are a party member do you have "primaries" where you get a vote for the party's nominee?

Is the second part really true? Are there continuing requirements (like door knocking) for membership? Can I pay my $10 to $25 just so I can have a say in the "primary" and have a pretty certificate to hang on my wall, or does it come with the responsibility to go door to door with the consequence that I am out of the constituency if I don't meet my duties?
  #49  
Old 12-26-2019, 05:49 PM
dalej42 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 15,745
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickLondon View Post
You don't actually have to be rich to become a voting member of a party in the UK. I believe subscriptions can be of the order of £25 a year or so, with lower rates for the less well off.

Nor does being a member and participating in choosing a candidate mean that, if elected, that candidate (now MP) can act as a political loose cannon. Each party has its own arrangements for formal policy-making year by year, but the manifesto on which a party fights an election is decided centrally. Parties' policy-making processes have changed over time; but whatever the rank and file members may vote for in their regular conferences and/or ongoing policy forums, and whatever ideas individual MPs might push for, are not ipso facto what the party leadership will commit itself to in its manifesto, still less what will actually come forward in each year's legislative programme if they should form the government.

What I find hard to grasp about the US system is a sense of who and what constitutes the ongoing identity and leadership of a party in the absence of a presidential candidate (i.e., most of the time). In our system, a leadership election may well be a battle royal over the soul and identity of the party, but once decided, there is a leader and leadership team deciding (usually) the party line on whatever topic, which its MPs are expected to vote for, whether in government or opposition, or even as a small minor party. That remains the case until there is a vacancy, which is filled as soon as practicable: Westminster politics abhors a vacuum.
That’s always been a feature of US politics. In the 1920s you’d have Democratic candidates in the south running against rum and Romanism while the Democratic Presidential candidate opposed prohibition and was a Catholic.
__________________
Twitter:@Stardales IG:@Dalej42 He/Him/His

Last edited by dalej42; 12-26-2019 at 05:49 PM.
  #50  
Old 12-26-2019, 06:15 PM
Baron Greenback's Avatar
Baron Greenback is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Scotland
Posts: 12,095
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
Are there continuing requirements (like door knocking) for membership? Can I pay my $10 to $25 just so I can have a say in the "primary" and have a pretty certificate to hang on my wall, or does it come with the responsibility to go door to door with the consequence that I am out of the constituency if I don't meet my duties?
In the UK there's no obligation attached to party membership. You do get a hell of a lot of emails though.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:09 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017