What should somebody vote if he doesn't agree 100% with the party line?

For example, suppose there’s somebody who is pro choice, pro gay marriage, pro gun and pro death penalty. The first who are traditionally supported by democrats while the other two by republicans. Now what should that person vote? :confused:

The answer is that you should vote Democrat. What was the question again?

This is one of the joys of not being a member of a political party:

Vote as you please. Vote for who you think will be the best candidate for the office in question.

I generally stay out of Great Debates but here is my take on your question. I didn’t vote in the last election. My dad’s simple wisdom and not wanting to push his political views off on me said this…“It doesn’t matter who you vote for, just get out there and exercise your right to vote”. So I registered when I went to update my license and it was very easy to do. See you at the polls come November.

Just please do us the courtesy of having at least a vaguely informed opinion when you do it. :slight_smile:

Simple answer: It depends on which issues are more important to that voter. It also depends on what issues are going to be the most debated in the coming years. For example, if abortion rights and the death penalty are the most important issues on your agenda, and the political climate is such that it looks like abortion rights are going to be heavily challenged soon, but that the death penalty is on the back burner, you might want to support the candidate for abortion rights.

It also VERY much depends on the individual candidate. He or she may vary a good deal from the official party line. Research the candidate, not just the party.

It also nearly goes without saying that he or she also might be a complete putz, totally aside from the hot-button issues. If you’ve got a man in the running who’s platform follows your beliefs to a T, but shows no financial or political acumen, is a horrible speaker, charges hookers to his credit card*, makes fun of small children in public, goes on week-long drunks, beats his wife, etc., you may decide it’s better to hold your nose and vote for someone else.

*Jerry Springer did this, in Cincinnati, I’m told.

Easy question - they should vote Republican, and then use the easy to get legal guns to make people change their minds on the other issues. Next question please. :smiley:

Just googled it. It was a check, apparently, not a credit card.

What so you can bitch at me if my man gets in office and screws everything up? :smiley:

Wait a minute maybe he’s already in office screwing things up. :smack:
just joking :smiley:

Well, that’s what I was thinking. Since I can’t agree completely with any of the two parties, then I shouldn’t vote at all.

I can’t understand why non-voters are regarded so lowly in the US. In Greece, everybody is by law obliged to vote. But they also have the choice to vote “white”, ie. a piece of blank paper (we still have old style voting with envelopes and such) . In the US, the equivalent of “white” is not going to vote at all.

I’d be more concerned about folks who do agree 100% with a political party line, as that indicates a lack of critical thinking skills and the inability to analyze issues objectively.

But then, I’m one who those folks who thinks “Dittohead” is an insult, instead of a term of endearment…

Actually, from the looks of it, that voter should go vote for the Libertarian candidate for President, and vote a split ticket based mostly on their own opinions for every other office.

We’re not entirely constrained by the two-party system. If you’re indifferent towards both candidates even after careful consideration, and you vote for a minor-party candidate who doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of winning, it still affects the outcome - neither candidate got your vote, so they can’t rely on it next time either.

On the other hand, a voter can also go and decide which issues are most important to him and vote for the candidate who he agrees with on these - you don’t need to agree with a candidate wholeheartedly to want to show support for him. He can also make a decision that isn’t based on these issues - he could decide that the government’s status quo is fine for now and support the candidate of the party in power, or vote for throwing the bums out and support the candidate of the opposition. Many Libertarians this election are coming out for Sen. Kerry, a candidate who many of them most assuredly disagree with on many occasions, for the purpose of creating a split government. These don’t typically get much done - and as Libertarians by definition want a smaller government, they can forestall the growth of the government that way.

Here’s an answer that goes straight at the heart of the problem: If you’re not satisfied with the choices offered by the two-party system, you should work to replace the two-party system with a multiparty system. A real one, where you have real choices and no one party or pair of parties predominates in the field. You should not necessarily vote for third-party candidates, because with our system as it is now that’s a waste of your vote; but you should vote for any candidate who promises to:

  1. Liberalize ballot-access requirements, changing the system prevalent in most states where the Republicrat nominees get on the ballot more or less automatically while third-party candidates have to gather thousands of petition signatures;

  2. Establish instant-runoff voting systems so a third-party candidate can run for office without playing the role of a “spoiler” or “opposition-splitter”;

  3. Legalize “ballot fusion” or “cross-endorsement” (currently illegal in all but ten states), allowing one candidate to run as the nominee of more than one party, so that smaller parties can pool their strength by joining forces, or can influence the larger parties’ policies by using the leverage of granting or withholding their co-nomination of major-party candidates;

  4. Introduce proportional representation, aka full representation, in all multi-member policymaking bodies, so that minor parties can win seats in Congress and the state legislatures and county commissions in proportion to their share of support among the voters even if they do not have enough support concentrated in any one electoral district to elect a single representative.

And if no candidate in the field is promising any of those things, you should write them letters encouraging them to do so, and you should join organizations that are working to introduce these reforms, such as:

  1. The Center for Voting and Democracy – http://www.fairvote.org. It’s America’s leading action group for voting reforms, particularly instant-runoff voting and proportional representation The links page (http://www.fairvote.org/links.htm) will direct you to PR and IRV advocacy groups in your own state, if there are any. (At present there are such groups in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Utah, Washington – and, most recently, Florida, although the link for Citizens for Instant Runoff Voting in Florida – http://www.cirv.org – has not yet been added to the CV&D links page.)

  2. The Instant Runoff Project – http://www.instantrunoff.org

  3. InstantRunoff.comhttp://www.instantrunoff.com/

  4. The New Majority Education Fund – http://www.nmef.org This organization works for “ballot fusion” or “cross-endorsement,” explained above. This was a tactic used by minor parties (e.g., the Populists, the Grangers, the Prohibitionists) with some effect in the late 19th Century to pool their strength or to pull the major parties in their directions. However, in that period such “combination tickets” were outlawed by Republicrat legislatures in many states for the express purpose of crushing third parties (you can read the shameful story in Chapter 9 of Spoiling for a Fight: Third-Party Politics in America, by Micah L. Sifry (New York: Routledge, 2002) – a book which is worth reading if you’re interested in this topic at all, which you are or you wouldn’t be looking into this thread).

You might also be interested in the following relevant GD threads:

“A multiparty system is better than a two-party system!”

“What do you think about proportional representation in the US House of Reps?”

“Instant-runoff voting: avoiding the third-party “spoiler” problem”

“Yet another electoral-system reform: “ballot fusion,” or “cross-endorsement””

“Should the U.S. adopt alternative, pro-multipartisan voting systems?”

Actually, I have a hard time finding a candidate with whom I agree even 50%, which would be a good excuse not to vote at all. But in this particular election, one of the candidates wants a Constitutional amendment declaring me a second-class citizen. That makes me **really **want him removed from office (not that there aren’t plenty of other reasons).

Of course, the other asshole – er, candidate – would make me a second-class citizen only if I lived in his particular state. Not much difference as I see it.

There is a practical difference. If Kerry becomes president, the federal anti-gay-marriage amendment idea drops out of sight. Without a president keeping it alive, there’s very little chance Congress will ever send it out to the states. Not that they would ratify it. But I trust you see the value in killing the whole thing dead as soon as possible.


And when you consider that there are a multitude of positions a person could hold on just about any major issue, it’d be surprising indeed to find a candidate or party whose positions exactly matched your own.

That’s why I don’t pay too much attention to political parties, and I try to vote for candidates that I respect, trust, and believe will do a good job in the office for which they’re running. I’d want them to have similar basic worldview and values as me. But if they hold some opinions that don’t match up with mine, maybe I’m the one who’s wrong. Maybe they’re smarter, wiser, or better informed than I am.

Oh wait, we’re talking about politicians here. Maybe I’m expecting too much…

Good advice from Robert Heinlein:

I’m in exactly this situation. I mean, I’m not deeply concerned with any of these for issues, as I’m neither a pregnant woman, nor gay, nor a gun owner, nor a convict - but my preferences on each issue are as you put forth.

I’m voting Democrat. Why? Well, because I think Bush is bad, and thus don’t want to throw my vote to a third-party candidate. (Besides, most Libertarian candidates are a little … irrational-seeming, to me.) I also think that the Death Penalty isn’t even on the radar this year, and that gun rights in this country aren’t going to be taken away in the next 50 years barring some truly epidemic outbursts of gun violence.

While Springer was a member of the Cincinnati city council, a police raid on a brothel revealed a check written by Srpinger. Then, he was elected mayor.