Who Would You Vote For?

So, a national election is being held today in your country. (That’s your country of ctizenship, not your country of residence, if it makes a difference.) Which party would you vote for?

I don’t vote for parties. I vote for candidates.

Well, it’s only local, but apparently I’m going to sort’a be voting for me. Note that I’m from a part of Spain where most parties are local (either they exist only in Navarra, or only in Navarra and Euskadi): in the last national elections, one of the two big national parties didn’t officially run (it ran as part of a permanent coalition with a local party, under this local party’s heading) and the other one doesn’t officially exist there, it has a local “sister party” with its own heading.

The way all elections (except those for the Senate) work in Spain, any party which runs has to present a list big enough to cover any open group of positions; we vote for the whole list, not for individual candidates. Each list gets a number of spots based on the % of votes they got, and those spots usually get covered from the top of the list: if a list gets one spot it goes to that lists’ #1, etc.

The local party whose card I carry was in a permanent alliance with a nation-wide party for over a decade; the nation-wide party recently broke it up in a huff, so the local party needs more names to be able to fill up the lists in order to be able to run. Turns out one of the towns which needed more names was the one where I live and they wanted at least one more woman; I’ve asked to be placed at the end of the list so there’s no way in hell I can actually be chosen, because for work reasons I’m currently some 900km away and may have to go even further at a few days’ notice.

This is a local party whose first objective is a change in the Spanish constitution (if it’s ever achieved the party is actually supposed to dissolve) and the second principle is “whether in government or in the opposition, to always work for the common good and making sure that every voice is heard and every opinion taken into account”. What caused the breakup was this second principle, but personally I’d never want to vote for a party which didn’t have that attitude; the other local Big Party has it too, and it has gotten them in trouble with their nation-wide allies too, but what-the-hell-ever.

I am not surprised but still surprised, if that makes any sense, that people still vote by party. Really?

They’re all jerks anyway. I’d vote for the seemingly least jerk.

Well, Dopers may not be typical but I’d guess that most people do vote for a party, and not for an individual candidate – either because they’ve always voted for that party, or because they like the current leader/policies of that party. It makes more sense in parliamentary systems, where MPs almost always vote strictly on party lines, but even in the US system it makes a difference which party in in control of Congress.

I vote for candidates, not parties. Party can be a useful indicator of a candidate’s positions, but what their past record and their current positions always make a difference.

I don’t think many Americans do straight party-line votes. And few politicians always vote with the majority of their party. Although partisans try to play up the polarization of the polity, few people are as extreme as the loudmouths.

Well, given my beliefs, I am always going to think the Republican has the highest jerk factor, so I do end up voting by party lines.

I wish the OP had allowed us to make several selections in his poll. The parties I support embody several of the characteristics listed.

Me too, shitty pole, poorly framed.

There’s a joke about a dilapidated outhouse in that post somewhere.

Well, that’s life. In a real election, you can only make one choice.

(By the way, the names in the poll are just names, not characteristics. For example, the Liberal parties in Australia, Canada and the U.K. don’t have a great deal in common, except for being in the range centre-left to centre-right.)

No, I mean that *each *party can be defined by several of the terms you presented.

Not true. I can vote for President/VP, US Senator, and US Rep. My votes are often spread over several parties.

Right, but that’s several elections (even if they may be conducted on the same election day). I guess that people who want to spread their vote like that would need to take the second last option in the poll, “Some other option not given above”.

Yes, and that would make in interesting poll. This one is based on names, not characteristics – that’s why it has “Republican” (because there is at least one well-known Republican Party), and not “Monarchist” (because I’m not aware of a Monarchist Party in English-speaking countries, even if that’s an important political issue in some of them).

Also: National election to what? The presidency? One of the houses of the legislature? They’re very different things and may well involve voting for different parties such that you aren’t acting as a spoiler.

Whichever one you think is more important. In the U.S., it’s likely to be the Presidential election; in Australia, it’s likely to be the House of Representatives election. Some countries have only one kind, e.g., Canada and the U.K., where it’s for the House of Commons.

+1. Which is why I picked “I wouldn’t vote for any party.”

But if “Silly Party” had been one of the choices, I might have picked that.

They are all conducted on the same day, and on the same ballot. They’re all important. And there are often dozens of state and local races on the ballot as well. I don’t think most people view them as different elections. It’s all one election, with different races involved.

I suppose, but that’s not how most folks view things, IMO. It’s not spreading your vote to chose candidates from different parties since they are for the Presidency and two different houses of congress.

I see several people saying they vote for candidates, not parties. Really? In a parliamentary system, only parties matter. Seated members are so many automatic votes. That said, I am about to vote for a candidate this time because the parties are all so corrupt. The choice is between a carpetbagger, a right winger, a green party of unknown politics and a socialist party that hates Israel.

Even in the US, when you see how the Repugnant party has enforced party discipline, with the very few members of the liberal wing (consisting of two women from Maine) unwilling to break party solidarity, it seems silly to say you are voting for candidates. Like it or not, the labels they use determine the policies they support, so you may as well vote for the labels.