Friday, January 15, 2010

The Entropy Vote

I can't stand party machine politicians, who just kind of expect people to vote for them because of brand name. There are few things more distasteful than a bunch of insiders, politicians and marketing-media-types who take your vote for granted, and put up a lackluster candidate because that is who you are supposed to vote for. I'm really glad I'm not a Massachusetts Democrat this month.

I identify as a Democratic voter and party member, but as I have anti-incumbent (until proven otherwise), entropic voting preferences, I'd seriously consider voting for the GOP candidate in MA just out of spite. I'd want to show the state and national party operatives that my vote wasn't just theirs because of the name-brand, and they take me for granted at their peril. I deeply desire health care reform, but I also care about the quality of the candidate and the quality of the name brand locally and nationwide.

Sometimes the only way to teach that lesson is to let the knuckleheads lose some elections, hoping better candidates will get involved next time. I thought the Democratic Party had learned this, but sometimes you have to work away from a goal to acheive a goal.

Then again, when the Republican candidate continues to support activites I consider torture, I guess the Democratic candidate can go ahead and take my vote for granted. It is a shame the GOP should allow the bar to be set so low.



Dante said...

There are primaries. And if that fails there are third parties. The only person you can blame when you vote for an asshat is you. Party politics suck but Coakley doesn't get this far without a hell of a lot of Party votes. She had three challengers in the primaries and she blew them all out of the water. In fact, from what I gather there wasn't serious talk of Coakley's inadequacies until she started slipping in the polls. So what have we learned? Party politics suck... when your Party's candidate may lose the election. Until then we just kind of look the other way.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

The only person you can blame when you vote for an asshat is you.

You ain't kiddin'. The whole reason I started being an active member of the Democratic Party was after we ended up running Kerry for President. I wanted to do all I could to make sure things like that didn't happen again. Since then, I've constantly advocated for regular folks who identify with either party to get involved and really see how politics happen.

But there are plenty of structural problems to deal with as well. Candidate recruitment, primaries (and not all places have primaries!), and third parties all present unique structural obstacles for candidates and people interested in politics.

It is a hell of a process, no doubt.