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Source: (consider it) Thread: How much do you need to agree?
betjemaniac
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# 17618

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Prompted by my post here in Hell, I did genuinely mean that I do agree with the Green Party on almost everything except the monarchy, Trident and foxhunting - all of which I support (and the latter for ecological reasons, oddly enough). Now, this isn't really to talk about those three things but, how far do you need to agree with every policy to support a party.

Those three things for me may seem quite esoteric/peripheral in the great scheme of things, but presumably the Green Party, if I voted for them, would be entitled to take my vote or membership as approval of their stance in favour of abolishing those three things? Which, even though they're hardly questions of the first national importance, is what stops me voting for a party where I actually agree with almost everything else.

In the past, disestablishment has been enough to stop me voting for the Charles Kennedy incarnation of the Liberal Democrats, and that wasn't going to happen either.... So, is it a matter of pragmatism before principle or what? How does everyone else decide which political party to join or give their vote to?

In the past, the stance on those three issues has pushed me in the direction of the Conservatives, or Labour, but what do you do when every second order issue (in your head) is best served by one of the other parties, but which is implacably against your 2-3 first order issues (whatever those are).

Being a Paleo-Conservative, in many ways I'm a natural Green... Or at least there is a heck of a lot more crossover than the zealots on either side would like to admit. And yes, I've just read the 2017 Green manifesto cover to cover and do agree with almost all of it.

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And is it true? For if it is....

Posts: 1402 | From: behind the dreaming spires | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged
Pangolin Guerre
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# 18686

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I don't have a solution, but I do share your frustration. You and I seem to be at different places on the spectrum, but faced with the same problem of agreeing with a party on most first order issues, but strongly disagreeing on second order issues about which we care deeply.

Although Canadian, I classify myself as "European social democrat." The party I should naturally support is going through a leadership race, and in their French language debate, all four candidates supported reopening constitutional discussions with Quebec. "That's that," I shouted, nearly upsetting my wine. I know that that is the sound that they're expected to make, but nonetheless, it's incoherent with a social democrat programme which assumes universality of quality and distribution of services. Moreover, Canada had a constitutional near-death experience in 1995, and the Liberal government in short order brought in legislation to set an objective bar to be met, and we have had what, for us, passes for constitutional peace ever since. I'll wait for the next election, and unless something radical changes, vote pragmatically rather than on principle, and on election night get drunk in a vortex of self-loathing. It really is the only way to approach Canadian democracy.

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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I think one ideally should agree with the platform of a party that one is a member of (or even voting for) otherwise you'll have the uncomfortable issue of them "spending" your vote if they are elected in ways you don't agree with.

Of course, in practice it is more difficult than this: in the Westminster system one elects an individual not a party. And one can argue that members of parties have opportunities to debate policy and so on.

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Schroedinger's cat

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# 64

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As a member of the Green Party, I don't have total agreement with them. But I see them as the party whom I most agree with. More importantly for me, their approach to politics, their priorities in terms of what areas are important.

And I accept that there are others in the party who understand many issues better than I do. What is more, if I have strong views, there is a forum to discuss and debate these within the party.

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Jane R
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# 331

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Realistically, you know, the ban on fox-hunting is extremely unlikely to be overturned, even on environmental grounds (there are less gaudy methods of controlling the fox population). The Conservatives are the only major party who are even offering to think about it, and if it ever gets as far as Parliament they will probably allow their members a free vote. So all the Tory MPs with predominantly rural constituencies will vote for it. All the other parties (except perhaps the DUP) and Tory MPs with urban constituencies will vote against it.

It's not very likely either that the Green Party will ever get the chance to enact their programme of constitutional reform... and I suspect if they did and created an electable Head of State role, a member of the Royal Family would be elected on a landslide. All those generations of forelock-tugging have left a mark.

Posts: 3934 | From: Jorvik | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
[H]ow far do you need to agree with every policy to support a party.

This seems like a counterproductive and self-centered way of considering politics. Politics and voting is not about atomistic consumer choices as self-affirmation. (I like this 'Obama' model, but does it come in a different color? [Roll Eyes] ) Electoral politics is the way citizens of democratic countries enact policy decisions to solve collective action problems. The questions most relevant to supporting a political party are what policies are they most likely to enact, and how likely are they to be in a position to enact those policies. Whether they make you feel comfortably righteous by affirming your own moral superiority is, at best, a side issue. Otherwise it's just the Nuke Canada Party:

quote:

We see this in those little online quizzes that attempt to tell you which candidate for office is “best” for you. They go by percentages, but have no way of accounting for priorities. Thus, for example, it may ask for your opinions about 50 different topics and then tell you, based on your responses, that the candidate for the Hey Everybody, Let’s Nuke Canada Party is your ideal match — agreeing with you on 98 percent of all topics, everything except his signature plan to nuke Canada.

That result is misleading or, at best, meaningless, because it doesn’t account for the fact that this guy is the nothing-matters-except-nuking-Canada guy. If you agree with him about everything else, but disagree with him about that, then you don’t really agree with him at all. The fact that you may also share his offhand sentiments regarding support for regional carbon-credit marketplaces, or that he has a surprisingly nuanced plan for universal pre-K, is irrelevant. In considering that candidate only one thing matters — your “2-percent” disagreement on the merits of nuking Canada.



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Humani nil a me alienum puto

Posts: 10443 | From: Sardis, Lydia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I think one ideally should agree with the platform of a party that one is a member of (or even voting for) otherwise you'll have the uncomfortable issue of them "spending" your vote if they are elected in ways you don't agree with.

Which would be lovely, and would mean that I would never vote. There has never been a political party where I have completely agreed with the manifesto promises, let alone the wider policy platform.

In reality, the best I can hope for is that the party has a policy that I think is at least reasonable on the matters that I consider important, and doesn't have anything completely horrible on the issues that it considers important, and even that doesn't often happen.

So we come down to "least bad", which probably means look at the set of policies that the party considers important (and assuming they actually have a chance of implementing them - so long as the Greens, for example, remain a small minority party, their policy on republicanism is pretty irrelevant), and see which set of policies I hate least.

That has always produced a result...

Posts: 4852 | From: USA | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged
Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I think one ideally should agree with the platform of a party that one is a member of (or even voting for) otherwise you'll have the uncomfortable issue of them "spending" your vote if they are elected in ways you don't agree with.

Which would be lovely, and would mean that I would never vote. There has never been a political party where I have completely agreed with the manifesto promises, let alone the wider policy platform.
Or, looked at it another way, if you can only support candidates who agree with you on everything the only solution is to run for office.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

Posts: 10443 | From: Sardis, Lydia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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I'd like to know more about "paleo-conservative'. Which combines elements of cave dwellers, hoarding and raw food in first glance.

Re Canada's politics. The NDP (New Democratic Party) in western Canada is Liberal in Ontario. The Liberals in British Columbia are the same as Ontario Conservatives, and then we have rebranded Conservatives in the Saskatchewan Party, and the Alberta Wild Rose. Federally, I am not certain what the Liberals are these days, the NDP is going to reinvent themselves again, and we hope the Conservatives just go away and rack up personal debt rather than public.

As for voting, I've voted strategically against the Conservatives whatever they call themselves, which presently means NDP, which means Liberal because of where I am just now. I'd vote Liberal in Manitoba I think.

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Og, King of Bashan

Ship's giant Amorite
# 9562

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I think one ideally should agree with the platform of a party that one is a member of (or even voting for) otherwise you'll have the uncomfortable issue of them "spending" your vote if they are elected in ways you don't agree with.

Which would be lovely, and would mean that I would never vote. There has never been a political party where I have completely agreed with the manifesto promises, let alone the wider policy platform.
Or, looked at it another way, if you can only support candidates who agree with you on everything the only solution is to run for office.
Or get involved in a party and participate in the platform development process. You still probably won't get to 100% agreement, but maybe you move a little closer, or maybe you listen to someone who disagrees with you about some item on the platform and have second thoughts.

People in Colorado recently voted to end the caucus system for presidential candidates, and to replace it with open primaries, where unaffiliated voters could vote in one or the other major party primary. And while I will appreciate not having to wade through masses of people who just want to vote for one person and go home at my next caucus, I kind of think that these people are missing the point. Caucuses are where you get to influence the party platform. If you complain about the parties but don't actually take any of the steps available to you whereby you could improve them, I don't have much sympathy for you.

[ 07. September 2017, 17:32: Message edited by: Og, King of Bashan ]

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churchgeek

Have candles, will pray
# 5557

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I'd find it a little creepy if too many people agreed 100% with any party platform. Healthy disagreement within a party is also helpful to spur debate and conversation about how best to work for the common good.

I don't know if this is very common elsewhere, but here in the US, a lot of people will say they don't belong to any party, even if they always vote for the same party. I think given our tendency to individualism, we don't want to "define" ourselves by identifying with a party. We want to think of ourselves as "independent" voters...in an essentially 2-party system that strongly discourages independent voting.

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Huia
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# 3473

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In Aotearoa/NZ we have a Mixed Member Proportional system which means we get two votes, one for the Party we support, and one for the electorate MP.

In past years I have split my allegiance, giving my electorate vote to our extremely hard working MP, (whose party ranks second in my agreement to their policies) and my party vote to the party most of whose principles I support most closely.

This year I need to think more strategically, as giving both votes to the same party as my MP may give an outcome that aligns more closely to the kind of country I want to live in (which is one that looks after it's vulnerable people and increases the refugee quota).

Huia

[ 07. September 2017, 21:35: Message edited by: Huia ]

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by churchgeek:

I don't know if this is very common elsewhere, but here in the US, a lot of people will say they don't belong to any party, even if they always vote for the same party.

In the UK "belonging" to a party means you are a party member - you pay your subscription, get a membership card, and probably go canvassing / fold leaflets / whatever at election time.

It is, ultimately, the party membership that selects the party's candidates (well, sort of).

Most people do not belong to a political party.

There is no UK equivalent of the US "tick the box to register as a D or R voter" thing.

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simontoad
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# 18096

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First, I think it would be weird if people in a party supported everything in a party's platform as private individuals. Platforms are compromises that everyone who is a member of the party agrees to support publicly. That's how it works here in Australia anyway. I understand that there is a bit more fluidity in the United States, where party discipline is lax.

Second, there is a party in Canada called the Alberta Wild Rose? That's lovely, although I think you said they were conservative No prophet? I hate creative conservatives.

Third, I support, vote for and volunteer for the Greens over here. I loathe and despise their policy on the American alliance and foreign policy in general. However, they are the only party that would close Australia's prison camps for refugees on Nauru and Manus Island and bring them to Australia. I want people who hold that position in the Parliament. If they ever got close to being in charge, or if the labor party changed its position on refugees, I would drop the Greens like a hot potato and switch to Labor.

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Human

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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A party with which you agree on everything would be a party of 1.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

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Croesos posted this excerpt:

quote:
We see this in those little online quizzes that attempt to tell you which candidate for office is “best” for you. They go by percentages, but have no way of accounting for priorities. Thus, for example, it may ask for your opinions about 50 different topics and then tell you, based on your responses, that the candidate for the Hey Everybody, Let’s Nuke Canada Party is your ideal match — agreeing with you on 98 percent of all topics, everything except his signature plan to nuke Canada.
I did one of those facebook quizzes "Which British Prime Minister are you?" and got Thatcher. [Projectile]

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Human

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