Why people vote the way they do…

When sifting through the aftermath of an election and attempting to make sense of the results, a lot of pundits (and politicians) are inclined to invoke the hilarious canard that the outcome reflects “the infinite wisdom of the Canadian voters” or something equally ridiculous. That appellation however never seems to square with the declared motivations of individual voters when quizzed about their intentions and preferences.

For example, take this fellow cornered at an event today who states that he formerly voted for the Conservatives, but is presently ticked off at them for spending too much money on “frivolous things” such as the G20 and is therefore now going to throw his lot in with the Liberals in hopes they will spend less. (Good luck with that!)

As dubious as the foregoing reason may be, there are many that are infinitely worse and more fantastically stupid. For example, I spoke with an elderly man today who’s reason for voting for Stephen Harper was twofold: 1) he thought that the “other guys” would take away his pension; and 2) he was impressed by the fact that Harper had given money to the Japanese for tsunami relief (or as he put it, “that thing that happened”) whereas, he felt, the “other guys” would have “kept it all for themselves.”

Where does one even to begin when dealing with such “infinite wisdom”?


Filed under 2011 Canadian Election

11 responses to “Why people vote the way they do…

  1. Paul

    My brother told me today he was voting NDP. I made the comment Liberal support was sliding that way. He stated he always voted Conservative. Had to remind him last election he stated he never votes, it just encourages them. Point being, lotsa people talk, few walk the walk.
    I will be voting Conservative for the first time, even working on their campaign. Can’t believe I used to vote Liberal without thinking, still bitter about Abscam.

  2. sharonapple88

    I will be voting Conservative for the first time, even working on their campaign. Can’t believe I used to vote Liberal without thinking, still bitter about Abscam.

    *Cough*G8/G20. *Cough* One Billion dollars*Cough* 😉

    As for voters and their reasons, I worked the phones during one election and was told by someone that he wouldn’t vote for the candidate because he didn’t like the candidate’s name.

    Where does one even to begin when dealing with such “infinite wisdom”?

    Just smile and walk away.

  3. sapphireandsteel

    Abscam? Did the Liberals promise to eliminate love handles at one point? I was living in the UK for part of Chretien so I might have missed it.

  4. L

    This time, I think it is very important to vote conservative. I have seen this before – Quebec has way too many votes for their population and they do shift their votes en mass, affecting the entire country. Who knew they were going to decide to bail from the BLOC to the NDP? This is very financially scary for every Canadian, at a time when the US/EU could drag down the world further and two provinces have been hit with the HST, which inflates everything. Personally, I did not like the near-term Liberal plan, as the first priority needs to be paying down the deficit, not spending money on expensive new programs of dubious value. The NDP plan??? (there is no plan) is frightening. We already pay more for taxes that necessities. What are people thinking???

  5. kitt

    Abscam? You mean that thingy in Quebec that Mulroney’s old staffer Chuck Guite set up to pay off his buddies that had advertising companies? That Abscam? Where Chretien thought he was promoting Canada to Quebecers and Chuck Guite and his buds ripped the government off? Some went to jail and had to pay back reams of money.

    Is that the same as building toilets in Tony Clements riding about 50 miles from the G8 event? Or building a fake lake and hiring thugs to arrest Canadians for walking down the sidewalk? Is it? Is it the same as spending $30 plus billion on jet fighters with no engines? Is it?

    Gad I could go on all night…………. 🙂

  6. Methinks Paul is a classic example of disingenuous trolling… esp. of the “I used to be a [ name of party here] but now have seen the light” variety. Invariably the pretend convert (“Paul” in this instance) claims their previous voting was “unthinking” which is always a dead give-away to the false nature of their epiphany. People may vote for many contentious or patently silly reasons, but robotic “unthinking” isn’t usually one of them.

    As for ABSCAM… well, that was just icing on the cake. Ditto with the “even working on their campaign” embellishment.

    Some people are such horrible liars. I wonder why they even bother.

  7. sapphireandsteel

    So he’s a concern troll. Plus, I thought it was adscam. Silly me, it was a very long time ago. What with all those contempt findings I had plum forgotten about it.

  8. How do you deal with such ‘infinite wisdom’?

    Well given our system, it seems to me that the only way to go, at least in British Columbia, is to go with both the ‘Surge’ and the ‘Strat’.

    (apologies for the blog whoring Red, but I really have thought long and hard about this, and I have decided that now is not the time to hold back)


  9. No problem. Now is as good a time as any to make a pitch.

  10. sapphireandsteel

    Is “L” the angry lady working on her bills that seems to be on Space every commercial break?

    That add just made me think “Cant pay your bills and you’re voting Conservative? Not a person I want to take advice from.”

    Surge and the Strat sounds interesting. I know where my vote is going and I hope Jennifer Clarke has updated her resume. Its a shitty time to look for a job thanks to the “master strategist”.

  11. dstm

    Leave it to you to sum up this nation’s problem
    Getting people to vote is not the problem or the solution
    Getting people to be informed voters is the real challenge
    The Rick Mercers of the country wail on about the turnout rate and if he has increased the participation of the uniformed are we better off. Possibly not. Are we are in for the political (economic?) equivalent of that ‘thing that happened in Japan’?

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