Thursday, May 5, 2011

On Slackertarians, Unaffecteds and Idle Bystanders

Hot off the presses from those talented guys and gals over at Poli-Tea.

I love this stuff, charts and lines and graphs that seek to capture a snapshot of the fickle Americans who vote are always of interest and any work that helps clarify and predict future behavior is always appreciated. I'm especially impressed with the new categories listed in this and would like to offer some additional ones for consideration.



Idle Bystanders

I would define Slackertarians as those voters who do vote for Libertarian candidates but staunchly refuse to join the party or donate any money, time or talent to the candidates they support. By far and away they are the largest group of voters that help keep the Libertarians trudging forward as they do represent 3-4% of the voting public. The downside is that 3-4% of the vote just isn't gonna get it in a winner take all two party system. Love those Slackertarians.

Unaffecteds are immune to the charms of modern politics. They do not care for the smells emanating from the camps of our republican and democrat brothers and sisters but are always cautious to stay upwind. Aside from casting the occasional ballot, their participation in our contrived two party state stays limited to avoiding the stench.

Idle Bystanders exist in a much lower energy state than their cousins, the Bystanders. Bystanders at least pay some attention to the political process. Idle Bystanders take considerable pride in not exerting that much effort.

Even with the inclusion of these new categories in the next Pew Research Effort (PRE), the calculus will continue to be much as it has been. A little over half of the people in this country who can vote will vote. Of that 50-51%, a little over half of them will decide the nations course of action as dictated by republicans or democrats in the eternal pendulum of two party power shifts driven by the mad efforts of the 25% of American voters whose chosen candidates succeed. Only in America is it possible for the minority to tell the majority what to do, how to spend and to STFU/STFD.

What I'd really like to see is some research on just whats going on with the 50% of Americans who just don't vote. Is it even possible to get them in the game?

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