Strategic Party Affiliation

stfoskey12

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So this will be a fairly US-centric thread I imagine, but if you have a similar political system in your country the same thing may be possible there as well.

In the US, we have primary elections, where each party chooses a candidate they want to represent them in the general election. For the 2024 Democratic primary election, it looks like Joe Biden will win his nomination handily, as the closest competition is Marianne Williamson, polling at 6%. For the Republican primary, Donald Trump has a solid lead as well, with Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis each polling at 12%. Some US states, like Oklahoma, where I live, have closed primaries, where you have to be a member of a given party to vote in that primary. I am currently a member of the Democratic party, as I find that my views on average align with them more than they do with the Republicans. However, I am deeply concerned about Trump winning the Republican nomination and getting elected president in November.

The question then is, should I change my party affiliation to Republican to vote against Trump in the primary? There’s no test you have to take to change your party registration, it’s just a box you click on the state voter registration website, and they send you an updated voter ID card in a month or so. And you can still vote for whoever you want in the general election. But I feel a little weird about changing my party registration just to stop someone I don’t like in the other party from getting nominated. And given Trump has a huge lead anyway, it’s hard to imagine my vote would make much difference. On the other hand, Republicans have completely dominated Oklahoma at the state level since 2010, so for every election except the state senator (where I am in a majority-Democratic district), the Republican primary election is more important than the general election in choosing who will represent me. What do you all think? Have any of you ever changed your party affiliation away from the party you prefer just to vote for someone more moderate in the primaries? Do you think it is a good or bad idea to do so? Is it immoral to be affiliated with a party you agree with less just to stop someone you dislike? Let me know, I have until February 9 to make a decision.
 
I don't see it as a moral issue. Most Americans are voting against someone rather than for someone these days in the general election. IMO.
 
This is seemingly pretty much what the primary system is designed for (and yeah, this should be fairly US-specific, in most other systems candidate pre-selection is a private affair limited to party organisations and their dues-paying members, not just anyone who ticks a box on enrollment)
 
Yes when I used to vote, I actually did do this a couple of times. I registered to vote in a primary against someone and then immediately re-registered back to third-party the next day.
The last time I remember was picking delegates who didn't back Donald Trump. As you can see it didn't work out.

But since there's no real punishment I'm not sure what the big deal is...
Go ahead, give it a try.
 
As you said, there's almost no point in doing so. He will carry Oklahoma. But there's nothing intrinsically wrong about doing so.
 
I have frequently wondered why more people do not vote for the least acceptable candidate of the opposing party as a way of hurting them.
 
I don't deal with primary voting. It doesn't help that, growing up, it was never really explained and demonstrated on how to vote in a primary. since most of the emphasis is the big voting event every November. The only thing that was explained to me was to vote in a primary, you need to be a member of said party to vote for a primary candidate. Thus never really bothered voting in primaries.
 
I have frequently wondered why more people do not vote for the least acceptable candidate of the opposing party as a way of hurting them.

That might misfire if you misjudge who is least acceptable to the general public and the candidate you find the least acceptable goes on and wins the whole thing.
 
1/150 millionth of the picture. Vote for whom you like in the big election. Anything else is vastly overvaluing your britches.

Vote you village. Vote your town. Vote your school board. Party affiliation matters much less there, and competency more. Since there is less money in play to enforce the incompetentcy.
 
Is it immoral to be affiliated with a party you agree with less just to stop someone you dislike? Let me know, I have until February 9 to make a decision.
No, or else the entire voting population of Canada would be immoral. There are some people in my FB groups who hate the provincial UCP, yet they plan to get a membership in order to try to influence the vote during the next election. It's been explained to them that the UCP will just use that money to waste it on more useless vanity projects or propaganda, but it's their decision.

It also doesn't help when you've got Take Back Alberta, which is little more than a bunch of evangelical thugs, saying things like "if the NDP wins, we will track down every NDP voter and end them." And these <people> claim to be Christian.

There are so many of us, myself included, who at one time or other have voted for someone in one party in order to try to stop someone from another party being elected. Or even in municipal elections that aren't party-affiliated. I've thrown a vote to someone I don't particularly like just because I hope it'll help prevent someone else from being elected. Some elections are won or lost by a handful of votes.

There are other things to consider, though. Does it cost anything to register with a party? It does here - you have to pay for a party membership, which gives you the right to attend local meetings, choose delegates for leadership conventions (the ones where they pick the new party leader), and pick which person will be the official candidate in an election.

I've never paid for a party membership, ever. I don't want to feel obligated to support a party if they come up with something in the platform I don't agree with, or if some candidate turns out to have less-than-legal/moral skeletons in his/her closet.

For instance... federally, I would a thousand times rather have Trudeau as the Prime Minister than Pierre Poilievre (commonly referred to as "PP"). It's not that I like Trudeau or the Liberals; there are things Justin Trudeau has said and done that make me want to dig up and reanimate his father, Pierre, and put HIM back into power.

So what to do in a situation if the local NDP candidate turns out to be not great, the Liberal one might have a snowball's chance on the Sun of beating the CPC candidate (in some alternate universe where you couldn't run a cow pie as a Conservative and it would be elected)? I might hold my nose* and vote Liberal, though I haven't voted Liberal since the '80s.

*"Hold your nose" is the expression we use when voting for the person/party we don't necessarily like in order to prevent the election of some other person/party we REALLY hate.
 
I don't deal with primary voting. It doesn't help that, growing up, it was never really explained and demonstrated on how to vote in a primary. since most of the emphasis is the big voting event every November. The only thing that was explained to me was to vote in a primary, you need to be a member of said party to vote for a primary candidate. Thus never really bothered voting in primaries.

It depends on the political party and the state. North Carolina has open primaries, where you don't have to be registered with a given party to vote in the primary. I believe the Oklahoma Democratic primary is open to all but the Republican one is limited to members of the Republican party.

No, or else the entire voting population of Canada would be immoral. There are some people in my FB groups who hate the provincial UCP, yet they plan to get a membership in order to try to influence the vote during the next election. It's been explained to them that the UCP will just use that money to waste it on more useless vanity projects or propaganda, but it's their decision.

It also doesn't help when you've got Take Back Alberta, which is little more than a bunch of evangelical thugs, saying things like "if the NDP wins, we will track down every NDP voter and end them." And these <people> claim to be Christian.

There are so many of us, myself included, who at one time or other have voted for someone in one party in order to try to stop someone from another party being elected. Or even in municipal elections that aren't party-affiliated. I've thrown a vote to someone I don't particularly like just because I hope it'll help prevent someone else from being elected. Some elections are won or lost by a handful of votes.

There are other things to consider, though. Does it cost anything to register with a party? It does here - you have to pay for a party membership, which gives you the right to attend local meetings, choose delegates for leadership conventions (the ones where they pick the new party leader), and pick which person will be the official candidate in an election.

I've never paid for a party membership, ever. I don't want to feel obligated to support a party if they come up with something in the platform I don't agree with, or if some candidate turns out to have less-than-legal/moral skeletons in his/her closet.

For instance... federally, I would a thousand times rather have Trudeau as the Prime Minister than Pierre Poilievre (commonly referred to as "PP"). It's not that I like Trudeau or the Liberals; there are things Justin Trudeau has said and done that make me want to dig up and reanimate his father, Pierre, and put HIM back into power.

So what to do in a situation if the local NDP candidate turns out to be not great, the Liberal one might have a snowball's chance on the Sun of beating the CPC candidate (in some alternate universe where you couldn't run a cow pie as a Conservative and it would be elected)? I might hold my nose* and vote Liberal, though I haven't voted Liberal since the '80s.

*"Hold your nose" is the expression we use when voting for the person/party we don't necessarily like in order to prevent the election of some other person/party we REALLY hate.

"Holding your nose" is common in the US, especially since we only have two parties. The Democratic challenger for our US House seat seems to have limited political experience, but House Republicans tend to have some wild views, so I vote for the Democrat anyway in the hope of having one fewer Republican in the House. But she loses by wide margins every election anyway. That's one where I wish the Democrats had a better primary challenger, but c'est la vie.

Being affiliated with a party in the US doesn't cost any money. It's just checking a box on an application. Being involved in party conventions is more complicated and something I am less familiar with.
 
Genuinely curious, What else aside from being able to participate in primaries is being registered as one party or another enables and/or forces you to do? what happens if you're registered as a Republican (say) and participate in the primaries but consistently vote Democrat in the general?

If there are no downsides then I feel like it's no brainer you'd register and vote as whichever party's primaries you'd like to participate in strategically as opposed for who you'd really vote for.
 
Genuinely curious, What else aside from being able to participate in primaries is being registered as one party or another enables and/or forces you to do? what happens if you're registered as a Republican (say) and participate in the primaries but consistently vote Democrat in the general?

If there are no downsides then I feel like it's no brainer you'd register and vote as whichever party's primaries you'd like to participate in strategically as opposed for who you'd really vote for.
In many states ones affiliation is public knowledge, which seems incredible to me for so many reasons.
 
I'll go against the flow and I'd say it's ethically wrong. That's deliberate manipulation that perverts the concept it plays unto.
I find enlightening to notice just how many people seem to finds it acceptable. Oh well.
 
I'll go against the flow and I'd say it's ethically wrong. That's deliberate manipulation that perverts the concept it plays unto.
I find enlightening to notice just how many people seem to finds it acceptable. Oh well.
I can't say you're alone, but I would entirely blame the registration process itself for people taking advantage of it.

What could be done is have a cut-off period well in advance to eliminate this sort-of 11th hour fence-jumping.
Conversely, a fair number of US states still have "same-day registration and voting" which...well, that's a parallel and just as philosophical a discussion.
Needless to say there's a perception that exists that voting should not only be easy (true) but more of it encouraged with a lot of incentives to make it even easier...
 
I'll go against the flow and I'd say it's ethically wrong. That's deliberate manipulation that perverts the concept it plays unto.
I find enlightening to notice just how many people seem to finds it acceptable. Oh well.

As long as it is for the candidate they prefer, I don't see why it should be manipulation. I would view it differently, if the motivation was about minimizing the chances of the Republican candidate in the general election. The Republican party might even profit from having a candidate that is not as abhorring to Democrat-leaning voters.
 
I'll go against the flow and I'd say it's ethically wrong. That's deliberate manipulation that perverts the concept it plays unto.
I find enlightening to notice just how many people seem to finds it acceptable. Oh well.
I mean, it's a nonsense system, that's their fault.
 
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