Saturday, August 2, 2014

Voting Against His Own Self-Interests: The "Low Information Voter"

The Results of The Low Information Voter
What is the "Low Information Voter?"  According to Wikipedia, "Low information voters, also known as LIVs or misinformation voters, are people who may vote, but who are generally poorly informed about politics. The phrase is mainly used in the United States, and has become popular since the mid-1990s...



"Some low-information voters' views are more moderate than those of high-information voters, they are less likely to vote, and are looking for a candidate they find personally appealing. They tend to be swing voters, and they tend to vote split-ticket more than well-informed voters do, researchers say because they lack a coherent ideology...




"Linguist George Lakoff has written that the term is a pejorative mainly used by American liberals to refer to people who vote conservative against their own interests, and assumes they do it because they lack sufficient information. Liberals, he said, attribute the problem in part to deliberate Republican efforts at misinforming voters...



 Rush Limbaugh uses the term with regular frequency to denote voters who pull the lever for Democratic candidates for largely esoteric reasons. In a March 25, 2013 transcript, Rush says "I have never said that low-information voters are stupid. I just said they don't know what they think they know. They are prisoners to the media, which has dumbed them down. Low-information voters can be doctors. Low-information voters can be scientists. They can be among all walks of life. It has nothing to do with IQ. It has to do with what they don't know because of their media sources. Low-information voters are clearly people that don't have all the information available to make a voting choice. That's all they are. And they're all over the place. And most of them do vote Democrat. Most of them did vote for Obama. It's not a comment on their intelligence. It's not that they're stupid or don't understand the issues. They just haven't had it all explained to them."




"A 2012 paper by six American political scientists called 'A Theory of Political Parties: Groups, Policy Demands and Nominations in American Politics' challenged the idea that Republicans want a low-information electorate, and argued instead that both major American parties do. Noting that 95% of incumbents in the highly polarized House of Representatives win re-election despite voters' preference for centrist representation, the paper theorizes that voters' infrequent penalizing of extremist behaviour represents not approval, but a lack of attention and information. This, the paper says, is supported by the fact that when congressional districts and media markets overlap to create more informed electorates, extremist House members are at much greater risk for defeat. The paper proposes that in the American political system, interest groups, and activists are the key actor, and the electorate is uninformed and bamboozled..."



That takes care of the definition, but let's take a look at what the Low Information Voter thinks - although critical thinking doesn't apply...




And does, along with Conservative voters...




And some of the effects of his "vote..."



He might believe this...



But ends up basing his voting on this...



Sometimes you can get his attention...



But usually not...



And this is what never happens...



This post has been filed under the category, "Stupidity."


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What's the cure for the LIV?  He certainly makes us pause when we consider the call for mandatory voting.

Literacy tests smack of literacy testing, the historic attempt by Conservatives to eliminate the minority vote, but maybe we can institute a civics or history test?  It would cut down on the vast numbers of Conservative voters.

Or we could just criminalize Conservatism.



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"A fool must die in order to be cured."

Japanese proverb.

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