Friday, 20 October 2006

Libertarians are swing voters - study

With US mid-term elections coming up on November 7, a series of US studies shows that between 10 to 20 percent of US voters identify as small 'l' libertarians, and in the two-horse race that is American politics these voters are highly volatile -- debunking pundits who talk about "a country split down the middle" between red and blue and conservatove and liberal, and giving the lie to all the talk about the "shrinking of the swing vote."

Notes David Boaz from the Cato Institute of these voters who would place themselves in the libertarian 'quadrant' of the diamond-shaped spectrum used (right),
For those on the trail of the elusive swing voter, it may be most notable that the libertarian vote shifted sharply in 2004. Libertarians preferred George W. Bush over Al Gore by 72 to 20 percent, but Bush's margin dropped in 2004 to 59-38 over John Kerry. Congressional voting showed a similar swing from 2002 to 2004. Libertarians apparently became disillusioned with Republican overspending, social intolerance, civil liberties infringements, and the floundering war in Iraq. If that trend continues into 2006 and 2008, Republicans will lose elections they would otherwise win.

The libertarian vote is in play. At some 13 percent of the electorate, it is sizable enough to swing elections. Pollsters, political strategists, candidates, and the media should take note of it.
I wonder what size the small 'l' libertarian vote is here in New Zealand? (I would at least wager it is bigger at the end of this month than it was at the start.) MIght I suggest that pollsters, political strategists, candidates, and the media take note of it here too?

PS: Which 'quadrant' do you fit into? Left liberal? Right conservative? Authoritarian? Centrist? Libertarian? Take the World's Smallest Political Quiz online and find out. Perhaps you are a libertarian too?

LINKS: Policy analysis: The libertarian vote (Executive summary) - Cato Institute
Policy analysis: The libertarian vote (Full text) - Cato Institute [1MB PDF]
World's Smallest Political Quiz - Advocates for Self-Government

Politics, Politics-US, Libertarianism, Quiz



    The political description that
    fits you best is...



    LIBERTARIANS support maximum liberty in both personal and

    economic matters. They advocate a much smaller government; one

    that is limited to protecting individuals from coercion and violence.

    Libertarians tend to embrace individual responsibility, oppose

    government bureaucracy and taxes, promote private charity, tolerate

    diverse lifestyles, support the free market, and defend civil liberties.

    The RED DOT on the Chart shows where you fit on the political map.

    Your PERSONAL issues Score is 100%.
    Your ECONOMIC issues Score is 100%.

    (ACT member and voter)

  2. I took it a while ago and scored 100% libertarian, which I was rather proud of. So I am what I have dubbed North Pole (ie, as far North as you can get).


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