posted on Oct, 13 2012 @ 10:13 PM
reply to post by Hefficide
Well, it seems that you've brought me to the door of another graduate-level seminar and shoved me through. I hadn't really considered "Low
information voters (LIVs)" before. But this plays right to your strength, doesn't it? Social engineering, neural network cues, etc. I wish I knew
the things you do. Oh well, just another case of knowledge envy.
In case anybody is just reading through, let me post a few snippets from interesting articles.
American pollster and political scientist Samuel Popkin coined the term "low-information" in 1991 when he used the phrase "low-information
signaling" in his book The Reasoning Voter: Communication and Persuasion in Presidential Campaigns. Low-information signaling referred to cues or
heuristics used by voters, in lieu of substantial information, to determine who to vote for. Examples include voters liking Bill Clinton for eating at
McDonald's, and perceiving John Kerry as elitist for saying wind-surfing was his favorite sport.
Low-information voters are disproportionately white and working-class. Their 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.
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.
published an article which takes a slightly more partisan approach:
I have seen two attitudes toward LIVs. The first is that they are reclaimable, if only somebody -- the president, the Democrats, the media -- can
get the right information to them. The second attitude is a hand-wringing sense of cynical hopelessness on the part of liberals who see LIVs as having
an inherent character flaw. In their minds, LIVs are either too lazy to seek out relevant information, too dumb to act in a way that would maximize
their own interests, too apathetic or selfish to care about what's best for their fellow citizens, or simply brainwashed automatons who vote the way
Yet liberals believe that if conservative voters only had more information, they would recognize liberal values as objective
and universal -- they would turn off Fox News and unite to end global warming, support universal health care, back unions and women's rights, and so
on. Obviously, they don't. And this means to liberals that conservative populists have character flaws that lead them to become low-information
voters who screw things up for everyone.
Third, they need to understand how brains work: If the facts don't fit morally based
frame-circuits, it's the frame-circuits that stay and the facts that go out the _ All political parties should aim to communicate facts, but to
do so successfully they have to take into account voters' moral systems that constrain party values. Those moral-system differences are among the
facts that need to be discussed.
There are dozens of questions I haven't found answers to. Why don't LIVs have an interest in politics? Is it ability to comprehend and analyze?
Perhaps a sense of the corruption of politics from which they want to stay far away? Do they have a sense it doesn't matter, since all candidates
are the same?
How many LIV's are there? Five per cent? Sixty per cent? Voter turnout has been under 2/3 since 1900 and as low as 49% in 1996. How many of
those had even a clue about the issues? en.wikipedia.org...
Perhaps we should go back to electing people of integrity from our own state, then let them choose the President.
Anyway, Hefficide, nobody on this site makes me work the way you do, and I'll always be grateful to you for it.
(And how am I going to get a reputation as a "wild man" rock star if I don't
buy her a drink.)