[Election-Methods] RE : Re: Primary Elections using a "Top 2/Single Transferable Voting Method"

Jonathan Lundell jlundell at pobox.com
Tue Dec 18 17:49:01 PST 2007

On Dec 18, 2007, at 2:26 PM, Juho wrote:

> My use of term "populism" is maybe not quite proper English. The  
> intention is to refer to behaviour where the politician expresses  
> views that easily get the support of large (maybe not so educated/ 
> knowledgeable) masses (but are not typically that much appreciated  
> by the best experts / responsible leaders). Typical extreme themes  
> might be e.g. "if I'll be elected the taxes of low and mid class  
> will be cut to half", "if I'll be elected there will be no more  
> unemployment in 6 months".
> What would be a good term for this kind of political behaviour  
> (benefiting of popular but not so sensible themes)?

Populism is actually a reasonable term for what you're talking about;  
it's sufficiently ambiguous. Demagoguery would be the term that has an  
unambiguously negative meaning, even though its original meaning  
wasn't necessarily negative.
Same dictionary:

a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires  
and prejudices rather than by using rational argument.
• (in ancient Greece and Rome) a leader or orator who espoused the  
cause of the common people.

> Juho
> On Dec 18, 2007, at 22:41 , Jonathan Lundell wrote:
>> On Dec 18, 2007, at 10:58 AM, Juho wrote:
>>> No parties
>>> + less hidden cabinet decisions
>>> + free opinions
>>> + also minority opinions present
>>> +/- less group power (coordinated voting according to majority
>>> opinion of the party)
>>> - more populism
>>> - candidates may tell different stories to different potential  
>>> voters
>>> - different stories in different elections
>> + more populism
>> To quote my local dictionary (Oxford American),
>> populist
>> a member or adherent of a political party seeking to represent the  
>> interests of ordinary people.
>> • a person who holds, or who is concerned with, the views of  
>> ordinary people.
>> • ( Populist) a member of the Populist Party, a U.S. political  
>> party formed in 1891 that advocated the interests of labor and  
>> farmers, free coinage of silver, a graduated income tax, and  
>> government control of monopolies.
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