Thursday, 23 March 2006

Voter rationality in action

Priceless: DSG forum attracts no attendees:

High hopes were not met as candidates for Duke Student Government’s 2006–2007 executive offices crowded around an empty lecture hall in the Terry Sanford Institute for Public Policy Wednesday night.

The contenders arrived at Sanford prepared to share their platforms with members of student organizations, who traditionally choose candidates to endorse.

No students were present, so the forum was cancelled.

Perhaps Duke students are more Downsian than I give them credit for being at times.


Any views expressed in these comments are solely those of their authors; they do not reflect the views of the authors of Signifying Nothing, unless attributed to one of us.

Ah yes, Downsian in the portion of the theory Downs created that still has emprical validity (voters are rationally ignorant) and not in the sense of the easily falsified axiom that is most commonly attributed to him (parties in two-party systems seek the median voter).


My understanding of the axiom is that it applies to individual candidates in plurality elections, not to parties, which are much more complex actors, as they must satisfy multiple constituencies, geographic and otherwise—particularly in the presence of multiple electorates in the same geographic constituency. The absence of a single median voter to converge on makes the convergence unlikely…

Comments are now closed on this post.