Approaches to voting

From Muffet on Flickr

I was listening to a talk radio show about the Toronto Mayoral race, and why candidate Rob Ford is leading the polls (which is a good question, because the guy is a piece of work). From what I gather, he’s the number-one candidate right now because he represents everything current Mayor Miller does not. Because no one likes Miller, Rob Ford is seen as a breath of fresh air.

As the show progressed, a dozen people called in with their opinions. One caller didn’t believe Ford really had a vision for Toronto, but thought he would cut unnecessary spending in the short term. Another caller liked Ford because he seemed like an average Joe who was more accessible than the rest.  The last caller wanted to vote in Ford as a protest to Miller’s tenure.

The reasons why people vote are increasingly interesting to me.

I’ve known friends to vote against their own interests just because the candidate belonged to a special interest group. I have seen people idolize candidates because they relate to them (e.g. hockey mom Sarah Palin). Others will vote for another party because of a scandal in the current administration. And some vote for the same party out of loyalty.

I don’t know what the right or best reason is.

What informs your decision to vote for a certain candidate?

To answer my own question, I approach voting in one of two ways. If there’s one hot issue under debate, I would vote for the party/person who represents my opinion on the matter. Otherwise, I try to vote for the person/party that I feel represents my interests in general (socially and then financially).

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