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i don't claim to know a general answer- this depends on specifics of specific situations. My complaint in the Spanish elections was in reaction to a "vote for neither" program which is not a plan for building an alternative.
by rootless2 on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 05:16:44 PM EST
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I don't claim that a general answer exists. I'm just asking you to assess a concrete scenario, Syriza 1995-2009. Because if you find that the strategy you would have recommended for them would have resulted in them not being able to contest this election effectively, then that would suggest that your way of developing recommendations overstates the stability of the centrist consensus.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 05:24:45 PM EST
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Given their success, I would have recommended that they proceed with the strategy they followed - of course.

Since one is usually not in possession of such knowledge of the future, the general rule I propose is that one must have a plausible strategy for either building a third party or influencing the existing major parties depending on circumstance. And in particular the strategy of "let them know our displeasure by making a protest vote or not voting" is one that has been shown to not work.

by rootless2 on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 06:02:30 PM EST
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But that was not, in fact, the recommendation you did make when IU was in a situation very nearly identical situation to Syriza 2009 in the last Spanish election. You recommended that they refrain from running spoiler candidates, due to the moderately non-proportional Spanish electoral system. In fact, you got quite prissy about their failure to hop aboard PSOE's handbasket.

If your reasoning was valid in Spain in 2011, why was it not valid in Greece in 2009? Conversely, if it was invalid in Greece in 2009, why was it valid in Spain in 2011?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 06:18:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it's certainly possible that i was wrong about Spain or am wrong about Greece, but I don't see how the situation was very nearly identical. Syriza began as a coalition that intended to and had good prospects of winning seats. The formation of Syriza was itself a rejection of the "run symbolic candidates" theory - in my understanding of the history. On the other hand, the "indignants" in Spain who advocated abstaining or randomly voting for some minor party did not provide any plan beyond registering discontent.
 
by rootless2 on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 06:31:47 PM EST
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We're talking about voting for IU, not about the "indignants".

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 06:35:57 PM EST
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You lumped voting IU in with "randomly voting for some minor party." With great fanfare and a number of rude insinuations. Then claimed vindication when they scored somewhere in the same neighbourhood Pasok just did, and as PSOE will in the next election.

Which is, incidentally, around four times what Syriza got in 2009.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 06:38:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
discussion of the Spanish vote swing 2008-2011.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 06:44:35 PM EST
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SYRIZA was a protest vote until this election. But without the previous string of protest votes, they could not have grown to contest this election effectively.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 06:22:43 PM EST
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Did they not win seats in every election? Were they not formed explicitly to combat fragmentation of the left into ineffectual protest parties?
by rootless2 on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 06:35:14 PM EST
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They used to poll below 5% - in those conditions, we-re presuming you would have advocated voting "usefully" for the hegemonic party of the left, PASOK, because it was the only one with a prospect of winning - and under the Greek system with its 50 seat bonus for the plurality, the second and third parties can have twice as many votes as the first and half as many seats. So you can only help a left coalition by voting for the biggest left party.

Unless we're misunderstanding your ideas about strategic voting.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 06:40:25 PM EST
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Of course, if you assess that a pro-austerity, pro-Troika PASOK whose stated intention is to form a coalition with ND is not left then there was no way to make a "left coalition government" happen.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 06:47:07 PM EST
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I had to look it up

Voting for SNP or even De Linke is very different from voting for Ralph Nader in the US or for a splinter party in most of Spain.  I'm not against that at all. In fact, even in the US, there are places where third parties can and are effective. New York's Working Family Party is quite interesting. If you have a third party that is in position to win seats - why not?  My point was that the "plague on both houses" argument in favor of either sitting it out or voting symbolically, is a common argument. No Les Votes reads a lot like Michael Moore. I don't think it's a coincidence.

http://server3.eurotrib.com/story/2011/11/18/19330/952#140
by rootless2 on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 06:50:53 PM EST
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