Rational(???) Consumers

DJ dmccread at MACH1.WLU.CA
Sat Sep 2 03:34:18 MDT 1995

Will - your exit poll is so true - it is almost laughable. I also live in
that province which voted out that party ten years ago to be replaced by
the Liberals and then in 1990 switched to the socialist New Democratic
Party and now back to the original Progressive Conservatives.
It seems to me since I have been an interested observer in the political
scene for some time and my book is on public finances, that voters accept
what is going on when they are satisfied BUT vote against what they are
dissatisfied with. That is intended to keep political parties in line.
However, the observation I made above about major shifts in party loyalty
lately suggest that voters get angry at one party - vote it out and try
the next guys which is just as bad or worse so try another party again -
I think that explains major shifts here and in US in last few years (Bush
from veyr high ratings to being out for instance). I never believed that
anyone votes for - but rather against and that can be rational.
I am not going to claim expertise here - I did take my undergraduate
degree in political science and then did one of my four doctoral areas in
federalism which was taught in political science department. Thus I have
littel formal training BUT I do read extensively.
BTW, that raises an issue which I believe worth raising here. I note that
political scientists unlike economists usually wish more interference by
government. Is that because they want more to write about and research or
is it because they honestly believe that the politicians know what they
are doing? Or is there another explanation? For most economists, they
have learned that the market place works best in most instances and
government ought to be involved only when the market does not work
(public goods [strictly defined as indivisible goods of which health and
education do not fit], externalities, decreasing cost goods, zero
marginal cost goods, and extremely scarce raw resources which are
depletable). Thus most economists have a bias towards avoiding government.
I wonder about librarians, computer operators, sociologists, social
workers, doctors, etc. Is there an occupational realtionship to voting
behaviour according to the training one gets?
Dr. D.J. McCready, Dept. of Economics, Wilfrid Laurier Univ.
Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 3C5.           Fax: (519) 884-0201
e-mail: dmccread at win.waldenu.edu or dmccread at mach1.wlu.ca

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