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November 14, 2012
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Voting for the Other Party

:iconouroboroscobra:
It is not an uncommon refrain on dA, or in the real world, to hear "I am not party voter, and I would vote for someone from the other party if they put up a good candidate." We like to say we all vote on candidates, not parties. I have said it myself. How often do any of us actually do this, though? How many of us can say we have voted for both Democrats and Republicans?

I have not. Despite being a registered independent, I have largely voted Democrat in every election. I didn't vote for these candidates because they were Democrats, but largely because of their stances on issues and my opposition to the stances held by Republican candidates in those races. That said, I am willing to say that I know a specific future race and candidate that I will likely vote Republican.

Senator Scott Brown, the first Republican to hold a Massachusetts senate seat in more than 60 years, was just defeated after three years in office (he came in during a special election to replace the late Senator Ted Kennedy) by Senate-Elect Elizabeth Warren. There are rumors that Senator Brown might run either to replace Senator Kerry if he is tapped for Secretary of Defense or State, or that he might run to replace Governor Patrick when his current term expires. If Senator Brown runs for governor of Massachusetts, I will likely vote for him.

This may seem like a strange declaration coming from me. Not only do many (wrongly) see me as an "extreme liberal" of this forum (I am more of a moderate than given credit), but I voted against Senator Brown in 2009 and 2012. In 2009, Senator Brown ran a campaign that seemed very conservative, anti-human rights over issues like torture, and with the strong backing of the Tea Party. He said he would be an independent voice, but his expressed political positions did not sound independent. I could not vote for that.

As it turns out, Senator Brown was a big disappointment for the Tea Party. He was not the ultra-conservative they hoped for, and he split with his party on a number of important issues. When fiscal conservatives wanted him to vote against a job creation bill, he not only helped stop a filibuster, but he voted for the bill. He voted in favor of repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," his vote arguably being one of the most important as it came from a Republican and a member of the armed forces (he is a Colonel in the Army National Guard). He is pro-choice. While holding a personal belief in marriage being between a man and a woman, he ruled out any possible support for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and has stated he does not want to change the status of same-sex marriage (legal) in Massachusetts. Indeed, he only voted with is party 80% of the time, which, combined with the visibility of his actions, made him one of the most "independent" and "working across the aisle" politicians in Washington.

I wanted to vote for him in this last election. I want to reward politicians willing to actually work across the aisle and take, within the context of their political base, risky positions because they think they are right. I like a politician who, despite being a Republican who once had Tea Party support, ran a television ad early in his campaign showing him shaking hands with President Obama and getting congratulated by the president on the passage of his congressional ethics bill.

I did not vote for Senator Brown. Despite being more cross aisle than most, he still went with his party 80% of the time, and I could not risk the possibility of the Democrats losing control of the senate if Governor Romney had won the election. I could not trust that Senator Brown would break with his party on Supreme Court nominations at a time when many civil rights issues ranging from women’s health to same-sex marriage and many others are potentially on the line. I could not vote for Senator Brown for re-election.

Nor will I likely vote for him if he runs to replace Senator Kerry.

I will likely vote for him if he runs for governor. I live in a state with a legislature that is more than 80% Democrat controlled. Despite our “blue state” reputation, we do often elect Republican governors. Sometimes this is not a very good thing, such as the tenure of Governor Romney. Other times, we have had excellent governance under Republicans, such Governor Weld of the 1990s. With our highly Democrat legislature, it can be good to have some balance with a moderate Republican governor. I think Senator Brown could be such a governor. He has shown a willingness to work with the opposing party; he has shown that he governs based on issues and his own concious, not the stance of his own party. I hope he does run for governor.


Have any of you voted for a candidate outside of your traditional party?
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Devious Comments

:iconrockstar1009:
rockstar1009 Nov 15, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I went socialist for prez, dem for Senate, green for House, and rep for most local races (since most were uncontested, but I opted rep over dem in a few of them).

Straight ticket voting is for knobs. :no:
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:iconmajinsharingan:
I'm a registered nothing and I voted, Democrat, Republican, Independent, and no affiliation this election.
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:icondivine--apathia:
divine--apathia Nov 14, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
As someone already mentioned, Australia's voting doesn't work like yours. :shrug:
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:iconthelightswentoutin99:
I've voted for candidates from a few different parties.
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:iconsnuffles11:
snuffles11 Nov 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I voted for Republicans, Democrats, and Indies this time around. I'm a registered Independent.
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:iconskulkey:
skulkey Nov 14, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
as an anarchist, i've never had a traditional party.
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:icontortellinipen:
Even though I voted for Warren, and even though I probably wouldn't vote for him if Kerry ends up in Obama's Cabinet, I might be with you on voting for him as governor. Even though I'm a Democrat and he's a Republican, he seems pretty bro-tier, and he certainly isn't some Tea Party idiot. It's a darn shame that he has to be a Republican, but I guess it just goes to show that there are good people on the other side. If we had more Republicans like him then maybe America would be in a better place.
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:iconthoughtprism:
thoughtprism Nov 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm unaffiliated, and I did vote for a number of party candidates in the election. I did not vote for any Republicans, however I think that's because I live in a very red state where extremist right wingers are somehow officially considered moderate. Social issues just matter way too much to me to vote for a right wing extremist, and there's no such thing as a position that wouldn't allow them to have an effect on those issues. Still, I didn't just look at it like "oh he's a Republican so I shouldn't vote for him" I actually looked each one up and went through their positions on different things. My ballot turned out mostly democratic, but I did, surprisingly to me, vote for two libertarians who were truly the best choices. Obama was the only Dem I voted for at the federal level, and that could easily have been a vote for Stein, she was my close second choice.

Thing about parties is, they're giant special interest groups. You can go with one that you think represents your interests best, but the candidates might not share all your interests. I'm unaffiliated because there isn't a party that reflects all my special interests, and if my perfect party ever shows up I still would never vote straight party.
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:iconthe-thunder-fox:
The-Thunder-Fox Nov 14, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Hmm. Well, in Australia, it's less a matter of voting for the 'other party', but voting for all the parties you like first and leaving the bastards 'til last.

Traditionally, I detest the Liberal and National parties. I do not mind a few MPs, but as you said near the end: they'll side with their party. It's rare that an MP will break party ranks in Australia, unless the party leader allows a conscience vote. As such, I support the parties I actually prefer, since my vote will never be wasted in our system. So no, I've never voted for a candidate of a party I dislike.

But if I had an option for an independent? ...I would still vote Greens, but depending on the political climate and the person running, I'd probably vote them. Oakshott and Windsor are both ex-National, but they're not tied down by party dogma and... are actually doing things because of it. Probably because they have quite a bit of power in our current parliament, but still. I'd vote for them (second).
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:iconsherberttcat:
SherbertTCat Nov 14, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"Straight ticket" voting is for morons.
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