Escaping the Political Parties the Independents

A joke is going around about independent voters. If they ever become a party, then they are no longer independent, are they? But the truth is that the growth in numbers of voters who do not support the overall platform of any of the major political parties signals a growing discontent with the performance of the established political classes, politicians in general, and the established political parties.

In many places in the world, the power of “independent” voters is in their sheer numbers. In Sudan, a quarter of the 2000 government assembly candidates are campaigning as independents. While the “media” almost universally sells the idea that American political independents are a vastly growing and overwhelming group, other sources indicate that only 10 percent* of American voters are true independents, while the majority are actually partisans who are posing as independent voters, or who are making single issue statements by dropping from Democratic or Republican party rolls.

But is there any kind of unified espression of dissatisfaction that can be identified and attributed to independent voters? In the upcoming Egyptian elections, the issue of corruption in family political appointments and of autocratic rule by the majority party is an issue. In the American independents, it is becoming clear that most of them lean, overall, toward the platforms and programs of one major party or another, while calling themselves “independent”.

As for the impact of independent voters in America, this has actually been suspected of being grossly exaggerated. Those who have voted for candidates of one party or another when they were registered with a party are expected to have the same voting patterns.

The problem with any offshoot, rogue, extremist, purist, independent or other blocs of voters is that, in the aggregate, political leanings get aggregated. No party, candidate or system can win power by accommodating all of  the needs of individuals when each individual is completely different in their political leanings, needs, values, desires or goals for their government.

 For the vast majority, everything aggregates into a local, then regional, statewide and national political agendas, with elements that are obviously on the extreme ends and who wind up being in the far less influential minority on most issues.

In other words, in order to truly translate their desires into any successful political action, “independent voters” will more than likely end up voting as they always have: for candidates that, even if independent, appeal to the aggregate of society which agrees with them in major areas.

*”Three Myths About Political Independents”, The Monkey Cage

Sudan Elections, BBC News

Egyptian Elections, The Mideast News Source