Saturday, April 02, 2011

Are "independents" in the US really independent, or merely undecided?

The term "independent," those who are not registered with either major party, is usually used as synonymous with those in the center. This is not necessarily correct. It may be more true that they are simply less interested, or that they have more esoteric views. It is a virtually meaningless term in countries other than the US. In the UK, perhaps the analogous term is "undecided." it would probably be more precise to use a different set of terms in the US.

1 comment:

Jonathan said...

I think "those who are not registered with either major party" are normally known as "floating voters" in the UK—or, in some cases, "Liberal Democrats".

Centrists could perhaps fit themselves into the centrist wing of one of the major parties.

People who refuse to associate themselves with any major party are probably, I'd guess, either at the extremes of left or right or, more likely, don't see themselves anywhere on the left-right spectrum.

It is rather simplistic to try to represent all political opinions in one dimension.