People do not always vote for the party that they like the most. Sometimes, they choose to vote for another one because they want to maximize their influence on the outcome of the election. This behavior driven by strategic considerations is often labeled as "strategic voting." It is opposed to "sincere voting," which refers to the act of voting for one's favorite party.Strategic voting can take different forms. It can consist in deserting a small party for a bigger one that has more chances of forming the government, or to the contrary, deserting a big party for a smaller one in order to send a signal to the political class. More importantly the strategies employed by voters differ across electoral systems. The presence of frequent government coalitions in proportional representation systems gives different opportunities, or ways, for people to influence the electoral outcome with their vote. In total, the literature identifies four main forms of strategic voting. Some of them are specific to some electoral systems; others apply to all.
Although democratic elections have taken place in several Middle Eastern countries in 2005, it is stressed that democracy has not been firmly established throughout the region. It is noted that considerations of democracy's future in Middle Eastern countries emphasize two specific issues: the compatibility of democracy & Islam & the lingering support for authoritarian forms of government in many nations. It is subsequently asserted that economic difficulties & emerging political realities have further obstructed the formation of democratic governments across the Middle East. In fact, it is suggested that democratic systems of government could actually jeopardize regional security without additional substantive assistance from Western democracies. Indeed, current events in Iraq are compared to those in Algeria during the 1990s to illustrate the potential difficulties of entrenching democracy within non-democratic Muslim countries. J. W. Parker
We discuss sincere voting when voters have cardinal preferences over alternatives. We interpret sincerity as opposed to strategic voting, and thus define sincerity as the optimal behaviour when conditions to vote strategically vanish. When voting mechanisms allow for only one message type we show that this optimal behaviour coincides with an intuitive and common definition of sincerity. For voting mechanisms allowing for multiple message types, such as approval voting (AV), there exists no conclusive definition of sincerity in the literature. We show that for AV, voters' optimal strategy tends to one of the existent definitions of sincerity, consisting in voting for those alternatives that yield more than the average of cardinal utilities. ; Financial support from Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología through grants BEC 2005-00836, SEJ2005-01481/ECON and FEDER, Generalitat de Catalunya through grant 2005SGR00454 and Barcelona Economics-XREA is gratefully acknowledged.
In market based societies consumers are able to express the intensity of their preference for an object by paying more for it. However, under some voting systems, consumers are unable to express the intensity of their preference for a candidate due to the constraint of the "one person, one vote" principle. Cumulative voting maintains the equality of the "one person, one vote" principle by allotting each voter the same number of votes, while also allowing for expression of intensity of candidate preference. This paper provides an experimental analysis of voter behavior under different voting systems. Adapted from the source document.