Re: a hit, a palpable hit! (market compared to election)

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Wed Apr 12 2000 - 20:05:02 MDT

At 09:39 AM 12/04/00 -0700, Dana wrote:

>Also, it's been shown in several psychological studies that uninformed
>people who vote (either through requirement, or simply coming across
>names of people they know nothing about) tend to pick the first name
>listed for a given position and/or the name that sounds most ethnically
>similar to themselves.

>I'd be interested, Damien, if you could find out how the ballots were
>laid out compared to the winners of those elections.

This is known in the trade (and the media coverage) as the `donkey vote',
and has indeed been significant in several tight elections.

< Donkey vote

< A ballot paper on which the voter has ranked candidates from `1' onwards
straight down the ballot
paper without regard to the merits of the candidates; also refers to the
total number of votes
allocated in this way. >

By and large, it balances out, since places on the ballot paper are
allocated by chance. The donkey vote tends to be no larger than a couple of
percent (and sometimes, again by chance and connivance, it actually is
appropriate to vote straight down the form - since a party might advise its
team to vote for the guy at the top and their enemy is at the bottom, and
it doesn't significantly matter which order the rest are checked off so
it's easier just to run straight down and prevents spoilage of a vote by
filling the ballot incorrectly).

The obsessively curious might look at


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:09:17 MDT