There's an upcoming in election in Norway. I've done my democratic duty and voted for the party I've always voted for - in thick and thin. Why do I keep voting for the same party all the time..? Well, for rational reasons. I disagree strongly with their unholy alliance with social conservatives, but fiscal and foreign policy is more important to me.
I always have to read the party programs of the two parties I would potentially vote for - the conservatives and the liberals - and each election it comes down to which has the strongest package deal. The liberals just haven't made it yet. The labor party is another safe harbor, though I disagree on too many points to currently vote for them, and I don't have time to study three programs.
Seeing as there is an election, there is a lot of election talk. When I attempt to drill down in people's political leanings I quite often find that they are not based on reason, but emotions. It annoys me greatly. Even stalwart atheists tend to fall into this crap, where politics is a beauty contest and not a science fair.
Looking again at Norwegian politics, there is now a 7-10% sympathy vote for the Labor party. This is just a part of the many problems with an Emocracy. Many of those who have "switched sides" have done so because of the terror, and because the leader and the foreign minister are handsome. When I ask which particular cause they are interested in it is either some grandiose talk of an utopian society or strong anti-business stance. I have found that the more utopian, the less specific points possible to argue, and the more anti-business the less likely the person is to understand business or economics.
Last night I had a fairly long talk with some long-time socialists and it got to the point where they claimed banks are evil and control our lives. Especially the central banks. I forewent the opportunity to explain too much about banking, and rather change focus to central banking. My first statement was that central banks aren't actually banks per se, they are a financial authority. At this point I had three people almost yelling how wrong I was, asking me to shut up and listen, one even pulled out a dollar bill and showed me that it (didn't) say 'Property of the Federal Bank'. Two engineers and a marketing student - generally smart people - had very strong opinions on how the central bank works and how it needed to be controlled by the socialists. They were also dead wrong at every turn.
I ended up kindly asking them if they knew the derivation of the IS/LM or AD-AS model, which is key to understanding the first thing about economics in general, and how central banks does the 'M'. They didn't know and didn't want to know.
Apparently, knowledge is unimportant to opinion forming in an Emocracy. This is it's major flaw and will be it's undoing. Like open credit, most people just can't handle the responsibility of having a vote.