Polity by Rob Salmond

Read Post

Polity: Meet the middle

258 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 7 8 9 10 11 Newer→ Last

  • David Hood, in reply to BenWilson,

    That was just by was of example "around 4" I didn't work it out with this particular group. I certainly would expect environmental questions would make more sense explaining the green vote, but haven't checked anything but the self reported location.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Attachment

    So if you pretend no-one but National and Labour were running in the 2011 election, and pretend nothing but how the voters placed the parties left to right against where they placed themselves matters, and scale all the voters distances between the parties so they match, this is how it looks.

    The red vertical line is the position of Labour, so anyone to the left is at least as left as Labour. The blue is National, the purple is the median voter in this highly artificial model.

    Personally I think this is a silly model to use. Even doing everything to make it look like a right left case, I still read it as the influence of National was extending further than the influence of Labour, there are more people left of Labour voting National than there are right of National voting Labour.

    showing my working in R

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to David Hood,

    Even doing everything to make it look like a right left case, I still read it as the influence of National was extending further than the influence of Labour, there are more people left of Labour voting National than there are right of National voting Labour.

    Why does that seem so silly? National got more votes period by a substantial margin, so I'd expect their reach to be further.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    As I understand it the left right metaphor is one of strategic positioning (hence the move to to middle arguments) rather than a multidimensional strength of signal metaphor.


    I spent entirely too long this evening looking up what colour election orange was. I am, for the record, now using #f89828 for graphs about the election.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to David Hood,

    I spent entirely too long this evening looking up what colour election orange was. I am, for the record, now using #f89828 for graphs about the election.

    Sounds like one of those food colouring agents that was banned long ago in first-world countries on suspicion of triggering seizures.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to David Hood,

    As I understand it the left right metaphor is one of strategic positioning (hence the move to to middle arguments) rather than a multidimensional strength of signal metaphor.

    OK, but I'm not seeing that last graphic undermining the strategic positioning argument. It looks like there's a big chunk of people between the parties that National contested better. If I can see anything it that graph it's almost confirming Rob's point. The median is closer to National, so that's where the median voters went.

    That said, I don't really get how you made that graph, why you scaled up massively. There's some math about scaling between 2 fixed points that you haven't explained.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to BenWilson,

    There are up to ten points of steps and I wanted something that divided evenly by 10, 9, 8,7 etc- I could also have gone to decimals.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    I think the graph is fundamentally misleading in that it is based solely on the Labour National dimension, and winning the median of that means a party is pretty closed to being able to govern by themselves- it completely ignores coalitions.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to David Hood,

    Attachment

    I could also have gone to decimals.

    Ah, that explains a lot.

    I think the graph is fundamentally misleading in that it is based solely on the Labour National dimension, and winning the median of that means a party is pretty closed to being able to govern by themselves- it completely ignores coalitions.

    Yes, it’s an approximation with a lot of bias. There are so many ways in which the basic assumptions of the median voter theorem are violated. The multidimensionality is the biggest first point, especially in NZ under MMP. But also the theorem assumes unimodality and I think it’s pretty clear from the way voters placed themselves that unimodality is highly questionable. The theorem also assumes all voters vote (which we know to be false), and that they vote for their preferences (rather than tactically). I think the subsetted PCA here shows that that is very much questionable in the case of NZF. It looks like they actually place themselves closer to Labour. This shows that the left-right placement is not the dominant factor in their political choice, despite it being pretty clear that NZF voters are close to the LR median.

    In other words, it looks like LR matters most to people who have more extreme LR. Voters in the center don’t care about it so much, so LR moves won’t be what captures them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Looking more closely at the subsetting there, it does seem to divide Labour into 2 clusters. The dense cloud on the left near where they think National is, and the big sparse cloud on the right (the dimensions are reversed on that graph, it seems), in which their variable loading falls. Not sure what to make of that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    The unmorality of the idea seems to be getting a lot of criticism in its application to US politics at the moment, because it is so polarised the "median" is a pretty empty space

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to David Hood,

    because it is so polarised the “median” is a pretty empty space

    It looks to me like LR is trimodal. In more dimensions that might actually break down, resembling a normal distribution more and more (obviously I mean the higher dimensional equivalent). That's what I'd expect...but I might be wrong.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    A pretty amazing longread on Corbynmania by Taylor Parkes for The Quietus.

    Parkes argues (and he's hardly the only one) that it's not Corbyn's policies that will spell disaster for UK Labour, but the company he keeps and the things he is on record as saying.

    The most interesting observations are around obsessive anti-imperialism.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Perhaps there is no Centre...
    I was wondering how much language has to do with the framing of the concept of Left v Right.
    For instance. You can say, "right = right and if you are not right then you are left with the left.". This gives the impression that left is second best at best.
    Alternatively, if you accept that doing the right thing for people and planet, without a self serving agenda, if you have empathy for others, if you believe in justice and fair pay, that you accept that there are people out there who are prepared to devote their lives to hold society to those values and that you have the right to vote those people into power, then, surely, that is the ideal.
    You can move away from that ideal in several ways, Tyranny, Fascism, the Law of the Jungle, whatever.
    The ideal is the centre, all the others are distractions for the benefit of the few.
    So, it is only right that the centre is Left.
    ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Attachment

    Something I’ve had to put on hold while getting other things done. Using opinion on subjects rather than about left-right positioning, to look for principle components. I had someone do this in SAS for me, I’ll attempt to do the same thing in R when I get the time.

    The party points are the center of mass for all the people that voted for them. The other labels are the variable loading positions for the entire population on the questions that they correspond to. You’ll have to ask me which actual questions they were if you're interested in one particular question.

    But the thing that leaps out at me from this graph is that while of course we know that politics is multidimensional (or at least anyone who knows what that means probably thinks that), in this graph Labour and National are sitting almost squarely on the principle axis, and 90% of the variation in the data is explained by this axis.

    So if we did actually like Rob’s definition of left and right as being the direction between Labour and National, then just on opinions about politics, as asked in 2011 in this survey, it does look like we’re almost in a uni-dimensional situation. I didn’t go off every question, there’s a lot more tidying to do on this…but it’s bloody interesting. These were the general questions you’d ask someone to find out whether they’re left or right wing without just asking them if they’re left or right wing.

    This was built on that helpful someone I don’t want to name without their consent giving the suggestion to binarize the choices, because unfortunately the data allowed “Don’t know” on the same continuum as the answers and I lose almost all the data if I keep only complete cases. It seemed like a good alternative to imputing the don’t knows.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Nice to see Lazyben is so popular amongst National supporters. ;-)
    As for the "don't knows".
    These are the people that are generally targeted by the right, the "Undecided Voter", someone who, obviously, reads little that he doesn't agree with, believes in his own opinion wholeheartedly and that belief is that the left are loony because it sounds right.

    Interesting work Ben. That National and Labour seem to be on the same plain. I was thinking that if that plain was a brane the 3D modeling could be quite enlightening.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to BenWilson,

    By principle you mean principal as in "the principal component" rather than principle as in "the principles of the party"?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Interesting work Ben. That National and Labour seem to be on the same plain.

    Thank Steve, although it's far from being as complete as I'd like. I'll be fleshing it out a lot more over the next month.

    As for the same plane thing, well the analysis itself looks for the plane (well, hyperplane, technically) that most separates the data out. Since most people voted for either National or Labour, I'd expect them to have ended up along the first principle axis somewhere. Essentially, it was looking for the plane that would go between them, rather than luckily finding one. I did not tell the analysis anything about the left-rightness of the questions, nor how the people voted. It just looked for the best way to split them into two groups based on all the questions. Then it does it again for the second dimension, and so on. There's more dimensions, but I only plotted the first 2.

    There are some interesting things on there. taxsolve is quite a long way from ACT and National. This is "Reducing taxes in general would help solve our economic problems". immig is a long way from NZ First and actually from everywhere, but this is because it was worded in the reverse direction "Do you think the number of immigrants allowed into New Zealand nowadays should be" with increased score meaning "increased". ie you'd expect NZF supporters to disagree with this. So the second axis (up-down) is most strongly associated with views on immigration, it seems. The strange location of taxsolve I can't explain.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Yes, principal components. But you knew that, I'm sure, you pendantic sew and sew.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to BenWilson,

    “Reducing taxes in general would help solve our economic problems”.

    If you feed that sentence through a reading grader, it comes out at a (US) grade 12 (as in 6th/7th form - 17/18).

    That's a higher level of literacy than most people can manage, so it'd quite possible that the anomalous results are caused by a failure to understand the question.

    It's also a loaded question, because it implies its own correctness.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to BenWilson,

    The strange location of taxsolve I can’t explain

    Well, OK, I can try. It's something that isn't important in the Labour/National distinction, but is important in the second dimension. In other words, it's not something that could distinguish Labour voters from National ones, but could help you tell NZF ones apart from Green ones, since they're very close in the first dimension. That and views on immigration.

    Obviously there aren't any questions about environmentalism here otherwise there would be some that were near the Greens. This is not deliberate in that I don't think it's important - I just didn't use the B1-5 questions in the survey yet because dealing with the "don't knows" is more problematic. I'll get around to it at some point.

    So I guess the point I made above about explaining 90% of the variation should be made with this in mind. It tells you as much about the questions as about general positioning. Had all the questions been about immigration then NZF and Maori Party would have ended up on the main axis at one end, UF and Greens on the other, and National and Labour close together in the middle, with Labour probably closer to the NZF end.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    That’s a higher level of literacy than most people can manage, so it’d quite possible that the anomalous results are caused by a failure to understand the question.

    Could be. Or maybe it isn't really that much of a distinction between the main parties' voters.. Can dig deeper here. Won't be until the end of next week, though.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to BenWilson,

    Can dig deeper here. Won't be until the end of next week, though.

    Waiting with bated breath.
    Will we be going 3D?
    ;-)
    We could end up with a HollowGraph...
    /coat...

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 7 8 9 10 11 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.