22 August 2011


Regular readers here will have noticed that I have far too many ideas to contain on only one blog. Fortunately I've been asked to help carry the Quantum Pontiff's torch, along with co-bloggers Charlie Bennett and Steve Flammia. So you can read my quantum thoughts there. I'll keep this blog for non-quantum posts, so keep checking back here every 12-18 months for another paragraph or two.

15 May 2011

Democratic voter vs Democrat

I vote mostly straight Democrat, but wouldn't call myself a Democrat since my views are pretty far from those of the typical Democratic politician. Like many, I vote for them because I prefer them to the Republicans. Does that make me a Democratic voter? Or a Democrat?

Typically in the US, someone like me is a called a Democrat. Similarly, people who vote Republican are called "Republicans" rather than "Republican voters" or "Republican supporters."

In the UK, the dominant parties are Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats, while people are referred to as Conservative voters, Labour supporters, and so on. It's hard to even think of a noun associated with members of the Labour party (ok, well it's Labourites, but that's not used much). On the other hand, like in the US, party affiliation is also pretty stable, and there are still plenty of unquestioning supporters of each party.

But on the whole I like this use of language much better. Often the Democratic and Republican parties agree on things that the majority of Americans disagree with, and it'd be easier to talk about this if we didn't pretend that the entire country was made up of Democrats and Republicans.