Social Mood Conference  |  Socionomics Foundation

By Robert Prechter | From the July 2012 Socionomist


 

In November 2008, Democratic candidate Barack Obama defeated Republican John McCain to win the U.S. presidency and take over from two-term President George W. Bush as the world was mired in a financial crisis. Read this report from November 2008 carefully, and fill in the blanks:

Voters chose ________ to help navigate the country through the global financial meltdown, handing long-serving __________ an election defeat. The 47-year-old leader of the _____________ party ousted __________’s _________ party after _____ years in office. ______ has promised a more _____-leaning government than _____’s, which for almost a decade made ____________ a key policy issue. In a country where the environment is a mainstream political issue, _______ has vowed to _________ a gas-emission trading scheme. The economy fell into recession early this year, and the worldwide downturn is the most immediate problem. “Today, voters have spoken, and they have voted for change,” _______ told supporters at a packed victory celebration. The global financial crisis means that the road ahead may well be a rocky one,” ______ said. “Tomorrow, the hard work begins.”

Here is the original article:

November 9, 2008—WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP)
New Zealanders chose a wealthy, conservative former financier Saturday to help navigate the country through the global financial meltdown, handing long-serving left-wing Prime Minister Helen Clark a crushing election defeat. John Key, the 47-year-old leader of the conservative National Party, swept easily to power in this South Pacific country of 4.1 million people, ousting Clark’s Labour Party after nine years in office. Before being elected to parliament in 2002, multimillionaire Key was a currency trader at Merrill Lynch, working in the U.S. and Singapore. Key has promised a more right-leaning government than Clark’s, which for almost a decade made global warming a key policy issue. In a country where the environment is a mainstream political issue, Key has vowed to wind back Clark’s greenhouse-gas-emission trading scheme to protect businesses from financial losses, and to reduce red tape he says entangles important dam projects. New Zealand’s farming-export-dependent economy fell into recession early this year, and Key said the worldwide downturn is the most immediate problem for the country. “Today, New Zealand has spoken; in their hundreds of thousands, they have voted for change,” Key told supporters at a packed victory celebration in the country’s largest city, Auckland. “The global financial crisis means that the road ahead may well be a rocky one,” Key said. Clark…blamed a “time-for-a-change factor, and that took us out with the tide” for the election loss. “So, with that it’s over and out from me. Thank you New Zealand for the privilege of having been your prime minister for the last nine years. Kia ora Tatou,” she said, reciting a farewell in the indigenous Maori language.

Does this not make socionomic causality crystal clear? For 20 years, I have argued as follows:

When social mood waxes positive, as reflected by persistently rising stock prices, voters desire to retain the leader who symbolizes their upbeat feelings and who they presume helped cause the conditions attending them. When the social mood becomes more negative, as reflected by persistently falling stock prices, voters decide to throw out the incumbent who symbolizes their downbeat feelings and who they presume helped cause the conditions attending them. The political policies of the incumbent and his challenger are irrelevant to this dynamic. The key is a desire for change per se, not any particular type of change. The standard presumption has no explanation for reconciling the relationship between these phenomena.

The Elliott Wave Theorist, November 1999, reprinted in Pioneering Studies of Socionomics
(For charts and further commentary backing up this case, please see The Wave Principle of Human Social Behavior, pp.273-281 and Pioneering Studies in Socionomics, pp.57-58.)

Here, in the U.S. and New Zealand, there were two elections, concluded within five days of each other, in which voters ousted leaders of the right and left, respectively, and elected new leaders of the left and right, respectively. Cheering attendees at each victory party claimed to be celebrating new ideas—liberal ones in America and conservative ones in New Zealand—but this is a charade. First of all, the ideas are not new but as old as politics. Second, and more important, the new leaders’ ideas, and in America even the challenger’s racial heritage, were irrelevant. The only thing that mattered to the primitive portions of voters’ aggregate brains was to change the leader.

The newly elected leaders are within months of the same age. But otherwise they are remarkable for their differences. One new leader is anti-wealthy; the other is a millionaire financier. One leader pledges to initiate global-warming legislation; the other vows to reverse it. One leader is a liberal, the other a conservative. Amusingly, despite completely different ideas on political economics, both men claim to have been elected to fix the economy! And the people cheer and cheer.

The only thing that both elected candidates got right is that “People voted for change.” The change from what and to what, however, did not matter to voters in the aggregate. This is how humanity changes in its political experience from freedom to socialism, from nationalism to internationalism, from religiousness to its lack, from meddling in other countries to leaving them alone. They unconsciously lurch from one leader to another, regardless of their policies. Each time, the solutions to whatever crises exist sound plausible to voters.

Election results stem from socionomic causes, but the specific politics are the result of chaotic forces and therefore little more than the luck of the draw. Sometimes the ideas are good, but usually they are bad. According to MacLean (see The Wave Principle of Human Social Behavior, p.281), herding and leader selection derive from the same primitive areas of the brain. Socionomics harnesses this knowledge. So can you.

 


 

In 2012, the Socionomics Institute published a peer-reviewed paper titled, “Social Mood, Stock Market Performance and U.S. Presidential Elections: A Socionomic Perspective on Voting Results,” in Sage Open.

Read the full paper: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1987160

 

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