The general population fears the unknown. Since the dawn of politics this has been true, and is no secret to those vying for positions of influence. When it comes time to vote most people do not research, I mean really research, the candidates. Voters rely on common advertisements, media, friends, political debates, etc... for background. And for those that do try to research there is an overwhelming amount of unverifiable information emanating from dubious sources so that one is left rather dazed with hardly enough time in the day to sort through it all for each candidate. Hardly a matter of circumstance or chance. In the end (or the voting booth, to be accurate), given a candidate that is familiar vs. a candidate that is not then the safe bet will almost always appear, even given a candidate's bad track record, to vote on familiarity. That is why campaigning works; why an exorbitant amount of cash is spent on campaigning; and why alternative parties with little campaign funds are excluded in debates.
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