Definition of Loose Cannon

What does the word "loose cannon" mean as it applies to the world of politics? What is meant by the term "loose cannon"?

In the world of politics, a "loose cannon" is somebody who doesn't do what he/she is "supposed" to do. Usually this means not voting along party lines or deviating from scripts.

Definition of Loose Cannon - Financial Dictionary - ElectionsLet's give a few examples of how somebody could be seen as a "loose cannon":

Example 1:

Joe Smith is running for a Senate seat. Joe Smith has a prepared speech, but Smith quickly deviates from the script and starts attacking his opponent. Despite his campaign's wishes, Smith spends the entirety of his speech trashing his opponent and pointing out his opponent's shortcomings. The media labels Smith as a "loose cannon" following this event.

Example 2:

Joe Smith is currently a member of Senate. Smith votes against a military action that is supported by every other person in his party. Smith argues that the military action is foolish and won't accomplish the stated goal.

Other members of Smith's party label him a "loose cannon" thanks to his voting record.

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