The Communists make up for it by having a committee on just about everything. The Chinese do the same thing. All Committees are also members of the party. When you get them all in a room its a REALLY big room!
I don't think its all about winners and losers. I do know, from personal experience, that when somebody doesn't make the right choices, and are in trouble when in the end years, they are considered perfect examples for them coming behind. I have actually been told that if there were people starving on the streets they would be excellent examples for them coming later!
You are right, they do not make the right decisions. The miracle is that those were never their own fault. They will tell you that they did the right thing and the failure was not their fault. Usually its the fault of the opposition.
On reflection I think may be talking about 'losers' and 'winners' not so much as a situation of competition but rather as group names, ie. "He is a loser"? I am not sure about your examples of choices. Those retirees and poor who vote against their own best interests are, for the most party, literal ignoramuses, ie. walking two-by-fours. I think those are idiots who think they are on a winning side and its just not their fault (when they experience the results).
Basically - ITS NEVER THEIR FAULT!
(I think we are in agreement and the differences are in how we express?)