Why I’m Not Voting 3rd Party

October 17, 2016


I’m a big supporter of the Green Party; I’ve attended Green Party meetings and voted for Green Party candidates, even in Presidential elections. I’ve always believed that you should vote your conscience if you ever want anything to change.

However, we have a winner-take-all system of elections. We don’t have a parliamentary system that would allow 4% of Congress to be Green if 4% of us voted for the Green Party. Instead, if 4% of us vote Green, the government could be taken over by Donald Trump and a band of alt-right extremists.

We should have a parliamentary system. We should have instant run-off elections, where voters are free to vote for a third party knowing that if it doesn’t get a majority, their 2nd choice candidate will receive their vote. We should also get rid of the electoral college. These are all reforms that third parties should fight for. But they have to do it from local and state offices and sometimes, although extremely difficult, US congressional offices.

The system has to be reformed, but it can’t be reformed if we are putting our energies and votes into the Presidential race where we may end up feeling good about our individual vote while living in an increasingly repressive country where the reforms we seek slip further and further away.

Until we have a proportional democracy, where we could build a stronger presence in Congress year after year, it makes no sense to vote for a third party for President. Because let’s face it, there’s a big difference between a Clinton presidency, that may be mediocre and supportive of the status quo, and the chaos of a Trump presidency.

One could make the argument that by helping to throw the election to Trump, we would force the Democrats to pay more attention to the issues important to, say the Green party in order for them to win those voters back. But, regardless of whether the Democrats actually took that lesson to heart, I just don’t agree with the morality of punishing the Democrats by punishing the entire world with a Trump regime.

I have to admit that my decision has been made easier this time around because I find the third party candidates much less compelling, and even less able to articulate their party’s platforms, than in previous years. But even if someone with a consistent message I agreed with, such as Ralph Nader were running, I don’t think that I could take the risk this time. It’s just too scary. Every election, we are told that this is the most important election in our lifetimes by the candidates, in order to drum up enthusiasm. But this time, it’s true.

And now for something completely different (click):


Why I am Meh About Bernie Sanders

July 26, 2015
Michael P. King/Wisconsin State Journal/AP

Michael P. King/Wisconsin State Journal/AP

I have been troubled by my own lack of enthusiasm for the Bernie Sanders presidential candidacy. In the past, I’ve always been an energetic supporter; Bernie for Mayor, Bernie for House, Bernie for Senate – count me in! When Benrnie was elected to the US Senate, I loved how the media couldn’t mention his name without prefacing it with “The self-avowed socialist….” I made a lapel button that said “Self-Avowed” and set it to him.

So why now, with the conspicuous lack of a progressive presidential candidate in the mix, do I find myself so “meh” about Bernie? In fact, on some deep level that I have had trouble understanding, I’ve even felt a bit disappointed that he’s running for president.

Read the rest of this entry »

…But Do They Date?

April 4, 2015

I have decided to base my vote for US President on how datable a candidate is. I have painstakingly searched Google for the phrase, “my date with [fill in candidates name]” to see what the dating public thinks of the potential candidates, and I have received some surprising results:

“my date with Elizabeth Warren” – 0 results

“my date with Jeb Bush” – 0 results

Read the rest of this entry »

Proud Conservatives Vs. Embarrassed Liberals

June 24, 2010

In U.S. politics, we like to believe that everything is balanced; if the Republicans are doing something bad, the Democrats must be doing it too. Outside of the extremely partisan, news commentators will generally be sure to mention that if there is corruption on one side of the aisle then the other side must be up to some dirty tricks as well. If they don’t express that assumption, they fear they may sound biased, and I think that viewers feel more comfortable with the idea that politicians are all tainted regardless of their party affiliation. Read the rest of this entry »

It Ain’t What You Eat it’s the Way How You Chew it: Lessons for Democrats

January 26, 2010

After their 2008 electoral sweep, many Democrats ridiculed Republicans for continuing, even intensifying, in playing to their base. Gleeful Democratic pundits commented that Republicans were out of touch with the mainstream values of the electorate. The Republicans were forcing moderates out of their party. Moving further and further to the right seemed laughably misguided for a national strategy.

And yet…. Read the rest of this entry »

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