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United States Politics

Ralph Nader Moderates One Last 3rd-Party Debate for 2012 409

Posted by timothy
from the love-'em-or-hate-'em dept.
Late Tuesday, both the 2012 U.S. election (the popular vote at least) and the 2012 campaign season should be over. Tonight, though, whatever your ability or plans to vote are (see the current poll for a peek at what other readers claim about their intentions), you've got the chance to see one more presidential debate, to be moderated by Ralph Nader, and featuring third-party presidential contenders Gary Johnson (Libertarian), Jill Stein (Green), Virgil Goode (Constitution) and Rock Anderson (Justice). Yes, the same ones featured in another debate a few weeks back. (We promise, this is the last debate of this go-round.) If you're voting (or would, if you could) for other than the Democratic or Republican parties' candidates this year, what drives that decision?
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Ralph Nader Moderates One Last 3rd-Party Debate for 2012

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  • A Wasted Vote... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 04, 2012 @08:06PM (#41875829)

    If you're voting (or would, if you could) for other than the Democratic or Republican parties' candidates this year, what drives that decision?

    Because it's MY vote. I'm told at work that I'm "wasting" my vote by not selecting candidate XXX, but to me, a wasted vote is a vote for something I don't agree with. I like Obama for ending the war in Iraq, I like Romney for requiring OpenDocument format (ODF) when he was governor of Mass, but at the end of the day, the candidates have more in common than not: use of drones, no plan to scale back TSA, overfunding the military, corrupted by Wall Street, etc.

    That's a loaded question to ask anyway, its similar to asking, "Why use something other than Apple/Microsoft?" Well, its about personal choice, and its about ideas. Sure, Linux will probably never win on the desktop, but you better fucking believe that Windows and MacOS are better operating systems now than they would have been had Linux never come along. The threat of losing to competition forced a better TCP/IP stack, it forced real security options in Windows, and it forced Apple to reinvent itself as a UNIX OS. And oh by the way, I happen to prefer using KDE over Apple/Windows.

    Same thing with the political parties, we have come to believe (as a nation) that R/D are the only legitimate choices, and it has lead to stagnation of ideas and of real work being done. The Federal government is broken, and cannot even pass a budget. But you better believe if Mitt Romney loses the electoral college due to the L vote, the Rs will start to distance themselves from the "abortion" issue and religious nutjobs, maybe start courting non-whites for a change and it will be for the better. Just witness how the Al Gore and the D's came around on the environment when my boy Nader took the election from him in 2000. The mandate for MPGs is going to double what it was 10 years ago, and we are finally subsidizing clean energy instead of oil.

    • Re:A Wasted Vote... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by blackfireuponus (2026394) on Sunday November 04, 2012 @08:33PM (#41876031)
      I am also a Nader fan and a 3 time Nader voter, and I'm voting for Jill Stein. A vote for a mainstream candidate in a non contested state is the real wasted vote.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        the fact that there are virtually no third party members in any elected office is the real problem. i've never understood why the libertarians who can't get someone elected as mayor somewhere thinks they have a chance to win the presidential election. and on the wild, impossible chance that a third party one there is no party structure to actually get anything done. the only chance a 3rd party has is by starting small. look at the tea party, in the early 90's religious zealots and small gov types(proto tea

      • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Sunday November 04, 2012 @09:30PM (#41876357)

        A vote for a mainstream candidate in a non contested state is the real wasted vote.

        I think that a vote for a D or R in a contested state is even more wasted than in a non-contested state. Because the D&Rs dominate the only way to make them adopt change is to scare them into thinking they won't win the state - they have no fear in the states that are not contested.

        So if you vote 3rd party based on your conscience this time around and the D or R that you disagree with more wins the state you have exercised the only leverage you have - that a party that doesn't represent you could have had your vote but they effed it up. If they want your vote next election, they need to adopt some of the positions of the 3rd party that you did vote for. Winners keep doing what they were doing because it worked last time. Losers change their tactics in order to try to win next time.

        BTW, this is why I think the Tea Party is a sham - they aren't a real party, just a wing of the republican party. You can't vote for a tea party presidential candidate the way you can for a real 3rd party candidate.

      • by Hatta (162192)

        Any vote for either major party is not just a wasted vote, it's an immoral vote.

    • by artor3 (1344997) on Sunday November 04, 2012 @08:38PM (#41876059)

      It is nothing like asking "Apple or Microsoft?" You, as an individual, can choose Linux, but it's not like you're gonna get to have Johnson or Stein as your own personal president.

      Our election system sucks. It's just about the worst way to choose elected officials. It forces all elections to come down to a binary choice. But wishing and dreaming won't fix it. The rules are the rules, and you have to pick the best strategy within them. Insisting on only moving your pawns one square at a time will lead to disaster, no matter how much you may disagree with the double-move rule.

      Now, that said, if you're among the 85% of Americans who don't live in a swing state, then your presidential vote doesn't matter so much anyway, so you might as well try to get some extra funding for your third party of choice for the next cycle.

      • Re:A Wasted Vote... (Score:5, Informative)

        by gman003 (1693318) on Sunday November 04, 2012 @08:50PM (#41876147)

        Maybe not this election, but if candidates see that X% of voters want $IdeologyOfThirdParty, they'll start pushing that way more, because that few percent could be what wins them the election. So it still has influence, just more long-term.

        (There's also that federal funding given to any presidential campaign whose party earned over 5% of the vote in the last election. So once a party reaches that threshold, it could jump up rather quickly.)

        • by artor3 (1344997) on Sunday November 04, 2012 @09:59PM (#41876539)

          Long-term thinking like that doesn't work. If you give up a few presidential cycles working for your twenty year goal, then you'll find that the Overton window has shifted against you, the Supreme Court is stacked with idealogues who'll rule your every move unconstitutional, and the districts are gerrymandered to make taking over Congress impossible.

          Like I said before, if you're not in a swing state, then 3rd parties are the way to go, if only to get them federal funding. But if you are in a position where your vote could set the course of the nation for years to come, you'd be a fool to throw that away for some long-term plan that may never come to pass.

    • Re:A Wasted Vote... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by flyneye (84093) on Sunday November 04, 2012 @08:48PM (#41876133) Homepage

      Technically, since the Republican and Democratic parties have taken turns, term by term, doing eventually, exactly the same thing the other would do, perhaps sooner, perhaps later, for around a century, we've no reason to consider them separate parties. Minor differences between them have supplied the illusion of a separate entity, all smoke and mirrors, this is a one party system: The Repubmocrats.
              To continually do the same thing over and over, then to expect different results each time is crazy and stupid. Therefore to cast a vote in favor of the presiding one party system is logically a waste of a vote for an improving break of this mad cycle.
      You can argue that radical changes would be made by the other parties, I give you that radical changes must be corrected due to our incompetence over the last century. Yeah , it could hurt. Wanna pawn it off on your kids? Grandkids? Want more of the same ol' downward spiral for you and them? Just keep voting Repubmocrat if you do. Frankly, I would vote for a one eyed, hump backed, anarchist Hobbit, if I thought it would mean an end to Repubmocrat tyranny.

      • Frankly, I would vote for a one eyed, hump backed, anarchist Hobbit, if I thought it would mean an end to Repubmocrat tyranny.

        Actually, that sounds like a pretty good candidate to me.

    • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Sunday November 04, 2012 @09:27PM (#41876343)
      A third-party vote, even if it is not destined to designate the winner, can also be a strategic decision, not just a "wasted vote".

      A significant vote for a third party sends a very strong message to the powers-that-be: you are messing up.

      They listen. They have to, if they want to be elected again.

      Further, a vote for a third-party candidate can help set up a better atmosphere for another third-party candidate 4 years from now.

      According to polls, approximately 20% of the voting American public identify themselves as "independent" (in this case meaning they do not support the "Big 2"). That is the largest number in history.

      According to other studies, it only takes 10% to make major changes, if they are persistent and sincere. We have twice that now.

      Look out, Big 2.

      And you can bet that I won't be voting for either of them. They're both so bad as to be laughable. Or they would be, if it weren't so tragic.

      --
      "Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost." -- John Quincy Adams
    • Keep in mind that Obama took 55% of the popular vote in 2008, but with a 62% turnout, only about 34% of eligible citizens supported him enough to go vote for him. The two major parties simply do not represent majorities in this country.
      • by Andy Prough (2730467) on Sunday November 04, 2012 @11:56PM (#41877181)

        Keep in mind that Obama took 55% of the popular vote in 2008, but with a 62% turnout, only about 34% of eligible citizens supported him enough to go vote for him. The two major parties simply do not represent majorities in this country.

        Exactly - and a large percentage of those that voted for him did not identify themselves as D's - they were "Independents". As of 2010, Gallup polling found that 31% of Americans identified as Democrats, 29% as Republicans, and 38% as independents (http://www.gallup.com/poll/145463/Democratic-Party-Drops-2010-Tying-Year-Low.aspx). So no party has even close to a majority of voters, and independents are the largest portion.

        The interesting thing is that independent voters continue to allow R's and D's to make all national elections referendums almost exclusively about their own candidates. The most successful independent or 3rd party candidates in the past 100 years were Ross Perot (18.9% in 1992), and Teddy Roosevelt (27% as a Progressive in 1912).

    • I live on the west coast. So by the logic people use against 3rd parties, any vote not for whatever Democrat is running this time is also a wasted vote.

    • by Greyfox (87712)
      Word. A mainstream vote this year is just a selection for what shade you like your president in! Other than that, it's the same health care plan (Hint: Romney won't repeal it,) the same foreign policy, and 4 more years of the president (either one) being cock-blocked by Congress! Unless, that is, you can hand either party 70% of the Senate, and signs point to no.

      The small third parties, if they get enough votes, will qualify for federal campaign dollars and guaranteed spots on the ballot in upcoming elect

    • Re:A Wasted Vote... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Vaphell (1489021) on Sunday November 04, 2012 @10:44PM (#41876793)

      I like Obama for ending the war in Iraq

      you mean for sticking to Dubya's plan because he was forced to, mostly because Iraq simply refused when they were offered to extend the deal? They even dared to demand they could prosecute troops committing crimes, which are immune to the local law enforcement.
      And there is that huge so called embassy for 5500 people, full of mercenaries. That pulling out is in name only.

    • Re:A Wasted Vote... (Score:5, Informative)

      by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Sunday November 04, 2012 @11:00PM (#41876873) Homepage

      I'm told at work that I'm "wasting" my vote by not selecting candidate XXX, but to me, a wasted vote is a vote for something I don't agree with. I like Obama for ending the war in Iraq,

      Kudos for voting third party. Me too.

      However, I feel obliged to correct a misconception about Obama. He did not "end the war in Iraq" --- he merely failed to extend it. In the months leading up to the expiration of SOFA, scheduled for Dec 2011, the Obama administration lobbied Iraq for an extension in order to keeps thousands, maybe up to 20,000 troops in Iraq. SOFA was a prerequisite for that because it forbids Iraq from prosecuting soldiers in Iraq, for crimes committed while they are in Iraq. Had Obama been successful at extending SOFA, Obama would not now be claiming to have "ended the war in Iraq" because it would still be going on. I mean, it still is, just with mercenaries and such, but it is perhaps a worthy semantic distinction. I just hate to see people give credit to Obama though, when all he did was "fail to extend," which is totally different from "intending to end."

      Citations: http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2012/10/23/obamas-revisionist-history-on-ending-the-iraq-war-a-lesson-from-the-3rd-presidential-debate/ [foreignpolicyjournal.com]

      and this from within the above:
      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704889404576277240145258616.html [wsj.com]

    • by Veggiesama (1203068) on Sunday November 04, 2012 @11:25PM (#41877023)

      I like Obama for ending the war in Iraq, I like Romney for requiring OpenDocument format (ODF) when he was governor of Mass...

      Only on Slashdot are these comparable accomplishments...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tignom (562076)
      If there are mainstream candidates you want to win, vote for them. If not, a vote for a third party is a vote for more viable candidates to choose from in the next election. In the long run, that's a meaningful vote.
    • by hrvatska (790627)
      A third party isn't going to be viable nationally until it has a strong local base. If it can't get enough votes to get local officials elected it's unlikely to be able to get votes for its presidential candidates. Local office holders can be an incredibly valuable resource for a national campaign. When people's mayors, town council members, country executives and the like are seen to be members of a third party it makes that party a much more attractive option. Parties like the Greens and the Libertarians
    • by murdocj (543661)

      I hope you aren't seriously comparing ending a war with supporting a document format.

    • by Clsid (564627)

      I agree with a lot of what you said, but I'm not sure that Linux was the reason why Apple reinvented Mac OS. If you read the famous Steve Jobs bio by Isaacson, the whole upgrade was something of a dire need in order to compete with Microsoft. They were looking at BeOS or NeXT, after failing miserably with some internal projects. In the end, NeXT won the deal, and since NeXT itself used a Mach Unix kernel at its core, it was only logical they were going to choose BSD to build Mac OS X on.

      But as far as ome ot

  • Tomorrow night? (Score:4, Informative)

    by tooyoung (853621) on Sunday November 04, 2012 @08:11PM (#41875871)
    Won't the election be over on Tuesday?
    • by hutsell (1228828)

      Won't the election be over on Tuesday?

      The President is elected by the Electoral College [wikipedia.org]; the Electors, chosen by the voters tomorrow, meet in their own state capitals on the Monday after the second Wednesday in December (December 12, for this year) and cast their votes on separate ballots, one for the President and the other for the Vice President. Unofficially, we'll know tomorrow night. If it's an unusually close or controversial election, then we'll know after December 12, 2012.

      • "... the Electors, chosen by the voters tomorrow, meet in their own state capitals..."

        No, even though that is the way it is described in Wikipedia, that is incorrect.

        The people vote for who they want to win the election. Not for Electors. The Electors then decide who THEY will vote for. They are not bound by the choices of the people. Regardless, the people vote for political candidates, not electors.

        • by chill (34294)

          Actually several States have passed laws requiring Electors to cast their votes for whomever wins the popular vote in their State. Thus several ARE bound by the choices of the people. In theory, anyway.

          • I should have qualified that. There is no Federal requirement that electors vote any particular way. But as far as I know there is nothing keeping states from passing such legislation.
            • Read the constitution. While it doesn't say "you can't tell them how to vote" it does say that the electors annouce their decision. So the implication is that you can't tell them how to vote. You can appoint them any way you like, though, so there's no constitutional demand to hold an election for president. The govenor of Ohio can simply appoint a bunch of Republicans as electors, if the Ohio constitution/legislature allows it. But the govenor of Ohio shouldn't be able to tell them how to vote. But h

              • "Read the constitution. While it doesn't say "you can't tell them how to vote" it does say that the electors annouce their decision."

                I am presuming that you are basing your argument on the words "their decision". But there are many kinds of decisions... like "Vote the way the people of this state tell you, or walk." That is a decision, of a sort. It is also coercion, of a sort. But not the sort wherein someone points a gun at your head. There is a quantitative and qualitative difference.

                "The govenor of Ohio can simply appoint a bunch of Republicans as electors, if the Ohio constitution/legislature allows it. But the govenor of Ohio shouldn't be able to tell them how to vote. But he does. Which is probably unconstitutional."

                No, it's not unconstitutional. Each state (read that Constitution again) can decide for itself -- as long as it does not break other Federal laws -- how

  • Easy answer (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nidi62 (1525137) on Sunday November 04, 2012 @08:21PM (#41875967)

    If you're voting (or would, if you could) for other than the Democratic or Republican parties' candidates this year, what drives that decision?

    Easy: Romney wants to control your bedroom (marriage, abortion, etc), and Obama wants to control your bank account. Not to mention in the debates they both have either lied out of their asses or refused to provide real answers/details to any policy question.

    • Bollocks (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 04, 2012 @08:34PM (#41876037)
      Obama wants the top tax bracket to go up 3%. That's it. It was higher under Reagan.
      • by Nidi62 (1525137)
        He also is increasing taxes on the lower and middle class with the health care plan. First of all, I am against a national plan. I can't afford health insurance right now, and would rather do without as I don't feel it is right for everyone else to subsidize it and pay for it for me. What makes it worse is that I am penalized for not even being able to afford the insurance. I can't afford it so they are going to fine me for it?
        • Re:Bollocks (Score:5, Informative)

          by lexman098 (1983842) on Sunday November 04, 2012 @09:36PM (#41876385)

          I can't afford health insurance right now, and would rather do without as I don't feel it is right for everyone else to subsidize it and pay for it for me. What makes it worse is that I am penalized for not even being able to afford the insurance.

          This pretty much sums up the misinformation surrounding obamacare. Let me guess, you're too poor to afford insurance without your employer helping out, but still not poor enough to qualify for medicaid. The affordable care act was built with you in mind, my friend. It's actually less efficient for everyone else to let people like you go without insurance, so the affordable care act is going to (hopefully) make it cheaper for you to buy insurance from the exchange or at least require your employer to help out. You won't be "fined for being poor" unless you're ignorant ideology prevents you from taking advantage.

          • It's actually less efficient for everyone else to let people like you go without insurance, so the affordable care act is going to (hopefully) make it cheaper for you to buy insurance from the exchange or at least require your employer to help out.

            Its actually cheaper in many cases for the employer to pay the fine for not providing coverage than to pay for coverage. Coverage hasn't really been getting cheaper, but more expensive as insurance companies see the writing on the wall and so raise prices now because they know that they probably won't be able to do so easily in the future. They have also been dropping children's policies for similar reasons. That also doesn't account for people that lost their jobs as business shutdown some locations or do

        • by Nimey (114278)

          You're not penalized for that, idiot. The healthcare law specifies that if you're too poor to afford health insurance you will receive a tax credit towards paying for it.

        • When you get sick, I'd rather you get per-emotive care rather than wasting my health care money by rushing to the ER at 2 in the morning costing me 10 times more money.... but nope, you'd rather just get the benefits without paying.

        • by cffrost (885375)

          I can't afford health insurance right now, and would rather do without as I don't feel it is right for everyone else to subsidize it and pay for it for me.

          I am happy to help subsidize your receipt of proper care via taxes, as opposed to subsidizing repayment to hospitals for unaffordable emergency room treatment for problems that were allowed to fester due to inability to personally pay for early, effective, quality care.

          If you want to ease any (IMO, misguided) sense of guilt over receiving proper care provided taxpayers/government funds, consider it an investment in improving/maintaining your ability to function as a productive (or even potentially productiv

      • There are many more ways to reach into your wallet than just taxes (which you would know if you knew anything about the subject at all). And Obama has been pushing ALL of them.

        Get a clue.
    • by Mspangler (770054)

      Even easier;

      Obama refuses to enforce the law. (John Corzine is still not in jail, etc, etc)

      Romney wants to continue to monger war.

      Neither is fit for the job.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 04, 2012 @08:34PM (#41876035)

    I am Greek - in my country (birthplace of Democracy... but you know that!), and in our last elections few months ago, we had about 35 parties to choose from, and from them there are 7 in the parliament (there is a 3% minimum of total votes requirement for geting there), and from those 7 parties 3 of them are forming the goverment... and still, for many citizens there is not a party that fully represents them.
    I believe that you have a much better Democracy in the USA than ours, but thats because you are better quality citizens - you should really check this multiple parties thing... it will make your Democracy even more better.

    • I believe that you have a much better Democracy in the USA than ours, but thats because you are better quality citizens

      Uh, what? Care to elaborate?

    • "... you should really check this multiple parties thing... it will make your Democracy even more better."

      We already have multiple parties. Some of them have people in Congress. We just haven't had a President from any of them lately. But... although we are traditionally a country of 2 main parties, there is no actual law to that effect. And in fact the "Big 2" parties have not always been the same 2 parties. They can be, and have been, replaced.

      But the current "Big 2" have put in place barriers for others. If we want to have real change here, we MUST have a 3rd-party President. That will get the ball rollin

    • We have a Federal Constitutional Republic, that has strong Democratic traditions. Now that might sound like nit picking but it isn't. Due to the way we choose the president, the system is heavily stacked to only have two parties.

      So what happens is people don't actually vote for the president, they vote for electors who then vote for the president. This was put in to place because back in the day, it was pretty much the only way to do things what with the massive distances involved, and also due to the desir

  • by belgo (72693) on Sunday November 04, 2012 @08:44PM (#41876095) Homepage

    ... and I was just voting my conscience (last Sunday, during early voting, as it happened). The two 'major' parties both want to send your children to die in countries that did not attack us in 2001, and both parties enjoy ordering record numbers of wiretaps, both with and without warrants, every single year. Both 'major' parties are also huge, huge fans of welfare, as long as the recipients are banks. I know one of them will win (and given their similarities, it doesn't matter which). But I'll sleep better knowing I had no part in endorsing their sociopathy.

    • "... and both parties enjoy ordering record numbers of wiretaps..."

      Not to mention hookers. Also without warrants.

  • Peace (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JackPepper (1603563) on Sunday November 04, 2012 @08:47PM (#41876121)

    If I can get a ballot, I am voting for Libertarian Gary Johnson. He would pull all the troops (Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, Germany, Japan, etc.) home right away and stop the drone strikes. That's enough for me. How do Democrats or Republicans expect people to believe in their government, when their government continues to murder innocent civilians in other countries?

  • The debate is supposed to have started at 7:30pm Eastern. The sites are not working.

  • by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Sunday November 04, 2012 @09:05PM (#41876231) Journal

    If you're voting (or would, if you could) for other than the Democratic or Republican parties' candidates this year, what drives that decision?

    Maybe it's because I only see minor differences between the two major parties. Under both the D's & R's, the size & scope of government has increased, and our liberties are being decreased. What liberties you ask? How about the right to have medical marijuana in a state where the voters have decided it should be legal, but the Feds are conducting record numbers of raids? How about not having a presumption of guilt when trying to travel via airplane? How about the right to not be spied on without due process? That's just the start. I'm not 100% libertarian, but I'll still be casting my vote for all of the LP's candidates on my ballot. We need competition in the political marketplace just like we do in the financial marketplace.

    • by greg1104 (461138)

      You should be glad you're not getting the full attention of the federally mandated "civil liberties", like the one to indefinite detention [wired.com]. Once your right to be a free citizen can be taken away without a trial, the rest of your rights are pretty minor, and you'll need more than medical marijuana to make the detention trip fun. If anything I'd like to see more state rebellion against the mandates of the federal government, in hopes our whole government deadlocks rather than keeping up the Change it's been

      • You should be glad you're not getting the full attention of the federally mandated "civil liberties", like the one to indefinite detention.

        Yeah, my list was not meant to be an exhaustive one, but I listed a few just in case somebody decided to ask "Oh really, what liberties have you lost?" like someone always does.

  • Conscience (Score:4, Informative)

    by chill (34294) on Sunday November 04, 2012 @09:34PM (#41876381) Journal

    I'm voting Gary Johnson (L) because I'm impressed with his accomplishments and agree with his philosophy.

    End the wars, legalize and tax drugs, practice fiscal responsibility.

    He's a self-made millionaire businessman who also has an excellent record as a 2-term governor. He was praised by both Republicans and Democrats alike for being able to work with all parties and get the job done.

    His bio and record speak for themselves:

    http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/about [garyjohnson2012.com]

    http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/record [garyjohnson2012.com]

    • End the wars, legalize and tax drugs, practice fiscal responsibility.

      I might be wrong, but I've always thought that if you remove the "legalize and tax drugs" plank from the platform, the Libertarian party would be one of the most successful overnight. A huge percentage of people would vote for smaller, less expensive government and fewer (or no) wars - right? Unfortunately, I think the legalization of drugs is a deal-killer for a lot of moderate independents who would otherwise vote for a Libertarian agenda, just as the D & R positions on abortion (for and against) turn

  • Here's the Problem (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fm6 (162816) on Sunday November 04, 2012 @09:42PM (#41876425) Homepage Journal

    I agree that you should vote for somebody you believe in, even if they have no chance of winning. My problem is that I can't believe in any of these bozos. Just picture any one of them in the White House. Could they govern? They could not.

      The U.S. isn't an elected dictatorship — POTUS has to govern in tandem with Congress. If you're not satisfied with the current crowd, you need to replace the whole crowd, not just one guy. You have to work on electing Congresspeople who reflect your views. If you're not willing to do that, all this crap with fring Presidential candidates is a waste of time.

  • by cffrost (885375) on Sunday November 04, 2012 @09:44PM (#41876443) Homepage

    In case anyone missed the 4-way debate moderated by Larry King in Chicago on 2012-10-23:

    https://kat.ph/torrents/20121023-full-third-party-presidential-debate-yt-avi-t6769764/ [kat.ph]

    All of the presidential candidates' social/economic ideologies are graphed here. [politicalcompass.org] [Note the proximity of the two corporate parties' candidates.]

    Please—especially if you live in an uncontested state—vote for the best candidate, not the second-least-worst candidate; our country (and especially our civil liberties) have taken just about all the "lesser evil" that can be withstood.

    This quiz can help you determine which candidate best matches your own ideology. [isidewith.com]

    • Political Compass puts me very close to Stein, while isidewith says I agree more with Johnson's policies -- who is far far far on the right at PC. I guess gauging someone's politics is a bit difficult with a quiz.
      • According to isidewith, I match Jill Stein 90%, Gary Johnson 86%, Obama 75% and Romney 12%.

        The idea that I match both the Green and Libertarian parties is interesting. I think this is the result of me putting social freedoms as my highest priorities.

        Furthermore, I match the libertarian party 68% and the Republican party 4%. That shows pretty clearly how un-libertarian the Republican party really is (at least with respect to all the issues I care about).

        Since I live in California I think I'll vote either Gre
  • My voting plans? (Score:4, Informative)

    by King_TJ (85913) on Sunday November 04, 2012 @09:52PM (#41876487) Journal

    I, too, have no plans to vote for either Obama or Romney. I think a vote should only be cast for someone you're confident is a good choice for running the country. Neither one of these people have shown they deserve the title of President, IMO.

    I really dislike that "vote for the lesser of two evils" concept. People have been doing that for a long time now, and that's largely how we got to the mess we're in today!

    It seems to me that the current system has a razor sharp focus on ensuring everything quickly comes down to only 2 remaining viable candidates, at all costs. If a 3rd. party shows promise, the media or members of one of the two established parties pull out all the stops to discredit him or her. They want politics to run just like our sports teams ... only 2 teams on the field fighting it out to see who wins. No matter how many teams play each other in a season, it has to come down to only two in the end, to declare someone the winner.

    Until this changes, the American people really aren't able to vote for the type of government they want. They're only able to pick from two people pre-selected for them by the elite (meaning those with enough money and influence to boil the choices down to the final two they want to see you pick from). And sure, you CAN vote for a 3rd. party candidate (and I almost always do so). But we all know it's currently nothing more than a small display of contempt for the status quo system. I really doubt any sane person voting for, say, Gary Johnson, believes he really has a decent shot at winning.

    Still, that's fine with me. You don't earn a prize for having voted for the guy who winds up winning.

  • by jemenake (595948) on Sunday November 04, 2012 @10:17PM (#41876635)
    If you're at all interested in getting more ideas out into the national consciousness (and if you're living in a state that Obama or Romney has a lock on), consider voting for a third-party candidate. Because of the electoral system, it's not going to change who wins the election, but it can increase the chances that one of these candidates gets a spot at some future televised debate. Once upon a time, the debates were sponsored by the National Organization of Women... and now they're run by the Commission on Presidential Debates (which is run by the Democratic and Republican parties). Being a bit of a cartel, they've managed to stipulate that the only invitees to debate must get at least 15% representation in various national polls (another classic case of the successful pulling up the ladder they used to climb to the top).

    Now, we could argue the game theory of elections and I'd have to concede that it's always going to devolve into two parties (like how tea-partiers, when the chips are really down, vote for the republican because the alternative, a democrat, would be, to them, the apocalypse), but part of how those two parties stay on top is by having a "big tent" and trying to appeal to a broad spectrum of views (okay... and also by not really specifying what their views are). And I think that, if other candidates are able to get up with the "big boys" and put forward their views, then that's more exposure... and maybe some of those views might have to get some recognition from one of the major parties.

    Frankly, after visiting ISideWith.com, I was blown away at how congruent my views are with the Green candidate, Jill Stein... to the point where I really wish more people knew that there was a candidate that was, potentially, so suited to their views. Same goes for Gary Johnson. He's not my cup of tea, but I really wish the socially-liberal/economically-conservative republican voters out there were more aware that they didn't necessarily need to throw gays and women under the bus in exchange for getting capital-gains and inheritance taxes abolished. And maybe a stronger-than-expected showing in the election will provide the social proof for some more people to look into what's up with this (Libertarian|Green|Justice| Constitution) thing.

    Of course, as I said in the subject, if you live in a swing state, then ignore the preceding rant and get your state swinging.
    • by Legion303 (97901)

      "Frankly, after visiting ISideWith.com, I was blown away at how congruent my views are with the Green candidate, Jill Stein."

      Every single person I've seen comment on that site has had the same results, leading me to question its neutrality. I voted for Stein anyway, not because I'm closely aligned with the Green platform, but because fuck Obomney.

  • by mothlos (832302) on Sunday November 04, 2012 @10:45PM (#41876799)
    I have grown tired of being ruled by lizards.
  • Either allocate electoral votes based on congressional districts (state-wide winner gets two extra votes), or just abolish the electoral college and use direct popular vote. Make all 50 states + D.C. in play.

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