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Old 10-30-2008, 11:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Vote Third Party?

Chums,

I might have voted for McCain eight years ago, maybe even four years ago, had he run. But now he's too old for me, and his Vice Presidential pick, Palin, doesn't do it for me. So for a time I had pretty much resigned myself to Obama. I think he's the better choice of the two. He'd probably make a pretty good President. But truth is, he's not exactly my style either. So I'm thinking about going for a third party candidate. Nader seems too goofy for me so I might go with the Libertarian candidate. I don't know who the Libertarian Party candidate is but I'm something of a libertarian so I'm thinking of going that way. I dismiss the notion that a vote for a third party is a vote wasted. The notion that my one vote will swing the election to McCain or Obama is of course silly. A vote for a third party candidate, or probably more accurately, a third party political philosophy, is a perfectly good use of a vote. It some ways it can have more clout than one more vote added on to the heap of millions of votes going to McCain or Obama.

So if you are dissastisfied with the major party candidates, why not go with a third party?

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Old 10-30-2008, 11:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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As they say, it is throwing away your vote. The media has chosen to only acknowledge two parties and none other. There are tons of presidential candidates, but only two parties are in the spotlight. Not even the Libertarian or Green parties, who are next on the popularity list, are even known to exist within the scope of MSM. As a result of this, these third parties will not be given a chance. Even if the Republican party collapses on itself, they will still be more major than any upstart party.

I'd vote Libertarian if it had a chance.
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Old 10-30-2008, 11:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The Libertarian Party candidate is Bob Barr; he's certainly an interesting choice.

Don't forget Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party candidate.

I know plenty of people who vote third party; I voted third party for a couple things this election. Personally, I think it's great. It increases my hope that we can get away from the current two-party domination. I'd like to see more people vote third party and increase the numbers they receive come Election Day. It would make politics in this country much more interesting.
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Old 10-30-2008, 12:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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There's the natural law party candidate too, whose name I can't recall, but I think he was endorsed by Ron Paul. I would say, if you don't have a strong preference for or against the major party candidates, and have a strong preference for a third-party candidate, go vote for that third party candidate.
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Old 10-30-2008, 12:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm a pragmatist about these things. I think a protest vote is great, when your protest doesn't imperil something else.

Let's say (just hypothetically) that you'd freaking vomit if McCain were elected, you could live with an Obama presidency, and your state is close. I think NOT giving your vote to Obama in such a situation would be irresponsible. Even if the idealistic thing to do would be to hew to your principles vote (and I shudder as I type this) McKinney, you're opening the door to a McCain victory, and IMO that's way worse than not showing Cynthia your love.

But yeah, if your state is a foregone conclusion, let 'er rip. If I still lived in Utah, I'd probably never vote Democrat.
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Old 10-30-2008, 12:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The Libertarian Party candidate is Bob Barr; he's certainly an interesting choice.

Don't forget Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party candidate.
Don't forget Brian Moore, of the Socialist party. Palin can call him a socialist all she wants!

How can you throw away your vote? By voting for someone that you don't feel would represent your interests. Voting Coke or Pepsi even though you like RC Cola is dishonest and ultimately only reinforces the belief that there are only two choices. The term, I believe, is "false dichotomy".
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Old 10-30-2008, 12:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I forgot to mention, that I would vote Libertarian if Ron Paul was the candidate.
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Old 10-30-2008, 12:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I forgot to mention, that I would vote Libertarian if Ron Paul was the candidate.
and I would not. America, ain't she great?
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Old 10-30-2008, 12:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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if not having more republicans was not a priority--and particularly this style of republican---i would probably vote nader.
but this election is for me all about tactical voting.
obama is a centrist, but he's sane.
after 8 years of george w bush, that seems like a huge leap forward on it's own.

don't get the started about libertarians....
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Old 10-30-2008, 01:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I forgot to mention, that I would vote Libertarian if Ron Paul was the candidate.
I second that.
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Old 10-30-2008, 01:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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BTW, "Libertarian" is a jaw-droppingly broad category, when you really listen to what candidates stand for. I'd really recommend that anyone who is "something of a libertarian" thoroughly research any candidate running under that flag, so you can be sure your principled ideological vote is going to somebody who shares your principled ideology.
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Old 10-30-2008, 01:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Don't forget Brian Moore, of the Socialist party. Palin can call him a socialist all she wants!

How can you throw away your vote? By voting for someone that you don't feel would represent your interests. Voting Coke or Pepsi even though you like RC Cola is dishonest and ultimately only reinforces the belief that there are only two choices. The term, I believe, is "false dichotomy".
Brian Moore didn't make the ballot in Oregon, unfortunately.
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Old 10-30-2008, 01:40 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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I've voted third party at the local level but never for Congress or President.

I'm one of the few here who is not particularly interested in a third party movement. I think it would do more harm than good.

But for those who want the choice...go for it. I dont believe it is a wasted vote, but in some (relatively few) states, it could make a difference and I think that should be considered when making that choice.

At the presidential level, the only way third party candidates will ever become viable is to get enough votes (15%) to eventually qualified for matching federal funds and the right to participate in the presidential debates.
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Old 10-30-2008, 01:59 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I've voted third party at the local level but never for Congress or President.

I'm one of the few here who is not particularly interested in a third party movement. I think it would do more harm than good.

But for those who want the choice...go for it. I dont believe it is a wasted vote, but in some (relatively few) states, it could make a difference and I think that should be considered when making that choice.

At the presidential level, the only way third party candidates will ever become viable is to get enough votes (15%) to eventually qualified for matching federal funds and the right to participate in the presidential debates.
which won't happen, because the third party candidates feel like they need to go SO extremely far away from the two major parties that they alienate 95% of the people out there.
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Old 10-30-2008, 02:26 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I'm seriously considering it. Partially because even though I'm NOT voting for Obama I'm not sold on McCain, and partially because my vote for president is a waste as it is (a non-Obama voter in a state that will go for Obama close to 2-1, even if he WAS every single criticism and slur lodged against him in this campaign).

I may even do it for my congressional vote, because I don't care for either candidate and especially their tactics all though the campaign.

I believe the only wasted vote is no vote at all, and anyone who says otherwise should be questioned as to their intentions.
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Old 10-30-2008, 02:30 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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which won't happen, because the third party candidates feel like they need to go SO extremely far away from the two major parties that they alienate 95% of the people out there.
Ross Perot did it in 1992 with nearly 20% of the national vote for his Reform Party.

The problem was what followed...the mad scramble to control that party to get access to the federal funds for 1996. The Pat Buchanan forces eventually made a power grab and that was the end of the Reform Party.

A more sober (than Perot) and less caustic (than Buchanan) candidate could have built on that base.

The biggest problem third party supporters face is that they are all over the map and not interested in consolidating around one candidate. (can you imagine the Greens and Libertarians coming together?)

I think a "perot type movement" can happen again but third party supporters will have to accept that if will be a generational change, taking more than one-two election cycles, if it is to happen.
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Old 10-30-2008, 02:34 PM   #17 (permalink)
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In a system that locks out all voices other than Democrats and Republicans, if I didn't want the candidate from either of those two groups elected, I would abstain from voting as the very act of protest against the system. A vote for any other candidate is marginalized into nothingness - effectively wasting my time and the candidates time.

In fact, I could have voted in the 4 previous Presidential elections, but this is the first time I will be voting.

I believe I will, to some degree, regret it in a few months. Though not as much as I would regret a McCain victory.
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Old 10-30-2008, 03:10 PM   #18 (permalink)
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BTW, "Libertarian" is a jaw-droppingly broad category, when you really listen to what candidates stand for. I'd really recommend that anyone who is "something of a libertarian" thoroughly research any candidate running under that flag, so you can be sure your principled ideological vote is going to somebody who shares your principled ideology.
r.,

I actually tuned in to the Libertarian Party convention, though I did not watch the whole thing. I think Cspan televised it. It looked like it was in the banquet room at a Best Western.

Anyhow, the biggest trouble I have with the national Libertarian philosophy is that it is pretty much hardcore isolationism. I think when it becomes absolutely necessary to venture beyond the borders and knock heads, then that's what we gotta do. (Iraq was not an example of this, by the way.)

Anyway, when it comes to "sharing the wealth", I'm at the other end of the spectrum, which makes me libertarian as far as political-economic philosophy. And the prospect of universal health care concerns me too. And I'm a penniless!

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Old 10-30-2008, 03:19 PM   #19 (permalink)
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snipAs they say, it is throwing away your vote. The media has chosen to only acknowledge two parties and none other. There are tons of presidential candidates, but only two parties are in the spotlight. .

Who is this "they"? And you of all people are falling into the "lemming" trap?

Just because the media has chosen to spotlight two does not mean I have to follow their lead.
I wholeheartedly agree with djtestudo-the only wasted vote is no vote at all.
I will say more by voting third party than I ever could voting within the elitist
ranks.
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Old 10-30-2008, 03:23 PM   #20 (permalink)
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for the Libertarian/Neo-Liberal folks out there.....The Economist has now endorsed Obama. Thoughts?
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Old 10-30-2008, 03:26 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I'm (mostly) Libertarian and I'll be voting for Bob Barr because I'm more in agreement with him than any other candidate, even though he's far from ideal. I think that third party voters have to get away from their idealism a little to have a chance at changing the way American politics works. Building support for a third party will require most people with leanings toward that party to accept a candidate that they're not really happy with, but who looks better than the major candidates. This requires candidates that are more moderate than Barr, McKinney, and Moore, so that a larger number of voters are attracted to them. Only after this happens can you win over the voters who refuse to vote for someone who doesn't have a chance of winning.
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Old 10-30-2008, 05:58 PM   #22 (permalink)
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If John Stossel (ABC - 20/20 guy) ran as a libertarian, he could get some votes.

I would think you should write in Paris Hilton if you are an anarchist and want no government.

If the green party nominated someone from Greenpeace or the Sierra Club, it would make more sense to me. But maybe I just don't understand their platform.
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Old 10-31-2008, 10:16 AM   #23 (permalink)
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How can you throw away your vote? By voting for someone that you don't feel would represent your interests. Voting Coke or Pepsi even though you like RC Cola is dishonest and ultimately only reinforces the belief that there are only two choices. The term, I believe, is "false dichotomy".
I don't think it's fair to say that this is a waste of a vote, and it's certainly not dishonest. While there are technically more than two choices, there are only two candidates with any viable chance at becoming the next president, and I think voting in a way that could contribute to avoiding the worst possible outcome is a smart strategic choice, not a dishonest one. If you hate Pepsi but don't mind Coke, it would certainly be better for you if the corner store (assuming it could only carry one kind of cola) carried Coke over Pepsi, regardless of how much you like RC Cola.
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Old 10-31-2008, 06:06 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I was told in 00, 02, 04, 06 and 08 to not vote 3rd because it was throwing my vote away. The stakes were too high to allow a certain party retain power etc. Didn't feel bad about voting 3rd back then and I won't in this election either.

The power of the different branches shifts from side to side, but the endless wars and relentless spending continues. I can't support that system.

However, I wil actually be voting for a Democrat even if there's a 3rd party candidate for US rep in my district. I have such a distaste for Souder he makes me want to vomit and I want him out of there. A rare change in my 3rd party voting trends.
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Old 10-31-2008, 07:58 PM   #25 (permalink)
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There is a big difference between those who vote 3rd Party because that candidate most closely represents their ideals, and those who vote 3rd Party to "stick it to the 2 party system". I'm curious which group is larger
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Old 11-01-2008, 04:28 AM   #26 (permalink)
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I forgot to mention, that I would vote Libertarian if Ron Paul was the candidate.
But, to quote yourself, wouldn't you be "throwing away your vote"?

People should vote their conscience - to do anything else is being dishonest with yourself and settling for a second choice.
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Old 11-01-2008, 05:26 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Unfortunately, the problem lies in the election system, called the plurality system. This directly leads to two "supermarket" parties because the system is extremely susceptible to tactical voting. If we used something like instant runoff voting, where a voter might rank his or her top 3 selections, the current system would make third-party candidacies more possible.

Also, I'm voting for Obama. I think he's the best candidate out of everyone on the ballot. My second choice would be McKinney.
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Old 11-06-2008, 06:50 AM   #28 (permalink)
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As is often the case, I agree with ratbastid.
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I'm a pragmatist about these things. I think a protest vote is great, when your protest doesn't imperil something else.

Let's say (just hypothetically) that you'd freaking vomit if McCain were elected, you could live with an Obama presidency, and your state is close. I think NOT giving your vote to Obama in such a situation would be irresponsible. Even if the idealistic thing to do would be to hew to your principles vote (and I shudder as I type this) McKinney, you're opening the door to a McCain victory, and IMO that's way worse than not showing Cynthia your love.

But yeah, if your state is a foregone conclusion, let 'er rip. If I still lived in Utah, I'd probably never vote Democrat.
-----Added 6/11/2008 at 09 : 51 : 30-----
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Unfortunately, the problem lies in the election system, called the plurality system. This directly leads to two "supermarket" parties because the system is extremely susceptible to tactical voting. If we used something like instant runoff voting, where a voter might rank his or her top 3 selections, the current system would make third-party candidacies more possible.
Yes yes yes yes yes.

Condorcet is better than IRV, but IRV is a HELL of a lot better than our current system.
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Old 11-07-2008, 02:21 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Apologies, I just found this thread.

I second the notion that voting for a 3rd party candidate is not wasting your vote. What is wasting your vote? Voting for something you don't support or believe in.



*edit*
For the record, I'm a registered libertarian but as pointed out in this thread -- that can vary, and I don't support many of Bob Barr's ideas. So, I wrote in Ron Paul
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Old 11-07-2008, 02:28 PM   #30 (permalink)
 
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I'm a pragmatist about these things. I think a protest vote is great, when your protest doesn't imperil something else.

Let's say (just hypothetically) that you'd freaking vomit if McCain were elected, you could live with an Obama presidency, and your state is close. I think NOT giving your vote to Obama in such a situation would be irresponsible. Even if the idealistic thing to do would be to hew to your principles vote (and I shudder as I type this) McKinney, you're opening the door to a McCain victory, and IMO that's way worse than not showing Cynthia your love.

But yeah, if your state is a foregone conclusion, let 'er rip. If I still lived in Utah, I'd probably never vote Democrat.
Agreed, rb. This is generally how I have felt about the whole 3rd party decision as well (though not personally for myself, as I have never been sold on any of the 3rd parties). My dad votes in WA state and he has voted 3rd several times, since our state is quite safe and he doesn't feel that he's throwing his vote away there. If the state were more in the balance, no way... he'll vote Dem.
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