I just made a post dealing with this issue in the Decision 2008 » And the winner is:
Obama/Biden (2008 ATS Presidential Poll)
thread, but I would like to shed more light on it in this post.
If you vote third party, you probably have a good reason for doing so. That reason typically is that neither of the two major candidates satisfy what
you want in a President.
In my opinion, third party voters are more intelligent as a whole than those that vote for either of the two major candidates. That's not to say that
there aren't intelligent, politically active people voting for McCain or Obama, but the majority of third party voters can see the corruption and
have the common sense to not be sucked in to the popularity contest that we call our election.
The ATS Presidential Poll exposes a problem amongst third party voters, however. Although the poll means nothing, and it's voters are not solely
comprised of American voters, it nevertheless explains why a third party candidate never truly comes close to winning an election.
Think of how many "third parties" we have. We have the Independent Party, the Green Party, the Constitution Party, and the Libertarian Party. The
Socialist Party holds no weight in my book, because if I wanted to vote Socialist, I would vote McCain or Obama. So we'll exclude them in this
Now, we've identified our four major "third parties". Just as an example, lets use the ATS Presidential Poll results to make my point:
Independent - Ralph Nader: 7.08%
Green - Cynthia McKinney: 3.44%
Libertarian - Robert Barr: 8.06%
Constitution - Charles Baldwin: 10.52%
With the exception of McKinney, the votes are somewhat even amongst the third party candidates. That presents the problem: our third party votes are
going to several different candidates as opposed to one, making our votes moot. Any of the four could have received 30% of the total vote if we all
settled on one candidate, but instead, none of them received over 11%.
I realize all candidates have their pros and cons. I realize there's some things about some candidates that some people will and won't like. Maybe
there's a good reason you voted Charles Baldwin over Cynthia McKinney, or Ralph Nader over Robert Barr.
But my point is, I think we third party voters can all agree that any of these four are better than McCain or Obama, and I think we can all agree that
we have a better chance of affecting the election outcome, and a better chance of a third party candidate winning, if we all voted for one candidate
instead of four.
We all know the chances of a third party candidate are slim even if we dedicated 100% of our vote to just one candidate, but the chances are even more
slim if we split up our vote.
In order to truly challenge the status quo, there needs to be some unification with our vote.
That's why I propose we all vote for Ralph Nader. I don't agree with all of his policies, and I'd much rather write in Ron Paul, but if it means
affecting the election and giving a third party a better chance at winning, then I'll gladly vote for him.
If you're on board, tell anyone and everyone you know, who is voting third party, to also vote Ralph Nader.
Realistically, we all know he can't and won't win the election. But it doesn't hurt to try.