I have a political question.

Hey everyone. If I could, I would like to get your opinion on something. If I feel inclined to vote independent or third party, do you think I'm throwing my vote away? I personally do not, but I wanted to see what you all think, because there's some pretty intelligent people here. Someone made the argument to me that voting for a lost cause is throwing my vote away. But I feel that if I have no faith at all in either candidate, and if I feel the bipartisan system is failing our country, then I would be throwing it away by voting for a Republican or Democrat. I also feel that thinking third parties or independents are a lost cause is exactly why bipartisanship is in the state it's in, or one of the reasons anyway. So, what are you thoughts and opinions on this?
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Comments

  • dutyjedutyje Posts: 2,263
    Actually, I can mathematically prove that voting at all is a lost cause. But that wasn't really your question. If we operate on the assumption that voters can accurately predict the performance of a president with respect to their interests and/or the good of the country and/or the greater good of the world, then your voting for a 3rd party is not throwing your vote away at all. You are making a statement - a single voice in a large crowd, but a voice nonetheless.

    If your Ralph Nader (or whomever your candidate of choice might be) piles up, say, 4% of the vote, and the eventual outcome of the presidential election is close, your 4% has essentially won by making a very powerful statement. The candidate for office in an upcoming election, on either side (Republican or Democrat) would be well-advised to listen to the 4% of you that voted for the 3rd party candidate, as your votes are enough to potentially alter the outcome of that next election.

    The problem with the argument that you are "throwing your vote away" is that it narrow-mindedly looks at the outcome of this one election as the only result. As they say, Rome wasn't built in a day. You're not going to make sweeping changes to the underlying biases in the political structure of this country simply by going out and casting a vote. But you are helping to demonstrate the growth in a trend that, if it continues, cannot be ignored. If changing the world were as easy as stepping into a curtain-walled cubicle and pushing a couple of buttons, you'd think we'd have made a lot more progress by this point.
  • Matt MarvelMatt Marvel Posts: 930
    Very, very good point dutyje. That's how I feel about it. I just, unfortunately, haven't been able to put it into words lately, the way that you have.
  • LukoLuko Posts: 2,004
    I think if you look at the history of the "third party," you'll find that they've been around and it has never amounted to significant change. So I do think it amounts to "throwing your vote away."
    I'm not saying you shouldn't. I've felt the same way as you before. But I think, for better or worse, we'll be choosing between a Dem and Rep for a long time to come and the best way for people to affect change is to elect people at all levels of government within those parties who best meet your criteria. Or run yourself. Or advocate as a citizen or part of an organization for legislation, etc. that you're a proponent of.
    And third party candidates usually don't bring practical plans and ideas. They're like second string quaterbacks, who are often the most popular player on a football team going through a poor quarterback. For instance, I have a feeling people are going to start clamoring for Rex Grossman in Chicago.
  • dutyjedutyje Posts: 2,263
    Hey Luko, I like the backup quarterback analogy. However, it isn't simply about affecting change in the two-party system. It's also about showing support for ideals not reflected in either candidate. You are making a statement about what is important to you, and if you've got enough people that agree, you'll indirectly influence future elections.

    I've actually devised a system of government that is an improvement on our traditional democratic system. I'd share it here, but it takes too long to type it out. I'll share it with you over a cigar at Kuzifest.
  • madurofanmadurofan Posts: 6,152
    Kuzifest, NICE!
    All that needs to be said to counter you argument Luko is that the Republican party started as a third party.
  • dutyjedutyje Posts: 2,263
    madurofan:
    Kuzifest, NICE!
    All that needs to be said to counter you argument Luko is that the Republican party started as a third party.
    On topic: and don't forget how McCain has been campaigning in recent presidential elections, and where he found a lot of his support.

    Off topic: It was either that or Kuzipalooza which, IMO is even better... but it felt a little awkward since I am still in the process of celebrating a differentpalooza these days :)
  • LukoLuko Posts: 2,004
    madurofan:
    Kuzifest, NICE!
    All that needs to be said to counter you argument Luko is that the Republican party started as a third party.
    Sure, but that was when our political system was just being formed. I think you'd agree the Democratic and Republican parties are well entrenched now. Let's all be honest, does anybody actually think Libretarians or Green Party candidates will be getting 30 or 40 percent of the popular vote anytime in the next two centuries? It's consider a victory if they get 4. I'm not saying this is a good thing, I'm just saying that's the way it is and it won't be changing from the outside in. Only from the inside out. Unless of course, Duty gets us whipped into a frenzy at Kuzipalooza and we form a new party with a pro-tobacco platform and then get all the smokers on our side. Shoot, that's 25 percent of the vote right there. We start giving out cigarettes and cigars to kids outside of schools and within 5 years the Doodicrats have taken over the federal government.
  • madurofanmadurofan Posts: 6,152
    LMAO!!!!! Giving out cigarettes to kids!
  • dutyjedutyje Posts: 2,263
    Doodicrats :)

    The point isn't that a Libertarian or Green Party candidate needs to WIN the election... it's not all about winning or losing that election. In fact, it isn't AT ALL about winning or losing that election. If a significant percentage of voters (i.e. a greater percentage than the margin of victory) cast their vote in favor of a 3rd party candidate, then the representatives of the major parties would need to factor into their future strategy/agenda the ideals of that third party candidate. That's the point I'm trying to make in my first post. It's not necessarily about getting enough votes to win. It's about getting enough votes to be relevant. Ask Gore fans how relevant they feel third party votes were in 2000.
  • LukoLuko Posts: 2,004
    So if you were going to vote for Gore, but were somewhat dissatisfied with him and instead voted for Nader, how is that not throwing your vote away? Look at what happened. Cutting off your nose to spite your face. I get what your saying about the point being not winning, but influencing future elections. But I disagree that the major parties have at all factored in green or libertarian or any other party ideals into their strategies based on recent "successes" of these third parties. And I don't see that changing. I could be wrong. I was once before.
  • dutyjedutyje Posts: 2,263
    You're making the assumption, like the rest of the Gore supporters did, that all of those voters were going to vote for Gore. That's the wrong way to look at it. The proper way to look at it is that it would be prudent in a future election to consider the fundamental issues supported by that platform, as those present a snapshot of your swing voters, the group that decides close elections.

    That election is a great example of how a 3rd party candidate can indirectly influence future elections. Many of Nader's pet issues from that campaign (such as campaign refinance reform, universal healthcare) have taken center stage in this year's election. Both parties have developed their platform to include a position on these issues in order to put forth a solution they hope will appeal to this demographic. This group has a high likelihood of being the pivotal voting set in this year's election.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    kuzifest? hu?

    did i miss something while i was on vacation?

    i may vote for Bob Barr. Im not throwing my vote away if i vote my values. John does not represent what i want. Barrack is the evil opposite of what i think government is all about. Bob is damn close to what i want. It would be a waste for me NOT to vote for him.

    Iduno though. Im still undecided. there are many factors that i still need to think about. However McCain picking Palin is kind of a step in the right direction. She is more conservative he is and i like that, though i do not consider myself a "conservative"
    time will tell?
  • dutyjedutyje Posts: 2,263
    Dude, catch up. You've been back from Vegas for hours already. Kuzipalooza. Friday, December 5th. I'm bringing the Schlitz. Maddy's bringing an inferior snobby beer. Luko's bringing himself. You're cooking the food. We're all going up to your attic to smoke cigars and dodge bullets from the redhead. I'm sleeping in the guest room. Luko's sleeping in the Quest room. Maddy's sleeping in a hotel.

    Edit: I had to capitalize Quest because if you read to quickly it might look a little Brokeback
  • Bad AndyBad Andy Posts: 848
    The Libertarians have been getting more positions at the state level so they could make hedgeway for more at the federal level. It may take time but it could still happen.
  • dutyjedutyje Posts: 2,263
    I agree, Andy. You don't build a party by gunning straight for the presidency. You need to have officials elected at the local levels first. If these elected officials perform well in their duties (hardy har har), they would be able to grow their political careers into larger offices. This would raise awareness of the party and increase the comfort level of a larger percentage of the population to elect an official from this fledgling political party.
  • Bad AndyBad Andy Posts: 848
    Look at Lieberman. He was beat out as an incumbant in the primary then went 'Ind' and still won. How many people do you think were told they had thrown away thier votes? Enough throw away votes got him elected. One man's garbage...
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    thats a good point andy.

    another point:
    abraham lincoln was a third party. he was the first repiblican ever elected. Good things CAN come out of a third party



    not sayin the republicans as a group are good... lincoln was good. I hope that clarified any confusion.
  • Bad AndyBad Andy Posts: 848
    I believe Lincoln was considered a Libertarian or Constitutional Republican, he was a lead in one of those caucuses.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    Whig (1832-1854), Republican (1854-1864), National Union (1864-1865)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Lincoln

    not sayin that place is always right, its just what i found.
  • Honestly, I do think it would be throwing your vote away.  That does seem kind of sad, but, this country is nearly 50/50 polarized right now in time, and little margins do count, 2000 showed that.  I know people say that its bad to assume that nader voters would go gore, but, it makes perfect sense if you compare their policy positions.  nader and bush had nothing in common.  Anyways, I know some rather very religious folk want the government to be an official religious organization, but i do have at least some faith in seperation of church and state, being a sunday school kid that that read the bible myself.  I'm just scared of what this country would become if it continues to be run by religion more than regular policy.  On top of that, im afraid of allowing big buisness to run unregulated.  I know the GOP feels it allows the most economic growth, but, i think subprime morgages put a nice dent in that idea.  Likewise, i know obamas social welfare ideas turns the stomach of tax paying people who dont feel its their job to carry the backs of those who dont pay as much, but, i just think the positives outweigh the negatives in this year.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    Vidarien:
    I'm just scared of what this country would become if it continues to be run by religion
    could you please elaborate on this? i dont see it being "run by religion" at all. support this comment.

    this is also from the view point of a non-religious person.


    sub-prime mortgages did not come from strictly one side ot the other. it just happened that it became a problem during a republicans term. Happy coincidence for the dems.
  • I agree...please support that statement. I completely disagree that we are being ran by religion. I actually think its just the opposite. No religion so that no one is offended. It's all about tolerance these days, we 'must' tolerate lewd behavior, anti-christian beliefs and hatefull rhetoric but no one is supposed to tolerate christians. I understand there are religious zealots/extremist in every religion that make there religion look bad but don't expect me to tolerate you if you refuse to tolerate me. I don't belive I should compromise my beliefs because some doesn't agree with them. If your offended by my religious beliefs then I offended by the lack of yours.
  • LukoLuko Posts: 2,004
    dutyje:
    I agree, Andy. You don't build a party by gunning straight for the presidency. You need to have officials elected at the local levels first. If these elected officials perform well in their duties (hardy har har), they would be able to grow their political careers into larger offices. This would raise awareness of the party and increase the comfort level of a larger percentage of the population to elect an official from this fledgling political party.
    I definitely agree with this point. Work your way up from city council and the mayor's office.
    Still, I adhere to the second string quarterback theory. Most of these fringe guys look good because of the poor quality of the big party candidates. But I'd love to see some serious, third-party candidates with substance get more than cursory coverage from the media.
  • LukoLuko Posts: 2,004
    dutyje:
    Dude, catch up. You've been back from Vegas for hours already. Kuzipalooza. Friday, December 5th. I'm bringing the Schlitz. Maddy's bringing an inferior snobby beer. Luko's bringing himself. You're cooking the food. We're all going up to your attic to smoke cigars and dodge bullets from the redhead. I'm sleeping in the guest room. Luko's sleeping in the Quest room. Maddy's sleeping in a hotel.

    Edit: I had to capitalize Quest because if you read to quickly it might look a little Brokeback

    Whoa, I'll definitely bring sumpin. You guys Like Arn City Beer? I could bring some Yueng, PA is the home of the brewery in Pottstown (the oldest in these United States).
  • Bad Andy:
    I agree...please support that statement. I completely disagree that we are being ran by religion. I actually think its just the opposite. No religion so that no one is offended. It's all about tolerance these days, we 'must' tolerate lewd behavior, anti-christian beliefs and hatefull rhetoric but no one is supposed to tolerate christians. I understand there are religious zealots/extremist in every religion that make there religion look bad but don't expect me to tolerate you if you refuse to tolerate me. I don't belive I should compromise my beliefs because some doesn't agree with them. If your offended by my religious beliefs then I offended by the lack of yours.

     

    By that I mean to say, Bush saying he had a long conversation with god before deciding to invade iraq (come on).  I also mean the fact that federal funding for sex education in school is ONLY for those classes that teach abstinence only.  I also mean the fact that he wont fund embryonic stem cell research, when even a lot of his own people are for it, on religious grounds.  The hiring/firing of U.S. attorneys based on their religious guidings on issues such as aborition and gay marriage.

     

    Its not about having an opinion on these matters, its thats he uses the power of his office regarding these matters.  I think tolerance and respect comes when both sides have the respect to acknowledge the others position, without using the power of government to pander to your own or to make a statement.  The federal government was never designed for that buisness.

     

    I know some might feel im dead wrong here, but thats just my opinion.

  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    a presidents religion is none of my buisness. he isnt running the country based on religion. he is using all means of thinking about a situation at his disposal.
    there are plenty of people that dont believe in god but dont want abortion and are homophobic.
  • j0z3rj0z3r Posts: 9,403
    You are half right kuzi. A president's religion is none of our business as long as said president keeps his religion separate from his presidential duties, which if we're talking about Bush Jr. is simply not the case.
  • His beliefs whether religious based or not are his decisions to make. Remember Reagan supposedly used horoscopes...but he did right by most. I think that someone that is strong in there faith is not waivering, yet they are still politicians. If I know their religion and faith then I know them better and may understand their decisions more, not that I may agree with all of them.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    j0z3r:
    You are half right kuzi. A president's religion is none of our business as long as said president keeps his religion separate from his presidential duties, which if we're talking about Bush Jr. is simply not the case.
    we have never had a non Cristian president. are you saying that no other president has ever sat down and said a prayer to help him through the hard decisions? I refuse to believe that.

    lets face it, a large percentage of americans ARE followers of Jesus. we (as a nation) have always elected a President who does too.
  • Another good point Kuz. The founding of this nation was through religion, not completely but it was a large part. What else would have driven these few men to take on another nation that was so powerfull that they should have been squashed as a small uprising.

    To me, religion is a compass and lets me know which direction I should go. HE leads me/us through things not only for our own growth but also to show us that HE is always there, even in the end to pick us up and dust us off. So as far as his presidential duties are concerned, they are not just Bush's they are God's also. HE leads this man that lead our country, I'm not saying that Bush has always gotten the message right because I don't know what God has told him. However, it would scare me if we ever had a president that truely did not believe in God.

    I don't want to sound like a crazy zealot, I don't want to force people to believe what I believe. I just wish more people would believe it though. Christianity has gone down in this country over the last several decades. I think you could say that the decline has effected the social and cultural make-up of our country greatly, causing there to be a decline on other levels also. Just my opinion...
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