This kind of disturbs me

Most Libertarians at least see Greens as “fellow travelers” in the third party game, and prolly some are secretly rooting for them as long as they don’t hurt the LP’s interests. Well, apparently, the Arizona GOP is encouraging homeless people to run as greens in order to split the democrat vote.

This is disturbing on many levels. First, that third parties somehow “steal” votes from the established two. If the LP is any indication, there is no theft of votes, as most LP people would rather not vote at all if the LP doesn’t run anyone. More importantly, this gives off the sense that a given party is ENTITLED to votes rather than having to earn them. Second, that third parties are somehow co-optable by the majors.

While this is a valid point (Bob Barr, the LP presidential candidate, really?), it’s pretty disgusting that the established two are realizing this. I would submit that this implies that third-party candidacies should be subject to stronger vetting by the third party in question. For the LP, I’d say that this means that one can not have run as a candidate for either of the big two for at least 5, if not 10, years, and MUST explicitly agree to each and every plank of the platform that’s relevant to their office (presidential candidates must sign off on the whole thing). While the LP can afford “issue candidacies” in the name of a “big tent”, we cannot allow so many as to dilute the message; I’d say no more than one in ten candidates in a particular area.

The third thing that this bothers me on this is that the GOP is basically abusing the real ballot access the LP as a third party desperately needs (and did most of the work to get), unless a given state actually has a LP caucus or primary and a place on the general ballot for LP candidates explicitly, we have to settle for “anyone can get on the ballot”. While I have no beef with “put them on the ballot, let the voters decide”, the LP HAS to come out on this and say “while everybody has the right to be on the ballot, it’s a cheap and cynical trick by the GOP to encourage unelectable people to put their names on the ballot in order to ‘split the vote’.

We encourage any GOP members that are disgusted at being used in this manner to vote straight-ticket green, or better yet vote straight-ticket LP, neither of which will cynically use your vote in any way other than to elect candidates you agree with”.

posted by g4lt
  • http://www.thewhitedsepulchre.blogspot.com The Whited Sepulchre

    What pisses me off is the perception that the LP is some kind of “Republican Lite” outfit. I guess the Greens fill the same role for the Dems.
    I agree with just about everything in your post, except the notion that we currently have a two-party system. We have one ruling group that takes turns in the driver’s seat. Have you ever noticed that on the really big deals, they always seem to get just enough defectors from the other side?

    P.S. – your spamblocker was stopping me from making multiple comments on the Wayne Allyn Root post. Hope you have that fixed by now.

    Great site, BTW.

    Allen in Fort Worth

    • stephenv

      Logged in users do not have to worry about spam blocks or reCAPTCHA. I’m sorry that we have to put these kinds of hurdles in place, but yes… we are already under attack by spam bots. I think it’s clear my allegiance is first and foremost to people who have taken the time to become actual members. Give it a shot.

  • stephenv

    I think the parties themselves are rather irrelevant, because the information society as a whole is moving in a direction where they will eventually be secondary to singular issues and candidates. The GOP and DNC may have considerable power with the press, but as anyone can see… they are on the decline (though of course they won’t admit it).

  • http://www.foraaugusta.net Stuart Richards

    The LP’s been using the big two just as cynically as well. They’ve been triangulating candidates to steal votes from the least libertarian of the two big party candidates. They’ve tried to raise money from Democrats in areas where they were stealing votes from Republicans, and vice versa. They tried to get the GOP to endorse a Libertarian candidate for Tom DeLay’s old seat.

    Politics is politics, and you do what you have to short of breaking the law to win. If I were in their shoes I’d be doing the same thing, if it meant the difference between having policies enacted that were better for the country or maintaining the status quo.

    • stephenv

      Don’t hate the player, hate the game?

      • http://pauliecannoli.wordpress.com/author/pauliecannoli/ paulie

        When it comes to D/R-oids, I hate both the players and the game.

        • http://pauliecannoli.wordpress.com/author/pauliecannoli/ paulie

          As a matter of fact, I’m up for D/R-oid player hater of the year :-P

    • http://pauliecannoli.wordpress.com/author/pauliecannoli/ paulie

      Libertarians don’t steal votes. Neither do Greens. Democrats and Republicans do, though…by keeping candidates off the ballot, vote fraud, closed debates, and more surreptitiously by making some people think they are the only choices.