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”.