Saturday, October 11, 2008

Why I will vote for Nader

Below is reply to someone who e-mailed me asking why I would support Nader who he called a "spoiler"

I understand your position, but don't agree with it. The Democrats did not lose the last 2 elections, especially the 2000 election -- an election where Gore won the popular vote by 1/2 million votes -- the elections were stolen. But even if they weren't, I would have not voted for either of the democrats in the last 2 elections because they supported the war and supported the kind of corporate deregulation that has led to the economic crisis that we are now facing. In fact, most of the deregulation that caused this crisis was done under Clinton.

Exit polls of Nader voters pretty much confirmed that he took as many votes from the Republicans has he did from the Democrats. The Reform Party, which came from the Republican Party, endorsed him in the last election. Many Greens, who would not vote for the Democrats for the reasons I said above, also supported him. In this election Ron Paul has given some tacit support to Nader. Ron Paul is a Republican.

The problem is with the electoral system in this country, not Nader. The electoral system is undemocratic. It requires so much money to run for office that you have to be rich yourself or be supported by the rich. The media is corporate controlled and the debates are no longer run by a non-partisan group. It is also a winner take all system insuring that a 3rd party candidate will not get a good hearing because of the fears you expressed. This situation allows the major candidates to not support the positions of the majority (anti-war, single payer healthcare, etc.) in deference to their corporate backers.

In countries where they have a more democratic parliamentary system, there are 12 or 15 parties that run. Voters don't need to vote for the person they dislike the least, they can actually vote for someone they like. As a result, they get a bigger percentage voting in these countries and have reforms like socialized healthcare, free higher education, etc. The top vote getter in these kinds of electoral systems puts together a coalition of the parties closest to them to get a majority and therefore, many points of view are represented in the government which guards against the kind of right-wing extremism that we have seen for the past 8 years.

The only way to change this situation is to start to change it by voting for who you want, not the lesser of the 2 evils. The lesser evil politics has brought us to where we are today - continued wars, a planet heating up and a crashing economy.

Unlike the Republicrats, Nader has been warning against these problems for years. He has been the one person who has been talking about the close relationship between the corporations, the financial institutions and the government. Elections give him a bigger platform, even as the corporate media and Democratic and Republican parties vilify him. This platform can help build a movement that can actually fight for the changes that this world needs to survive.

If you are afraid that Nader may cause Obama to lose, I would urge you to fight for a more democratic election system: get rid of the electoral college; stop the voter "cleansing"; take money out of the elections; demand third parties in the debates; end the laws that make it extremely difficult for 3rd parties to get on the ballot; stop gerrymandering; push for instant runoff elections and fight for a system closer to what other, more democratic countries have.

In solidarity,
Joe Lombardo

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