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Actual Final Third Party Debate Tonight

Unknown Lamer posted about a year and a half ago | from the all-was-quiet-election-eve dept.

Politics 204

Separate from the debate moderated by Ralph Nader last night, Free and Equal is hosting a final third party debate tonight at 9:00 p.m. EST (pre-debate coverage began at 8:00 p.m. EST). As a follow up to the October 23rd debate, only Jill Stein (Green) and Gary Johnson (Libertarian) will be facing each other for ninety minutes of questions primarily focusing on foreign policy. It appears that this one isn't being picked up by C-SPAN, but it is being broadcast on RT America on a few cable networks as well as on YouTube (which should work if you have an HTML5 browser, or via the XBMC YouTube plugin). Discuss.

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204 comments

Loon vs. fruitcake. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41889071)

Whoever wins, we ... ... couldn't care less.

Re:Loon vs. fruitcake. (4, Insightful)

Alien Being (18488) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889397)

Loons and fruitcakes? Your brain has been washed. Wake up, look around, and think about the true meaning of the word "democracy".

The primary goal of every right-minded American should be to eliminate the Democratic and Republican parties with EXTREME prejudice. They are two massive weights sitting on a balance beam and we, REAL FUCKING PEOPLE, are the fulcrum. FUCK THEM.

Sorry about all the caps but some people need to be shouted at.

Re:Loon vs. fruitcake. (0)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889491)

I've only been listening for a couple minutes and I agree with the GP. You must be looking in the mirror when asking if someone was brainwashed. But reading the rest of your comment, I can see why you are offended.

Re:Loon vs. fruitcake. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41889541)

I can see why "sumdumass" is one of the brainwashed people, his own username gives it away.

Re:Loon vs. fruitcake. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41890701)

Aren't you so cleaver.. Did you think that up all by yourself or didn't your mom help you? I bet you like it when your mom helps you.

Re:Loon vs. fruitcake. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41889741)

They are two massive weights sitting on a balance beam

Actually, having two parties STOPS extremism: http://kellogg.nd.edu/publications/workingpapers/WPS/144.pdf (Thanks, Cracked!)

So you want more relevance for third parties. That's fine, and no one is arguing for eliminating third parties. How about a four party system? Five? Let's pick a nice round number. Say, 10 parties. You've got your ultra-lefts, your super conservative religious rights, your socially conservative but fiscally liberal, et cetera. Enough choice that everyone can find one that really lines up with their beliefs.

Now it's time to vote. We'll assume we've reformed the electoral college, and who wins is purely determined by the popular vote. Because these parties are so diverse, we can roughly assume that they're about equal in size. So, election time! 8 of the 10 candidates win 10% of the population. 1 of the remaining two only gets 9%, and the other candidate snags 11%. So great! Now, we have a party in power that 89% of the country disagrees with! Hooray!

Here comes the fun part. The two parties most opposed to our winner above, and therefore most alike, look at each other and say, "Fuck this," and their members merge. So, of course, next election their candidate wins with a whopping 20% of the vote. Their political enemies say, "Fuck this," and now we're down to 8 parties. You can see where this is going.

Re:Loon vs. fruitcake. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889755)

I see where you are trying to take it, but the proportional representation systems don't do as badly as you insist.

Re:Loon vs. fruitcake. (2)

LordKronos (470910) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889837)

I see where you are trying to take it, but the proportional representation systems don't do as badly as you insist.

But then the point is, the 2 party system isn't the real problem. It's our system of voting that is wrong. So by focusing on breaking out of the 2 party system, we're focusing on the wrong problem (treating the symptoms rather than the disease).

Re:Loon vs. fruitcake. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#41890335)

If you can cure the symptoms, do you have to cure the disease? And if you treat the symptoms, it's easier to treat the disease. When we have a 2-party system, they'll ensure the voting system favors them. If we broke the 2-party system, then it would be much easier to change the voting system. And vice versa.

System of paying for votes is wrong (1)

dgharmon (2564621) | about a year and a half ago | (#41890575)

But then the point is, the 2 party system isn't the real problem. It's our system of voting that is wrong. So by focusing on breaking out of the 2 party system, we're focusing on the wrong problem (treating the symptoms rather than the disease).

It's the system of financing the voting system is what's wrong. Influence and Lobbying [opensecrets.org]

Re:Loon vs. fruitcake. (2)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889841)

Actually, it's not that uncommon to have a runoff between the two top candidates, or even runoffs just to GET 2 top candidates. That way at least gives the majority a voice, even if their ideal candidate doesn't make the cut.

Whether 2 parties or 2000, no candidate is ever going to do things exactly the way I want them. Heck, that's one of the problems we have now. "My Way or No Way". At least with multiple parties you aren't as likely to fall into the trap of political thinking in pure binary terms. Nor, for that matter, are the politicians.

Re:Loon vs. fruitcake. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41890013)

8 of the 10 candidates win 10% of the population.

Here we have far more than 10 parties, most of which irrelevant when considered alone. I don't remember a single election where the votes were uniformly distributed. Usually you end up with 2 or 3 candidates that have a chance to win, I guess because elections are won with money and companies won't invest in candidates who they agree with but can't win.
In practice, if there are 10 parties you won't have 10 candidates. They'll join forces, one naming the president (for instance) and the other the vice-president, other parties get to name ministers if the alliance wins, etc.

the other candidate snags 11%. So great! Now, we have a party in power that 89% of the country disagrees with! Hooray!

That can be solved by using Australian voting or voting again, but only with the top n (normally, n=2) candidates until someone gets more than half the votes. Besides, in the current American system, can you really say you never met anyone who voted in a party even though they preferred another that had zero chance of ever winning?

Your mistake was oversimplifying a complex problem. As Einstein supposedly said, "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

Re:Loon vs. fruitcake. (2)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year and a half ago | (#41890089)

Actually, having two parties STOPS extremism

It all depends on how you define "extremism." Personally, I think we need a bit more of it; I'd rather not have the TSA or the Patriot Act, for instance.

Re:Loon vs. fruitcake. (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year and a half ago | (#41890103)

Now, we have a party in power that 89% of the country disagrees with! Hooray!

So it's quite possibly no different from how it is now, then? The only difference from now is that people are actually voting for people that they disagree with so the other side doesn't win. Is it really any better to vote for the 'lesser evil' (someone who you disagree with)?

Re:Loon vs. fruitcake. (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year and a half ago | (#41890485)

or instead of casting one single vote we could rank the candidates from best to worst and the canidate with highest over all score wins the election which would more than likely lead to moderate semi sane people getting elected as all of the parties realize that the start putting smarter people in and get rid of demagogues who will get both rated highly by one set of whackjobs and lowly by the nut-cases at the other end of the spectrum. so we would have a system rewarding sound reason instead of which charismatic loon happens to have the largest fallowing of zealots by 1% or can discourage 60% of the nation to not bother

Re:Loon vs. fruitcake. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41890157)

The problem is, the Libertarians and Greens are actually worse than Democrats or Republicans.

Re:Loon vs. fruitcake. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41890213)

Oh God. America, please just vote for Obama this time. I know he's a let-down in so many ways, but he is hugely the lesser of two evils.

Re:Loon vs. fruitcake. (3, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889597)

Whoever wins, we ... ... couldn't care less.

We have a 16 trillion dollar debt, and we are adding to it at an unsustainable rate of more than a trillion a year. We are heading for a cliff. The fruitcakes want to turn right, the loons want to run left, but the "moderates" think we should go straight ahead.

The problems facing our country were not caused by the fruitcakes or loonies. They were caused by mainstream politicians and the voters that support them.

Re:Loon vs. fruitcake. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41889723)

We are heading for a cliff. The fruitcakes want to look right, the loons want to face left, but the "moderates" think we should wipe the bird shit off the windshield.

Re:Loon vs. fruitcake. (1)

boneglorious (718907) | about a year and a half ago | (#41890051)

The fruitcakes want to turn right, the loons want to run left, but the "moderates" think we should go straight ahead.

I'm confused --- how did you know which party was represented by the loon and which by the fruitcake?

Re:Loon vs. fruitcake. (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year and a half ago | (#41890369)

Libertarians include both - full on anarchists to outright George III swapped for Koch Royalists, with just about anything you can think of good or bad in the middle. So in other words you can't tell, all you can tell is that they are people that think the word "liberty" is nice.

Pointless (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41889077)

Third parties have literally zero relevance on a national stage.

Re:Pointless (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41889103)

They are relevant.
 
See, that is as insightful as your comment. Neither is supported by any facts and both are completely pointless.

Re:Pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41890183)

Actually his comment is supported by facts. Neither of them will get any more than a handful of electoral votes if any. They are irrelevant.

Re:Pointless (4, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889245)

Third parties have literally zero relevance on a national stage.

Unfortunately this will get modded down, but it's true. Having a debate amongst candidates who will never get elected is just an exercise in mental masturbation. Focus needs to be on how to get these candidates electable - how to show most Americans that it does not *have* to be a two-party system.

Re:Pointless (4, Insightful)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889403)

I agree there should be focus on how to get these candidates elected. But these debates are not entirely useless. There are people who are not satisfied with R & D, and are looking for alternatives. These debates do help these people (how ever small percentage of the population they are), to choose their right candidate.

Re:Pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41889921)

That may be true, but it doesn't refute my statement that they are irrelevant. While that 1% of people are voting with their conscience the other 99% will be deciding who the winner is.

Re:Pointless (0)

Alien Being (18488) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889539)

Well that makes you a meta-masturbator. Show me the giant dildo we can shove up the collective ass of the two primary parties and I'll bring the beer. One of these candidates might just be that dildo.

Re:Pointless (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889545)

Focus needs to be on how to get these candidates electable - how to show most Americans that it does not *have* to be a two-party system.

As long as the election system is the way it is, it will be a two party system. Even if through some extraordinary circumstances a third party were to get support - like say uncovering that one of the existing parties is a satanic baby raping cult, because that's roughly the level of extraordinary you'd need - they'll either replace one of the existing two parties or return to obscurity, any three-way race is an extremely unstable constellation. And the only ones who can change that is Congress by a 2/3rds majority in both the House and the Senate or 2/3rds of the states calling a congressional convention. Would you care to wager on the odds of a bipartisan constitutional amendment to end their power duopoly? I think the chances are better for me winning the lottery each week for the rest of my life. Until then, the game is rigged for third parties to lose.

Re:Pointless (0)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889725)

The candidates are not electable because they aren't nominated by either the Republicans or the Democrats. Get Johnson as a Republican and he has ~50% of the vote, get Stein as a Democrat and she has ~50% of the vote.

The system, quite simply is rigged. From the Commission on Presidential Debates (which, incidentally is run by the Democrats and Republicans) which control the "mainstream" debates, to public funding, to the very system of the electoral college itself is designed to keep third parties out of the race.

The only way to not have a two party system is to completely change the way we elect the president (and most likely congress also).

Re:Pointless (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889995)

The only way to not have a two party system is to completely change the way we elect the president...

We have to elect people that will change the rules. If we can do that, then the problem has already been solved, and nothing needs to be changed.

If you have multiple parties in congress, they will strike up alliances with each other, and will end up being one group against another. Oops, now we're back to two opposing groups. Though in that case, they might actually oppose each other, unlike today, where they act like they do, while actually being tag team partners, taking turns in the ring.

Re:Pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41890875)

The key difference in a multi-party system is that the centre-left and centre-right can do deals with each other, not just with their lunatic fringe. Thus, in Australia, while the Greens and Labor usually work together, and the Liberals and Nationals (indeed, in one state they merged), it isn't unheard-of for Nationals to work with the Labor Right or for Liberals to help Labor bills pass when the Greens oppose the, and Australia isn't even a very good example of a multi-party system since there are only five parties of any significance.

It is *WORSE* than a wasted vote (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41889771)

Third party candidates serve a useful negative purpose for campaign managers. If they can't get a person to switch to their guy, they try to get them to switch to a third party to neutralize their vote. It is one less vote you need to find for your guy.

Phrases like 'protest vote', 'both main parties are the same so vote for the third guy', 'your vote is never waste [yes it is]'

It needs to be said again and again, IT IS A WASTED VOTE unless the third party candidate has any chance of winning, and if he does, why isn't he inside the Republican party changing it from within like Ron Paul, or the Dems. Ron Paul may not have won, but he did, nevertheless make such a dent in them they did this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAFjY96Y1F4&feature=related

So vote the change candidate in the Primaries and change one of the electable parties, once we're past that, you have to vote the lesser of two evils. I'm not sure it will be any longer possible, given they even rigged that vote:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=77W5OKStO5s#!

(That's the teleprompt that had the 'ayes have it' result of the voice vote before the voice vote was over, and the rest of the speech on the teleprompter was written as though the 'ayes' won. So the Republican elite won't let one of our guys get elected now).

The of course there's this:
http://www.themoneyparty.org/main/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Republican-Primary-Election-Results-Amazing-Statistical-Anomalies_V2.0.pdf

They flipped a proportion of the votes on the ES&S Diebold Tabulators to Romney. I wonder how Ron Paul would have scored if the vote hadn't been rigged.

What is a wasted vote? (1)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | about a year and a half ago | (#41890037)

Mathematically, yes, you are correct. First past the post guarantees that only two parties will ever be relevant.

But as long as your state is already sewn up, why not vote for a third party? If you're in Texas, Alaska, California, or New York, you know where the electoral votes are headed.

Or you can try to ensure that a third party gets enough of the vote to get [a] on all of the ballots, and [b] federal matching funds next election cycle.

Really, if you're not in Ohio, you should vote third party.

I'm beginning to lose faith in the "great experiment". I've lived in other countries before, and come back. Yesterday I saw Obama speak in Cincinnati, to a crowd of people who might have equally been cheering a particularly articulate and well-dressed baboon as anyone who actually represented their interests. Worse, the people I attended the event with didn't understand what scared me about the blind tribalism -- they were voting blue team this season. I didn't need to see the same thing at the Romney events; I feel dumb enough for having stood in line yesterday.

What hope is there for my country?

Obligitory XKCD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41890235)

"But as long as your state is already sewn up, why not vote for a third party?"
Because there's no such thing, I think XKCD puts it best:

http://www.xkcd.com/1122/

A State that is sewn up, is just one that hasn't flipped yet!

"Really, if you're not in Ohio, you should vote third party."
And if Candidate Romney's lot (I refuse to call him the Republican Candidate just because he rigged an election), can convince enough Democrat voters to do likewise he can add another panel to that XKCD comic.

Re:What is a wasted vote? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41890759)

>But as long as your state is already sewn up, why not vote for a third party?

Because those third parties are sad jokes that have absolutely zero credibility when it comes to running government at the national level.

Come up with a real third party with some semblance sanity and people will vote for them (e.g. Perot, not that I liked him.)

Re:It is *WORSE* than a wasted vote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41890507)

Paranoia always fixes election results you dislike.

Re:Pointless (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889899)

But mathematically, a first-past-the-post system is a 2-party system. We need to move to a proportional representation system on the local levels, where we can affect change, and eventually it'll happen at the federal level, then the 2-party system will be dead.

Re:Pointless (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#41890047)

This proportional representation system is already in place. In the US, we elect one president- can't really divide him up. W elect two senators per state and it could easily be divided if the people wanted a third party senator. As for the house of representatives, there are congressional districts and each and every representative is elected from them. If the Third part candidates wanted representation they could easily take one of those. It's happened in the past and can happen again.

There are plenty of options for third party participation if they actually cared enough to bother. They do not so I do not think just giving them seats is proper. It also doesn't even address the loss of electoral control the people actually do have by voting in their districts for their own representatives.

It will not ever happen at the federal level simply because you need to change the constitution in order for it to happen. That will not happen. If the people want it to happen, they will start electing third party candidates on the local levels. To say otherwise is ignoring the US electoral system, the US constitution and processes that existed since the beginning of the country.

Re:Pointless (2)

Qzukk (229616) | about a year and a half ago | (#41890159)

It will not ever happen at the federal level simply because you need to change the constitution in order for it to happen

Actually, it wouldn't.

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof

There's even less in the Constitution about how the president is elected, only that the electoral college makes the decision. The states get to decide how the electoral college is chosen, and Maine and Nebraska have already chosen to use something other than a winner-take-all system.

Re:Pointless (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#41890327)

To say otherwise is ignoring the US electoral system, the US constitution and processes that existed since the beginning of the country.

Really, since the beginning? What was the 12th Amendment then?

Leaving aside your lack of knowledge about history, the policy of winner-take-all for state electoral votes is not set in the Constitution. There's no need to adjust the constitution at all to fix that. But yes, a true multiparty system does generally elect representatives from a national pool, which would require a Constitutional change to line that up. But there's no change to the Constitution needed for some of the elements to be adopted on a national level, and it's not like it's impossible to change the Constitution. It's been done 27 times now (well, 17 after adoption).

Re:Pointless (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#41890725)

Where in the 12th amendment does it provide for the election of representatives? Are you really going to argue that a president can be split into different people? do you even know what proportional representation is?

You would need to amend the constitution because the representatives are supposed to represent the people that elected them, not some random person who was appointed because of an election malfunction you think is wise. And no, you will not amend the constitution even though it has been amended 27 times already because no one in the major parties will cede that kind of power to a third party. The only way to do it is for the third parties to get their acts together and get elected in lower elections- but then you wouldn't need this hair brained scheme.

Re:Pointless (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#41890793)

You would need to amend the constitution because the representatives are supposed to represent the people that elected them, not some random person who was appointed because of an election malfunction

That's what we get now. Some election machine owned by a politically connected family adjusting results to elect some "random" person appointed because of an election malfunction.

Re:Pointless (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year and a half ago | (#41890423)

Take a look at the Australian system. We took a look at yours in 1901 and made some improvements that could be done with a new system but awkward to do with the vast numbers of little poorly co-ordinated groups you have running your elections with all kinds of odd ways to collect ballots, let alone anything else (like voting on a weekend). The groups the US deploy overseas to help run elections on behalf of the UN are similar to the Australian Electoral Commission in the way they operate so you already have something to work with.

Re:Pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41890771)

This proportional representation system is already in place.

Yes, for states.

I've had this discussion before, it's not about the state's, but the people.

This reference is clearly to a proportional representation of the people's wishes.

It also doesn't even address the loss of electoral control the people actually do have by voting in their districts for their own representatives.

Except that's exactly the loss of control we're suffering, since those artificial districts aren't exactly representative even at their best.

It will not ever happen at the federal level simply because you need to change the constitution in order for it to happen. That will not happen.

This is the closest to truth you come in your post, namely that it's unlikely to happen.

But your reasoning is incorrect. It's not the people that are the issue, it's the people who don't want the people to be in charge.

They prefer their elitism and manipulation.

Not True (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889079)

The debate between fictional write in candidates is tomorrow morning.

Re:Not True (1)

narcc (412956) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889169)

I'm looking forward to it. Right now, the race between Jill Stein and Mickey Mouse is too close to call.

(Just kidding. I know that Stein won't even come close to M.M. in the general.)

Re:Not True (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41889369)

I already voted for her. Why? Because she got asserted for standing up for what she believes in. I don't think any of the other runners would do that. I didn't know anything else about her (not that it mattered because she won't win).

I did research the people on my local level a bit more before deciding among them.

Re:Not True (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889735)

I'm pretty sure that any third-party candidate would stand up for what they believe in. I'd much rather have Johnson, Stein, Goode or Anderson as the president than Obama or Romney.

Re:Not True (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41889583)

(Just kidding. I know that Stein won't even come close to M.M. in the general.)

Well, Stein is running as the Green Party Candidate. In 2008, Cynthia McKinney got about 160,000 votes. In 2004, David Cobb got 120,000. In 2000, Nader pulled in 2.8 million. In 1996, it was 684,000.

Mickey Mouse? Maybe a few thousand across the country.

Re:Not True (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41890767)

Yeah, but good ol' Mr. Mouse wasn't even on the ballot. If he were, you just know that he'd trounce Ms. Stein without breaking a sweat.

Runoff elections... (5, Insightful)

brainproxy (654715) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889113)

This is why we need them.

Re:Runoff elections... (5, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889621)

Runoff elections...This is why we need them.

No, we need "instant runoffs". You pick your choices in order and the winner is selected on points.

Hell, at least there is a semblance of a decision by the electorate in that setup. Right now we've got empty fields in Montana having as much of a say in who becomes president as a small city in the Southeast.

But any change would require an Amendment to the Constitution, or (my choice) a Constitutional Convention, which would be so heavily lobbied that we'd end up with a system where the president was chosen by the CEOs of the Fortune 500.

Maybe we have to face the fact that elections just aren't going to get us where we need to go. It's only going to happen by us becoming better citizen/consumers. The answer may not be in our political system at all.

Re:Runoff elections... (5, Interesting)

artor3 (1344997) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889849)

I don't think an amendment to the Constitution would be necessary. All the Constitution says is that states choose Electors, and the Electors vote on the President. It's up to the states how they pick Electors. In practice, they all have a first-past-the-post popular vote, but an individual state could choose to employ IRV or any other system.

Ideally, one would want a lot of states to get together and agree to all implement IRV together. Already, several states have signed pacts to all assign their electors to the winner of the national popular vote (see here [nationalpopularvote.com]). There's no reason we couldn't use the same approach to pass IRV. It's much easier to pass voting reform this way than it is through a Constitutional amendment.

Of course, the two major parties don't want it, so even with the lower bar it's unlikely to happen.

Re:Runoff elections... (1)

epSos-de (2741969) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889951)

Slashdot should have reported about other parties and ignore the mainstream, if America is ever to become democracy. How else is the system of political monopoly is going to end in US ?

Re:Runoff elections... (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41890027)

Tomorrow's is the runoff election, between winners of the primaries. Just like any other sports championship series (Super bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup, etc.)

Re:Runoff elections... (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41890049)

I forgot to add that you still do have more than two options. Vote for the one you prefer. There is no rule that dictates you must vote republican or democrat.

RT? (0)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889153)

RT is usually considered a Kremlin propaganda news source. What is with their interest in broadcasting a third party debate?

Re:RT? (2)

chill (34294) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889201)

It lends them credibility. They see the success Al-Jazeera has worldwide and they're jealous.

Re:RT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41889277)

Some people consider CNN a US propaganda news source. Remember the coverage of the South Ossetia incident? Turns out western media was lying.

The choice ahead (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889161)

“The choice is between two ways of life: between individual liberty and State domination; between concentration of ownership in the hands of the State and the extension of ownership over the widest number of individuals; between the dead hand of monopoly and the stimulus of competition; between a policy of increasing restraint and a policy of liberating energy and ingenuity; between a policy of levelling down and a policy of opportunity for all to rise upwards from a basic standard. — Sir Winston Churchill [goodreads.com], WOLVERHAMPTON, 23 JULY 1949” (Kudos [powerlineblog.com] )
 

Will the debate be this good [youtube.com]?

And following this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41889173)

At 11pm will be the real, true, absolutely final third party debate... prior to tomorrow.

Why (0)

SnarfQuest (469614) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889211)

I'm not surprised that none of the networks are carrying it. Nader isn't a staunch Obama supporter, and I doubt either of these candidates are Obama supporters either. None of them are likely to be praising Obama's foreign policy. Why should the mainstream press be interested in something that that isn't going to help their candidate?

5% (5, Informative)

chill (34294) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889281)

The U.S. party system is divided into two groups: major and minor parties.

Major parties get more than 5% of the vote at the last general election. Minor parties get less than that.

The difference is major parties are eligible for federal matching campaign funds and have easier ballot access. In order to get on the ballot in a State you have to get a certain number of registered voters to sign a petition.

Major parties have a threshold that is frequently fairly low. Minor parties often have much higher requirements, often 3 - 4 times the number of signatures that a major party candidate will need.

That is why Gary Johnson has "Give me 5%" on his homepage. He knows he isn't going to win, but is aiming to get equal ballot access and financing for the Libertarian Party for future elections. The idea is to maybe break the lock the Republicans and Democrats have on the electoral process.

If you want to see the grip of the Big R and Big D loosened, consider voting for Gary Johnson and contribute towards the 5%. If you're in one of the "undisputed" States that are firmly in the grip of Romney or Obama, consider casting your ballot for Johnson (or Jill Stein of the Green Party) even if you'd normally vote Obama or Romney. This way your vote isn't wasted.

http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/ [garyjohnson2012.com]

Re:5% (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889521)

The idea is to maybe break the lock the Republicans and Democrats have on the electoral process.

There is bipartisan support (among politicians) for keeping third parties out.

If you're in one of the "undisputed" States that are firmly in the grip of Romney or Obama, consider casting your ballot for Johnson (or Jill Stein of the Green Party) even if you'd normally vote Obama or Romney

Excellent idea.

Re:5% (2)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889759)

I'm in a "Romney-lock" state, and I gave Gary Johnson my vote. I shudder at 4 more years of Obama (why is no one fuming over Obama's killing of two American citizens with drones?), but I am not under any delusion that Romney would be different.

I don't get the idea that my vote is wasted. It sends a message. If enough of us sent the message.... well, we'd let them know we're still in charge.

Re:5% (2)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889961)

why is no one fuming over Obama's killing of two American citizens with drones?

People like you are. Most Americans aren't. Those two citizens took up arms against the United States to make war against it as members of an enemy engaged in war against the United States. Is this a puzzle? They could have surrendered, but didn't. There is precedent for this sort of action. In fact, the Federal government has shot down many Americans in the same status before. There is actually a video representation [youtube.com] of one of these incidents.

This is one of the two men [youtube.com] you worry was treated unfairly in some manner.

Re:5% (3, Insightful)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | about a year and a half ago | (#41890355)

Most Americans aren't.
And that is a shame. First, let's just break this down. How do we know he took arms up against the US? Did he start shooting troops and bombing buildings in the US? If he did, how do we know he did? Because the President said he did? Or because he is an asshole who spouted shit? Whether or not the person is a militant asswipe or a blustering fool is not for the President to decide, precisely since there IS NO WAR declared here. So how can this person take up arms against the US? Did I miss the Congressional approval and declaration of war? I don't think I did. Remember that army doctor who opened fire at Fort Hood? Why was he not taken to the woods and shot... or hanged for "taking up arms against the US?" Because he is a CITIZEN and entitled to a fair trial, no matter how stupidly guilty we think he is. I can't believe you're ACTUALLY arguing these people deserved it and their rights can be taken away by the President... It boggles the mind what idiots troll Slashdot.

I don't give a shit how stupid this guy was, or how fucking sick in the head he was for believing the shit he spouted. He did not deserve to have his Constitutional rights as a citizen trampled like they were. Pure and simple, the Obama administration wanted to try fucking non-citizens in US courts... yet he bombs the shit out of a citizen?

Whatever he did, purported to do, thought about doing, tried to do, doesn't matter. Neither we nor the President has the power to rob him of his due process under the Constitution. How is this not bothering you? Sure, he was a jerk and the world is better off now that he's dead, but when does it stop?

Oh let me repeat this... there has been NO declaration of war. None. Congress has not declared war. Period. So you can try and weasel that in all you want, but it's not legal. Remember Jane Fonda? Why was she not arrested during Vietnam? Oh that's right. NO WAR was declared. So the powers available to the government during wartime were not in effect. What the President did was wrong and he should stand trial for it. Period. Is this too hard for you? Maybe I should draw it in crayon so you can see which rights the President violated..... Would that help? I'm sorry, but you amaze the shit out of me... I didn't think there were otherwise intelligent people siding with Obama on this murder. Sorry, it's murder. And with the NDAA, you could be next... or at least left to rot in prison forever... or I could be next, because I'm critical of his highness. People blasted Bush for the expansion of executive power, but I haven't heard a fucking PEEP about it when Obama doesn't just do the same stuff. He EXPANDS it. Bush never ordered the drone assassination of a citizen. Guess "change" means for the worse... not for the better.

Re:5% (1)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | about a year and a half ago | (#41890379)

Oh and that "not surrender" shit? How can you surrender to a drone? We didn't try to arrest him with the help of Yemen. We targeted him and his son and blew them away. Sorry... that argument holds NO water either.

Re:5% (3, Interesting)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year and a half ago | (#41890383)

He could have surrendered at the American embassy, or to Yemeni authorities. Not that difficult.

Should be interesting... (4, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889303)

This should be interesting not because of their relevance to the elections tomorrow because as much as I'd rather have Johnson, Stein, Goode or Anderson as our next president rather than 4 more years of Obamney, I think there is a general discord among people of both the Republican and Democratic parties about their candidates the last couple of years. McCain and Romney haven't really pushed for smaller government or for auditing the Fed, Obama hasn't closed Gitmo nor has he been a very peaceful, anti-war president after murdering a couple of American citizens as judge, jury and executioner via drones, involved the US in yet another war (Libya) and won't even release real statistics of how many innocent Pakistanis our Peace Prize winning president has killed (instead, if they are military-aged males they must be "enemy combatants").

Because of this, I think Stein and Johnson will help to shape the Democratic and Republican party platforms if they manage to get enough votes. If Johnson ends up getting 5% of the national vote (unlikely but he's at 5.2% in national polling...) it could radically change the American political landscape.

Re:Should be interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41889513)

"Obama hasn't closed Gitmo"

Its shut down, just not closed, you can thank the warmongering congress for that

"anti-war president after murdering a couple of American citizens as judge, jury and executioner via drones"

you mean enemies of the state involved with terrorists in foreign lands propagating war acts? you know what treason means right?

"involved the US in yet another war (Libya)"

we have more military in berlin

"and won't even release real statistics of how many innocent Pakistanis our Peace Prize winning president has killed"

oh here we go, someones tent was bombed while acting like an ass and waving around a rocket launcher

"If Johnson ends up getting 5% of the national vote (unlikely but he's at 5.2% in national polling...)"

he wont even be a footnote in tomorrows paper, I havent even heard of the fuck and its the night before.

Re:Should be interesting... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889647)

Its shut down, just not closed, you can thank the warmongering congress for that

What's that supposed to mean? That he signed an executive order saying that it was "shut down" while signing into law the 2012 Fiscal Year NDAA which in it basically forbids the transfer of "inmates" in Guantanamo Bay to other countries essentially keeping it open indefinitely (among other provisions)?

you mean enemies of the state involved with terrorists in foreign lands propagating war acts? you know what treason means right?

You know what due process means, right? Its one thing if these American citizens were killed while actively shooting at US troops. It would be perfectly justified if they were in a firefight allied with some terrorist group shooting at US troops and in that firefight they got killed. But that wasn't what happened. Instead Obama and his administration unilaterally decided that an American citizen would die by drone. There was no effort to put him on trial for treason, instead Obama and his buddies acted as judge, jury and executioner.

we have more military in berlin

Which I also disagree with, but more on topic we aren't fighting in Berlin, we aren't propping up "rebels" for US interests in Berlin and chances are due to our presence in Berlin we won't fight another war 10, 20 years later like we have in.... well, just about every country we've meddled in their affairs. We try to stop the Soviets in Afghanistan and end up propping up Muslim extremists there, etc.

oh here we go, someones tent was bombed while acting like an ass and waving around a rocket launcher

That's what you might think, but the fact is we'll never know for sure since our ever so transparent President doesn't release official statistics.

he wont even be a footnote in tomorrows paper, I havent even heard of the fuck and its the night before.

Perhaps he won't be in the paper, but Johnson is polling at a large enough percentage to "cost" the Republicans and Democrats the White House based on recent numbers.

Romney will win tomorrow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41889305)

The mainstream media polls all over-sample democrats to make it look close, but Romney will win almost all of the so-called toss up states. People know things have been bad the last 4 years and Obama cannot escape his record by attacking Romney. People can see right through that tactic.

Re:Romney will win tomorrow (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41889339)

Thats cause most democrats ditched the land lines a decade ago, where as most republicons are still confused whether or not their AARP phone does or does not come with the big buttons.

I am not trying to predict who will win, just saying that polls are about as useless as tits on Hillary Clinton.

Re:Romney will win tomorrow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41889355)

Actually all polls predict a small victory for Obama. If it were close, some would predict a victory Romney, just to balance it out.

Re:Romney will win tomorrow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41889965)

Things have been bad the last 4 years because banks fucked up the economy. The damage they caused isn't going to be fixed in a single presidential term.

Apropos of this (4, Informative)

Nimey (114278) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889363)

the Ohio Secretary of State has illegally placed "experimental" software on voting machines in some counties; illegal because he should have gotten approval from a board. This was done just a few days before the election and an emergency suit has been filed to stop it.

http://www.salon.com/2012/11/05/ohio_republicans_sneak_risky_software_onto_voting_machines/ [salon.com]

Re:Apropos of this (0, Troll)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889549)

and does this board of bored housewives and retired orthodontists really have any insightful input?

Re:Apropos of this (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889901)

If you read the contract [bradblog.com], there are a number of things that jump out at you.

The contract was signed September 17, 2012. Given the time needed to generate quotes, negotiate the contract, and work it through legal, it is obvious that this was in the works for some time prior to that.

If you read pages 17 & 18, the purpose is to export comma separated value (csv) files in the format specified in the contract.

The program is written in COBOL. (As has been discussed many times on Slashdot, all great hacks are performed in COBOL.)

I see in the meeting notice below that the OHIO BOARD OF VOTING MACHINE EXAMINERS was scheduled to meet June 21st. That would seem to be about right to start dealing with this proposal / contract.
NOTICE OF MEETING: OHIO BOARD OF VOTING MACHINE EXAMINERS [state.oh.us]

The same company's software was directly discussed at the previous meeting of the Ohio Board of Voting Machine Examiners below.
notice of a meeting to be held by the Ohio Board of Voting Machine Examiners [state.oh.us]

Did someone miss some meetings?

Hmmm.... look like nothing to see here, move along.

Ohio Secretary of State accused of installing suspicious software on voting machines [thegrio.com]

Ohio law allows for the experimental use of voting equipment as long as it’s restricted to a limited number of precincts, and under the experimental label, equipment can legally be used without certification.

The Free Press revealed the contract between Husted’s office and the contracted vendor Election Systems and Solutions reads that the software has not been and does not need to be reviewed by any testing authority at the state or federal level.

Election Counsel Brandi Laser Seske sent out a memo to Secretary of State personnel yesterday, detailing the software. In the memo, she explains the software did not require review because it is not “involved in the tabulation or casting of ballots or a modification to a certified system.”

Matt McClellan, a spokesman for the Secretary of State’s office, told theGrio that no patches were installed, describing instead a reporting tool software meant to “assist counties and to help them simplify the process by which they report the results to our system.”

I think this can be filed under "narrative fail."

Contract in SEPT, meeting in MAY (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41890817)

The meeting you referred to was in May 2012, the contract for the software was in September 2012, so there's no way they could have approved software that hadn't been ordered. The contract specifically states it's for test only, which is why ES&S are able to avoid submitting it for approval.

Meeting: Monday, May 14, 2012 at 9:30 a.m.
Contract: September 19th 2012
http://bradblog.com/Docs/Ohio_ESS_Contract_091812.pdf

The reason they ordered this software is clear, they were caught in August after the Republican Primaries showed clear, statistically provable fraud. To fix that you need to know the voting in real time. That requires the vote tally.

http://www.themoneyparty.org/main/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Republican-Primary-Election-Results-Amazing-Statistical-Anomalies_V2.0.pdf

THE COUNT DOESN'T NEED THIS SOFTWARE. THE FRAUD NEEDS THIS SOFTWARE.

Or more specifically, the cover-up of the fraud needs this software. They're trying to avoid the results being statistically shown to be rigged like they were in the primaries.

Re:Apropos of this (1)

varkatope (308450) | about a year and a half ago | (#41890883)

This Salon article (http://www.salon.com/2012/11/05/ohio_republicans_sneak_risky_software_onto_voting_machines/) goes a lot further and looks at how the software could be used in setting up a "man in the middle" attack, changing the results after tabulation. It also quotes a memo from the EAC named “Software and Firmware modifications are not de minimis changes” which says:

“Ohio election law provides for experimental equipment only in a limited number of precincts per county,” they report. “Installing uncertified and untested software on central tabulation equipment essentially affects every single precinct in a given county.”

This would seem to be more than what is allowed by the "experimental" exception. I don't know if fraud is really occurring in this case, but installing uncertified software patches four days before the election in nearly 40 precincts of the lynchpin swing state looks shady as shit to me.

Husted is the same Republican Secretary of State that tried to completely eliminate early voting in Ohio (which disproportionally disenfranchises Democratic voters), and frankly, I don't trust him as far as I can throw him. There will be lawyers.

Re:Apropos of this (1)

varkatope (308450) | about a year and a half ago | (#41890917)

Crap. I didn't see the grandparent you were replying to.

At any rate, this still looks shady as shit. Republicans seem to be doing their damnedest to disenfranchise and I'm not convinced that's not happening here, and if not here, it certainly is happening elsewhere. I'll be glad when this circus is over (for a while).

To rig an election convincingly you need the stats (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41890497)

Just to recap, the OHIO REPORTING SYSTEMS DOESN'T NEED THIS SOFTWARE! It already tabulates the results as they are. What Ohio have ordered is an interface to something else. What happened in August is they were caught rigging the election, they need to improve their rigging and that needs early voting data:

http://www.themoneyparty.org/main/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Republican-Primary-Election-Results-Amazing-Statistical-Anomalies_V2.0.pdf

The Ohio vote in the Republican primaries was noticeable because the voter fraud had a linear slant. The more votes in a district the bigger the slant to Romney. So districts of size X, voted 35% for Romney, districts of size Y voted 30% for Romney and so on, regardless of anything else.

This INSANE result, showed an algorithm was at work, and comparing the districts with ES&S central tabulators against paper voting districts, showed how rigged the election was, and that this rigging was right across all the states.

http://www.themoneyparty.org/main/stolen-election-2004-plus-the-voter-fraud-scam-series/wisconsin-no-tabulator-versus-tabulator-counties/

To rig an election convincingly, you need the stats early, so that you can make just enough vote flipping near the beginning. If you set too much vote-flipping at the beginning you risk your candidate getting 80% win. If you flip it too late, your guy can lose.

They know they can't simply set constants for vote rigging because they were spotted in the statistical analysis of the Ohio Primaries vote.

Jill Stein All The Way (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41889473)

Jill Stein has my vote. It's hard to be a liberal living in the DC suburbs, constantly being harassed by two-party evangelicals.

But, she has a good head on her shoulders, and she knows exactly what it will take to break out of this awful economy.

It turns out that you can't just exploit labor forever and expect them to have any money left to spend. For too long people have been alienated from their right to an honest day's pay for an honest day's work. She will work hard to fix that, and get us back to honest, living wages like we had in the middle of the 20th century.

It used to be that a family of four could survive on one income, but now it's hard to make ends meet even with two.

Adding to her fiscal vision, her positions on the environment, education, and drug legalization are all enlightened and future-forward.

I am a progressive. I am a liberal. She is the only liberal on the ticket, running against a bunch of right-wing warmongering fascists. I gave up on Obama when he illegally invaded Pakistan to kill OBL without any due process whatsoever.

If you're planning to vote for Obama, PLEASE take one last look at Jill Stein.

Re:Jill Stein All The Way (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41889657)

Jill Stein has my vote.

Mine too. I love it when the bitches win!

Re:Jill Stein All The Way (2)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889765)

Yep, even though I don't agree with Stein's positions on a lot of things, I'd much rather her run the country than Obama or Romney. Why? Because she'd do exactly what she said she would. Romney has said just about everything under the sun to please people, he's been pro-government healthcare (heck, Obamacare is basically Romneycare at the federal level!) he's been anti-government healthcare, etc. Obama has done mostly the same, he's promised to end wars and ends up starting new ones, he promised a transparent government and instead we've had nothing but 4 years of propaganda and secrets.

Vote Stein, Johnson, Goode or Anderson tomorrow.

Confidence game (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889561)

I wish I could have more faith in the motivation of each of these fringe party candidates.

It's interesting how they always seem to help the candidate that they would least agree with. Especially in a close election where so much was at stake, I think it's perfectly appropriate to hold these candidates and their voters accountable for whatever happens, just as I believe Ralph Nader helped George W. Bush.

Do I believe Ralph Nader meant to help GWB get elected? No, but he had to know that there was a distinct possibility that he would do so. But I guess it takes such a monumental ego to run for president, that his better nature didn't have much of a chance to dissuade him.

As I've said before, if you are interested in seeing an alternative to the two-party system, the place to get it done is in local elections, starting with school boards and county boards. I'm a bit suspicious when a party with practically no local presence nationwide all of a sudden puts up a candidate for president.

I don't want to be so cynical as to believe these fringe candidates have motives unrelated to their victory, but given the history, the burden of proof is on them.

It's also interesting to me that just like the candidates of the two main parties, there is not one of these fringe candidates that is the least bit impressive. What is it about our political system that it seems no matter what the party, how big or small, they can never seem to field a candidate that is significantly better than a random selection from the phone book.

Maybe I'm wrong and have missed something. Do any of you believe that any of these "third-party" candidates are particularly impressive all-around?

Re:Confidence game (1)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889823)

Do any of you believe that any of these "third-party" candidates are particularly impressive all-around?

I'd love to see more 3rd party candidates in local elections, but these parties (Libertarian, Green, Constitution) are putting the platforms out there the best they can, using the Presidential election as the stage. Once the platforms are clarified, people hopefully will start to listen and see if these alternatives are actually good, or just a bunch of hot air. We get that going, perhaps we'll see more local and state races fielding third party candidates.

I guess I'm saying "you have to start somewhere" and the local races will come when the message gets out to the most people. Is there a chance the messages are rejected? Sure, because there are some misconceptions about Libertarians and Greens (Libertarians aren't all anarcho-capitalists), and not all Greens want you to live in tents and eat bark. Just like not all Democrats are total wealth-redistributors, and not all Republicans are neo-cons. I want the Libertarian and Green party to take enough of the cake that makes the major parties unable to get "by" with the bullshit we currently have. Sure it's a pipe dream now, but you have to have a dream. :)

Re:Confidence game (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889991)

Look at the issues on where the third parties differ. Look at the legislation and deeds Obama has done, look at what Romney has promised. In the ways that third parties are different, the "big two" are the same. Which candidate is anti-war? It isn't Romney and it sure isn't Obama. Which candidate wants to end the war on drugs? Neither Obama nor Romney. Which candidate wants to investigate the Federal Reserve System? Neither Obama nor Romney. Etc.

Sure, Obama and Romney might disagree on a few issues, Obama might want a percentage or two higher tax, Romney might want a percentage or two lower tax. Obama might want to allow abortion for X,Y and Z while Romney might only want to allow it for X and Y. Obama might want to only bomb countries X and Y while Romney wants to bomb X, Y and Z. Etc. but overall they are the same. A vote for Johnson isn't "stealing" a vote away from Romney, if the Republicans wanted the libertarian-leaning vote they would have nominated Paul or Johnson. Similarly, a vote for Stein isn't a vote "stolen" from Obama because if the Democrats wanted the anti-war left vote they would have nominated someone actually deserving of a peace prize, not Drone-Master-In-Chief Obama.

Overall, I think Johnson and Stein are both good candidates. I've never really liked the Constitution Party because it seems to be a bizarre blend of Libertarian and Republican thinking (you are free to do whatever unless it violates our moral code, then we need to punish you!). And the Justice Party likewise seems to be a blend of the Green and Democratic parties.

But I'd have to say, both Johnson and Stein are better leaders and much more impressive than either Romney or Obama.

Re:Confidence game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41890311)

I've never really liked the Constitution Party because it seems to be a bizarre blend of Libertarian and Republican thinking

I'm having a hard time finding any libertarian thinking in there. The conservative caucus movement it was born from was hugely protectionist (because trade with China exposes our soft underbelly to the commies!) I guess they promise to cut back federal government too, I suppose, but I'm not sure what they're planning on doing with all the tariffs they want to impose on everyone (though I guess someone's gotta pay for the porn hunters).

Jill Stein On Nuclear (4, Informative)

Unknown Lamer (78415) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889703)

Yech, in response to the "Iran crisis" and Syria, Dr. Stein went off on a terrible anti-nuclear rant. Goal: eliminate all nuclear all the world round because it can never be safe, and all reactors produce bomb material... someone's never heard of Generation IV reactors. Hopefully the Green party can be convinced over the next few years that working against nuclear is working against "green" energy...

Re:Jill Stein On Nuclear (5, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889737)

That is actually one of my biggest gripes against the greens. Next gen nuclear, alongside solar represents the best of green energy.

Only on paper (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year and a half ago | (#41890443)

Considering that the first AP1000 hasn't even been started up yet it's going to be a long time before the generation after that gets going.

Third parties don't work (1)

Caffinated (38013) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889945)

Third parties in the US don't work. With the way that we vote, 2 parties are the only stable configuration. That's not some grand conspiracy on the part of said parties, it's just the dynamics of the system. The result of that is that the each of the 2 parties have historically themselves been fairly broad coalitions who align around general principals. So, we might not have a Green party as such, but people with those views would be welcome in the Democratic coalition, for instance.

The way to foment change in this system is to push the major party most aligned with you in the direction that you'd like it to go. You do that by getting more candidates who agree with you to run and win. If your cause(es) are really that popular, then it shouldn't be so hard with a lot of work and focus. Third parties are an excellent way to make sure that this doesn't happen. In short, you win by taking over the party that's most closely aligned with your values.

The republican party is an excellent recent example for this actually. The teabaggers rebellion didn't run third party candidates, they ran in party primaries and started knocking out incumbents. The remainder of the party saw this in action and moved fairly quickly to align with the insurgent faction out of simple self-interest. The result was that the party shifted rather significantly to the right to accommodate them which meant that they ended up getting much of what they wanted.

Comparison tool that includes 3rd party candidates (2)

Inofree (2768075) | about a year and a half ago | (#41890219)

You can compare the 3rd party candidates Johnson, Goode and Stein against Romney and Obama at voterscorecard.com Since there is a Ron Paul write-in campaign and he is a certified write in some states like CA, he also can be selected.
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