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Ralph Nader Might Announce Run For President

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the third-time's-the-charm dept.

Politics 333

SonicSpike writes "According to the AP, Ralph Nader could be poised for another presidential campaign. Nader will appear on NBC's 'Meet the Press' tomorrow to announce whether he will launch another White House bid. Nader kicked off his 2004 presidential run on the show. Kevin Zeese, who was Nader's spokesman during the 2004 presidential race said, 'Obviously, I don't think Meet the Press host Tim Russert would have him on for no reason.'"

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How many times? (1)

YaroMan86 (1180585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529946)

Oi, assuming he gets anywhere,how many times would this be that this guy has tried running for president? I think he's a wee bit too late in the running to make much of a difference.

Re:How many times? (1, Troll)

blackjackshellac (849713) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529986)

Where's Pat Paulson when you need him. Ralph, go away.

Re:How many times? (4, Insightful)

notnAP (846325) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530008)

Agreed, especially considering his allure is strongest on the far left and the independent democrats. If Obama wins the nomination, I'd think - and, I have to admit, hope - that Obama would not lose many votes, considering his allure is so strong among those same voters. Hillary as well would probably not lose many votes.
I think it's a damned shame our political system does mean a vote for Nader is effectively a vote for the Republican party. I also think it's a shame Nader's got to run for president just to further his causes. Having survived a head on car collision earlier in my life, I have to wonder if I'd still be alive if it weren't for his efforts. I don't tend to think the automotive industry would have up and improved themselves on their own. That said, I'd really rather not see the democratic vote split again.

Re:How many times? (4, Insightful)

Rei (128717) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530150)

And we all know that Nader is going to run another, "Both parties are the same even though they vote the opposite" [uncyclopedia.org] campaign.

Perhaps he and his supporters expect *every* Democrat to vote the same on *every* issue? Because that's usually what his campaign speeches come down to. Never mind that the vast majority of Democrats, on a given issue, side with him, and that compromises are almost always made only due to pressure from Republicans. No, because all don't fall in lockstep with his views, both parties are clearly the same.

Re:How many times? (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531000)

Compromising is failing depending on the issue and how much you give.

Re:How many times? (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531692)

Or a success if you give in on a minor issue, to make progress on a major one.

Re:How many times? (2, Funny)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531284)

Never mind that the vast majority of Democrats, on a given issue, side with him, and that compromises are almost always made only due to pressure from Republicans. No, because all don't fall in lockstep with his views, both parties are clearly the same.
Oh, and in the meantime, his stubborn lack of willingness to consider Democrats as different from Republicans has cost the county eight years of leadership opposed to every single thing he stands for. I think I'll go absolutely off the deep end insane if he manages to lose us a swing state and cost the election in 2008 like he did in 2000. Like crawling up the walls, growing a beard and braiding it, and mailing pipe-bombs filed with candy corn insane.

Re:How many times? (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530390)

What do you mean "too late"? The main campaign hasn't started, yet. We are still not done with the primaries. Of course, if Ralph gets any votes it will be from Democrats. So if he is successful, it will be president grandpa monster McCain.

Re:How many times? (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531488)

I don't know there are independents he might get wouldn't necessarily be democrats he sucked votes off of. both current dem candidates are so far left I don't think he'd take many of their votes

Re:How many times? (1)

ryanov (193048) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530834)

How is it late in the running? There has been a bunch of pomp and circumstance surrounding the primaries this year, but don't forget that the REAL election has not even started.

But I want RoooOoon (1, Insightful)

empaler (130732) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529954)

The problem with the US being that if their economy folds, so does a lot of others. Huzzah!

Re:But I want RoooOoon (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530106)

I wouldn't be so sure. Europe seems to be weathering the storm just fine.

Re:But I want RoooOoon (1)

gambolt (1146363) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530186)

The storm has barely even started.

Re:But I want RoooOoon (3, Informative)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531170)

The storm has barely even started.

That's for sure. Already, 10.3% of all homes are "under water" on their mortgages. Its expected that between 30% and 50% will end up tht way before we get to the bottom of the trough. The US could be in for a Japan-style meltdown, with at least a decade lost.

This will sideswipe the worlds' economy.

Already, there's a question of whether several German state banks [spiegel.de] , who hold billions in US toxic mortgage paper, will be forced into bankruptcy.

That's what happens in a global economy where lying ratings agencies give triple-a ratings to junk in return for fees.

Why? (3, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529958)

Is it too likely that a Democrat might win this time?

Hey, remember when he stood in 2000, with the full support of the Green movement, because, wait for it, Al Gore wasn't an environmentalist?

Re:Why? (1)

PseudoThink (576121) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530182)

I really wonder if Nader is financially backed by the GOP as a spoiler meant to take votes from the Democrats. Our election system is a joke, and the people with the power to fix it rely on it being broken to stay in power. Obvious conflict of interest.

He is (1)

dpryan (123256) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530218)

This is discussed numerous places. A quick google pops up this article [sfgate.com] from the San Francisco Chronicle during the 2004 race. It's really one of the sad things about Nader. He has some good ideas but he often undermines his goals with his actions.

Re:He is (0)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531036)

Nader has done more good for this country than Gore (or most others in politics.)

I'm curious. When Perot ran, did you see that as a Democrat conspiracy against Bush Sr.?

Doesn't surprise me. (1)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531312)

After all Rick Santorum's campaign directly funded putting a Green party candidate on the ballot in 2006 to try to take votes away from the Democratic front-runner, Casey. It didn't work out for him in the end, but it shows just how little principle was involved with either side of that cold-blooded, strategic transaction.

I'll bet we see a lot of Republican money flowing into Nader's coffers if he announces a run.

Re:Why? (1)

I_Voter (987579) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531440)

PseudoThink wrote:

Our election system is a joke, and the people with the power to fix it rely on it being broken to stay in power.

-----

If you are committed to more democracy voting for 3rd parties is normally the best action -UNLESS (see below )

Presidential Frontrunners Support Instant Runoff Voting [fairvote.org]


The two frontrunners for their party's nominations, Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, are both active backers of instant runoff voting (IRV). In 2002, Sen. McCain recorded a message for backers of IRV in Alaska, while that year Sen. Obama was the lead sponsor of legislation to implement IRV for certain Illinois elections. With most third party candidates also supporting IRV, we may see a rare issue of consensus this November, although neither McCain nor Obama have yet secured their party's nomination.

I_Voter

The Political Power of the U.S. Citizen [newsguy.com]

Re:Why? (1)

Disfnord (1077111) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530450)

Maybe it was Gore's ultra-liberal running mate? Or have you forgotten already? Not to mention Al's wife... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YW1NHUhJmwQ [youtube.com]

Nader is an agent of change. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22530630)

Ralph Nader is a huge agent of change. His support for change is stronger than the support of Barack Hussein Obama for change. The difference is that Nader is not charismatic and that he is explicit about what he will change. By contrast, Obama rarely talks about specific changes in his speeches; he just fills them with emotion.

Charisma without specific details is much more attractive to the cult-leader-seeking American public than dullness filled to overflowing with specific details about proposed changes.

If Nader enters the race, he will bring media focus to bear on the vagueness of speeches by Barack Hussein Obama.

Re:Nader is an agent of change. (1)

ryanov (193048) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530856)

You know, this was moderated troll, but it is really on target.

Re:Why? (1)

i_liek_turtles (1110703) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530670)

Ralph Nader: Unsafe for any Democrat

if nader runs (0, Troll)

capoccia (312092) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529970)

if nader runs, watch out -- more republican madness.

Re:if nader runs (1)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530104)

if nader runs
If Nader runs, don't waste your vote on him. He doesn't have a shot and those votes are better off with the lesser of two evils, the democrats.

Re:if nader runs (1)

Disfnord (1077111) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530418)

And what if you don't happen to think the dem's are the lesser evil?

Re:if nader runs (1)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530540)

And what if you don't happen to think the dem's are the lesser evil?
Then vote republican, but don't delude yourself into thinking a vote for Nader or any of those fringe candidates means anything.

Granted Nader is an independent, I do think the major problem with any candidate that isn't of the two major parties is the fact they try and win the presidency. As opposed to getting mayors, councilmen, congressmen, etc., etc.. Into office. 3rd party/independent candidates are simply fail waiting to happen without a solid base.

Re:if nader runs (1)

anonypus_user (1236548) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530458)

i'm still voting for him if they let him on the ballot, sorry. otherwise i prob just wont vote. really between hillary, obama, and mcain im kinda indifferent, i wouldn't really mind either on of them compared to bush.

In that case... (1)

pestie (141370) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530492)

In that case, here's hoping you:
  1. Have to use an electronic voting machine
  2. That machine only counts votes if you can find the shift key

Alternate response: "Sorry, if you can't find your own shift key, you're not allowed to vote. Thank you, and God bless."

Re:if nader runs (1)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530574)

i'm still voting for him if they let him on the ballot, sorry. otherwise i prob just wont vote. really between hillary, obama, and mcain im kinda indifferent, i wouldn't really mind either on of them compared to bush.
Then you are voting with your heart, not your mind. The fact of the matter is there's a better chance of snow in hell then Nader winning the presidency. And I like the guy. But the fact remains, change is going to be incremental. So why not vote for someone who actually has a chance of winning and has a few ideas you agree with? As opposed to voting the guy you agree with much more, but ain't gonna win.

Re:if nader runs (1)

anonypus_user (1236548) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530654)

the more votes he gets, the more attention he'll get.

Re:if nader runs (1)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530700)

the more votes he gets, the more attention he'll get.
True enough, to each their own! :)

Re:if nader runs (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530884)

It's that logic that keeps Independents from winning in the first place.

Re:if nader runs (1)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530932)

It's that logic that keeps Independents from winning in the first place.
It's reality that keeps them from winning, it's about dollars and connections. And the only reason it is that way is because, in general, the American public is far to ignorant, self absorbed and lazy to elect any meaningful leaders.

Re:if nader runs (1)

ryanov (193048) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530908)

You are supposed to vote for the candidate you wish to win, not the candidate that you think others will pick that you would be able to tolerate. You and those that do the same are missing the entire point of voting.

Granted http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant-runoff_voting/ [wikipedia.org] would take care of that problem. But I don't think Republicans would ever win under those circumstances.

Re:if nader runs (1)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530950)

You are supposed to vote for the candidate you wish to win
That's great, but you must think of the greater good. Sure you may want Nader to win. But he won't. Why not place your vote with someone who actually has a chance of winning and might actually do some good for the people.

Re:if nader runs (1)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530964)

Which is how Bush gained the presidency. People went to the polls with their hearts and a false sense of morality instead of their minds.

This is a country we're talking about, not the leader of your local group. Use your head.

Re:if nader runs (1)

ggpauly (263626) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530996)

This line of thinking perpetuates the two party duopoly. With strategic voting - advocated self-servingly by both major parties - we do not know who Americans really want for president (or any other office).

A system of Instant Run Off voting http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant-runoff_voting [wikipedia.org] or Condorcet voting http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condorcet_method [wikipedia.org] would eliminate the "spoiler effect" and might weaken the grip the major parties have on our government and treasury.

Re:if nader runs (1)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531072)

This line of thinking perpetuates the two party duopoly.
Perhaps it does but until we actually get some measures in place that would allow the American will to be shown in elections, I'm going to ensure my vote remains effective by voting for viable candidates.

Re:if nader runs (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531610)

I don't know, many republicans do not think McCain Is much of a 'current' style republican. I hope not neo cons have stolen the party from true conservatives. I long for fiscal conservatives and lovers of smaller govt.

Re:if nader runs (1, Interesting)

notamisfit (995619) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531710)

If you're hoping for a fiscal small-government conservative, you're shit out of luck with McCain. Really, he's the worst of all worlds, simultaneously selling the country down the river to the religious wackos, the welfare statists, and the greens. No one else on the Republican side, not even Ron Paul, is a hell of a lot better. Really, my plan for this election is to vote Democrat and hope for gridlock. I despise their ideas, but at least they come from policy makers rather than invisible men in the sky.

I voted for Ron Paul - don't blame me! (3, Interesting)

SonicSpike (242293) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529974)

Yup - don't blame me, I voted for Ron Paul. :-)

I can't be the only (0, Troll)

Eudial (590661) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529978)

I can't be the only European to ask my self who the hell Ralph Nader is.

Re:I can't be the only (3, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530024)

No, but you might be the only European to visit the US politics section (see that semitransparent US flag under the banner? If no other part on slashdot is US-centric, this one is) and not google or check wikipedia. But to karma whore a little:

Ralph Nader (born February 27, 1934) is an American attorney, author, lecturer and political activist in the areas of consumer rights, humanitarianism, environmentalism and democratic government. He helped found many governmental and non-governmental organizations, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Public Citizen, and several Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), including NYPIRG. Nader has been a staunch critic of corporations, which he believes wield too much power and are undermining the fundamental American values of democracy and human rights.

Nader has run for President four times (in 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004), and is currently considering running in 2008.[1] In 1992 he ran as a write-in in both the New Hampshire Republican and Democratic primaries, and other primaries. In 1996 and 2000, he was the nominee of the Green Party; in 2004, he ran as an independent, but was also endorsed by the Reform Party.[1] His campaigns have been controversial, with his role in the 2000 election in particular being subject to much analysis and debate.[2]

He appeared on the cover of Time magazine in 1969 for his role as a consumer advocate.[3]

only us politics? (0)

fireylord (1074571) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530164)

so are you saying that the politics section of slashdot is for US politics only? guess the countries that make up rest of the world don't have any political processes worthy of comment and analysis then :)

Slashdot FAQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22530468)

"Slashdot is U.S.-centric. We readily admit this, and really don't see it as a problem. Slashdot is run by Americans, after all, and the vast majority of our readership is in the U.S. We're certainly not opposed to doing more international stories, but we don't have any formal plans for making that happen. All we can really tell you is that if you're outside the U.S. and you have news, submit it, and if it looks interesting, we'll post it."

Re:I can't be the only (1)

notnAP (846325) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530036)

Nah, just the only one who's never heard of Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

Re:I can't be the only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22530070)

Speaking as an European who knows who he is I would recommend asking someone else other than yourself, Google for instance.

Re:I can't be the only (1)

Degrees (220395) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530080)

Here you go [wikipedia.org]

He wrote a book in 1965 Unsafe at Any Speed that slammed the Chevrolet Corvair. He appeared on the cover of Time magazine in 1969 for his role as a consumer advocate.

If you are part of the liberal main-stream-media in the U.S.A., and you need to fill some column-inches or 30 second sound-bites, Ralph is a pretty good guy to help you slam the big old mean corporations. Not that there aren't corporations that need to be skewered - just that Ralph is a go-to guy when you are low on material.

Re:I can't be the only (1)

nbert (785663) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530124)

I can't be the only European to ask my self who the hell Ralph Nader is.
He's mentioned in Europe quite often when describing the state of the US' party system. I'm sure I read about him before I knew that George H. W. Bush had any kids with political ambitions.

Will Bloomberg enter the race? (1, Insightful)

SonicSpike (242293) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529998)

This could get VERY interesting (as if it hasn't been already) if both Nader and Bloomberg both run as separate 3rd parties. Since both are liberals it might divide up the Democrat vote enough to give a win to McCain (who is also a liberal).

For those of us who want smaller government, lower spending, less taxes, individual rights, personal liberties and freedoms, etc we don't have a choice anymore :-(

Re:Will Bloomberg enter the race? (5, Insightful)

DarkFencer (260473) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530122)

This could get VERY interesting (as if it hasn't been already) if both Nader and Bloomberg both run as separate 3rd parties. Since both are liberals it might divide up the Democrat vote enough to give a win to McCain (who is also a liberal).

Towing the party line on 90% instead of 100% of issues does not make one a liberal.

Re:Will Bloomberg enter the race? No. (4, Insightful)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530348)

Bloomberg's not getting into this race. Unlike Nader, who's motivated by a kind of principled idealism that places the outcome as a secondary consideration, Bloomberg's interest in running for president is calculated, to win. If the GOP were nominating a religious fanatic, he'd be able to draw enough secular conservatives to do well, but with McCain getting the GOP nomination, the constituency just isn't there for him. So he'll sit it out.

Re:Will Bloomberg enter the race? No. (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530402)

"If the GOP were nominating a religious fanatic, he'd be able to draw enough secular conservatives to do well, but with McCain getting the GOP nomination, the constituency just isn't there for him."

Are you kidding? Every conservative I know views Bloomberg as a sneaking, dishonest limousine liberal who posed as a Republican to get the NY Mayoralty and then did absolutely zero to live up to the moniker. He's basically Corzine, only less honest.

Re:Will Bloomberg enter the race? No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22530482)

maybe you need to meet more non-fundy conservatives

Re:Will Bloomberg enter the race? No. (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530520)

I know plenty of "non-fundy" conservatives. NO ONE believes Bloomberg is a conservative, except liberal reactionaries who automatically equate "rich" with "conservative". Every commentator who brings up the subject opines on how a Bloomberg run would affect the Democrats, not the Republicans.

Really, what are his conservative credentials?

Re:Will Bloomberg enter the race? No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22530666)

maybe you need to listen to more commentators

if the republicans nominated a religious nutjob like huckabee, bloomberg would appeal to non-fundy conservatives and moderate republicans, whod see him as the least dangerous option. but the gop picked mccain so they have a candadate of their own to vote for, so bloomberg would have to count on ONLY liberals which he knows wouldnt be enough

Re:Will Bloomberg enter the race? (1)

try_anything (880404) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531058)

For those of us who want smaller government, lower spending, less taxes, individual rights, personal liberties and freedoms, etc we don't have a choice anymore :-(
Did you ever have a choice? Bush and Reagan gave us spending increases (aka deferred tax increases), the Meese commission, and the Patriot Act. The small government, low-spending guys may live somewhere on the right and have more power over Republican rhetoric than Democratic rhetoric, but that doesn't seem to have much influence on how elected Republicans govern. Nor did the Democrats' supposed affinity for big spending stop a Democratic president from leading the effort to balance the budget when it was politically profitable to do so.

Civil liberties are always the priority of the party out of power -- witness how the right raved about privacy and black helicopters while Bill Clinton was president and then completely lost interest in civil liberties under Bush, even though Bush expanded the surveillance and detention powers of exactly the same government agencies they were so afraid of under Clinton. Under Bush, the outrage over wiretapping and detention came from the left.

Likewise, a move towards fiscal responsibility is always bipartisan, like it was in the nineties under Clinton. When politicians bring the bad news home, they need somebody to blame it on. "Sorry, honey, I had to slash the budget because otherwise the goddamn [insert other party here] would have wasted it all." (Notice how the balanced-budget guys the right never got any traction under Reagan and Bush? They might as well have been on vacation for twelve years. They should have had help from the Democrats, but the balanced-budget guys on the left made the stupid political mistake of concentrating on the most outrageous part of the budget, military spending, which in the public's mind is magically irrelevant to fiscal responsibility. As a result there was no bipartisan traction for reining in spending.)

My point is that civil liberties and fiscal responsibility aren't achieved at election time. They're achieved between elections, when politicians on both sides, who would all inevitably become bread-and-circuses emperors if given unlimited power (whether they liked it or not), struggle for advantage by offering concessions to powerful interests. The public has power, and the public gets (a little bit of) whatever it happens to show the most interest in at those times.

goat shit. (1, Troll)

dotmax (642602) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530034)

i hope he chokes on it.

Should we just call it now? (3, Insightful)

TheQuantumShift (175338) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530058)

I would love to see less of the two party system, but lets face it, Nader running an extended campaign will only take votes from Obama and give McCain the edge. (at least this time it's not Bush)

Someday I hope we can get beyond the "I belong to this party" mentality. To me there should only be one party, American Citizens. Candidates step up and state what they actually believe and what direction they want to take the government, and are judged by the voting public on those merits alone. Hell, we can even do it American Idol style and text our votes each week.

Though I have noticed in the last few years the lines between the parties blurring quite a bit (excepting the childish displays during the State of the Union). I wonder if we could find someone who's never been exposed to any of the contenders and see if they can guess the party affiliation and what they stand for.

Re:Should we just call it now? (5, Interesting)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530098)

To me there should only be one party, American Citizens
All this would accomplish is to make the U.S. like the Soviet Union with its one-party system. The end result is informal parties called factions. You'd just be moving the factional politics inside the party itself. What the U.S. needs is a parliamentary system with the possibility of coalition governments so that candidates aren't forced into one of two molds.

Re:Should we just call it now? (3, Insightful)

LithiumX (717017) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530380)

Coalition governments seem to have a nasty tendency to break those coalitions, because they're not truly one government. They're parties agreeing to cooperate, under current circumstances, in a power sharing deal. I have long considered this to be one of the most delicate forms of democracy, only suitable for a fledgling government trying to find a final form.

For all the bickering, our two party system is effectively one government, but polarized largely along two artificial poles. What those poles are changes over time, but it's a constant adversarial system. It does not work very effectively, but it seems to do far better than most of what we see in the world.

Consider that we have (if I am right), the longest running continual government - only broken once, partially, by a civil war. That civil war managed to crystalize a new format that, for all of it's faults, was more manageable over the long term than the previous form, and managed to effectively stay the same model of government (but with the balance of power shifted in ways that not everyone likes). Even the UK, while still the same nation, has changed drastically in waves, and each new government that comes in is virtually a new government, whereas ours is designed - imperfectly - to make the transition of power between parties relatively mild and - in the end - of little relevance except to policy.

I'd agree with Washington that static parties are a generally bad idea. It promotes partisanship, and that partisanship is preventing us from having the government we could have. It is, however, far superior to a parliamentary system - a system that rarely seems to function as well as our own inefficiently adversarial model.

Re:Should we just call it now? (3, Insightful)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530716)

The founding fathers thought a revolution every now and then was a GOOD thing. You seem not to like multiple parties out of some kind of distaste for the mess. Democracy is messy. There are different needs and wants and power structures and powerless constituencies out there, all constantly vying for a piece of the pie or all of it. There NEEDS to be give and take.

You talk about ONE government that lasts hundreds of years, finds a "final form" (is inflexible, doesn't adapt to newer times).

I can see how such a government would be desirable - to those governing. But how is that a good thing for the people?

Re:Should we just call it now? (3, Interesting)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530404)

We've already got that. We don't have a two-party system. We've got a 100-party system. California Democrats and Wyoming Democrats couldn't even ideologically be considered part of the same party, to say nothing of New York Republicans and Alabama Republicans. The factional politics ARE inside the party itself. There is no "national" party since we don't elect national candidates, with the exception of presidents and vice presidents. The national leadership is the faction within the party that can wield the hammer best at a given time. Parties for Congress are run at the state level. Once they all get to Washington, they figure something out as a pool of a couple hundred individuals.

Are you saying that Ronald Reagan is a Republican in the mold crafted by the current leadership? Is Ron Paul? Hell, is John McCain? Is Eisenhower?

Is Harry Reid the same kind of Democrat as Nancy Pelosi? As FDR? As Wilson?

Each party has a fully realized set of factions, but only one gets to lead at any given time. There's no problem with the "number of parties" in the United States. There's a strong party line dictated by the leadership, and whips keep Reps and Senators on short leashes. All that needs to happen is for the caucuses within the parties to start banding together and voting on the issues, but there's always going to be someone in charge, and that means they've got the loudest voice. The basic problem is that the voters are too lazy to elect people based on their values and ideals. Getting rid of the neocons and Jesus people would be easy if the people wanted it.

Re:Should we just call it now? (1)

perlchild (582235) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530532)

If one vote for one candidate is automatically against the other candidate, you have a two party system. Next!

Re:Should we just call it now? (1)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530686)

There's only one chair, and more than two candidates. A vote for one candidate is a vote against every other candidate, even in SMDM (or are Westminster system democracies "two party systems" as well?).

Maybe you're forgetting that there aren't two candidates. There are four candidates for president right now, and there were many more when voters first started voting. And I don't know about you, but I've had at least six choices for Congress as far back as I can remember.

Next, indeed, you sanctimonious tool.

Re:Should we just call it now? (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530642)

It's a very good point that the two parties each have deep factionalism inside them. The problem is that the U.S. system winnows it down to one person representing all those factions. When it's a California Democrat candidate, the Wyoming Democrat is faced with a binary choice: vote for someone who's not really representative of them, or don't.

The visible result of this dilemma is that Christian Coalition now gets zero representation in their president. Because they supported Mike Huckabee, Romney lost to McCain, and now they have to either vote for McCain or stay home. On the left, those who would be greens perenially get stuck with voting for a more centrist Democrat than they prefer, or throwing away a vote on Nader. Likewise, the Libertarians.

The virtue of a parliamentary system is that factions retain their relative power after the election, and a continual process of compromising with them is required. In the U.S., once you've elected someone who doesn't really agree with you, you have very little leverage except the threat of taking it out on their successor. As the Republicans have demonstrated repeatedly since Reagan with respect to the Christian Coalition, that threat carries very little weight.

The basic problem is that the voters are too lazy to elect people based on their values and ideals. Getting rid of the neocons and Jesus people would be easy if the people wanted it.

Actually, this illustrates my point. The neocons and Jesus freaks are not numerically superior, but because they mobilized in 2000 and 2004, they outweighed other factions like the paleocons and the libertarians, and thus had political power far greater than the portion their numbers should grant them. But if, as you suggest, the paleocons and libertarians had mobilized sufficiently to block them, then those factions would be overrepresented.

Congress, with its informal caucuses, is halfway there. But balanced against the power of the president, proportional representation is diluted to almost nothing.

Re:Should we just call it now? (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530698)

I will observe that this exact scheme, winnowing it down to one person, is cited as a virtue of the U.S. government, not a flaw. At the end of the day, there's one candidate, and after the election, one president, with very little ambiguity (usually).

Re:Should we just call it now? (2, Interesting)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530860)

The problem is that the U.S. system winnows it down to one person representing all those factions.
Every system winnows it down to one person.

The virtue of a parliamentary system is that factions retain their relative power after the election, and a continual process of compromising with them is required.
Well, for starters, you're conflating parliamentary and proportional systems, and even allowing that for the moment, a "continual process of compromise" isn't necessary in majority governments, and coalition governments of more than two parties rarely last more than six months, if that.

The US system requires compromise, too. Reps are technically free to vote as they like. There are frequent bipartisan votes, and winning any major issue often requires at least a few members of the other party, particularly if the president is opposed. If enough of the party base disagrees with the leadership, not much will get done in the US system. The reality of course is that you satisfy your caucuses by compromise in general, whether it's within your party or across to your coalition partner.

The visible result of this dilemma is that Christian Coalition now gets zero representation in their president.
They had their chance, and they lost. They were represented by their participation. We could certainly go STV for primaries, but the virtue of SMDP is that it's simple, decisive, and effective. At some point, the voters of unpopular candidates are going to wind up voting for someone else. The number of satisfied voters works out to be the same, though a different system would sometimes elect a different candidate.

As the Republicans have demonstrated repeatedly since Reagan with respect to the Christian Coalition, that threat carries very little weight.
Because it's an empty threat. If the people had actually ever summoned the strength to spend the five minutes carrying it out, it would be taken more seriously.

then those factions would be overrepresented.
The winners are overrepresented in every system. Take a government coalition of 55% in a parliamentary and proportional system: that 55% runs the show. The other 45% have zero input. In our system, the minority can still make plays and win sometimes.

Just curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22530494)

When you say "two molds", do you mean "Democrat and Republican", or "Republicrat and loser"?

Re:Should we just call it now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22530772)

I would love to see less of the two party system, but lets face it, Nader running an extended campaign will only take votes from Obama

Probably true, but in previous elections, the presumption was that people voting for Nader would have voted for Gore. On the other hand, Pat Robertson got more votes than Nader, and presumably those votes would have gone for Bush.

Re:Should we just call it now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22530940)

Whoops! That should have been Pat Buchanan, not Pat Robertson. Too many Pats!

Re:Should we just call it now? (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531172)

"The ballot was confusing!"

Re:Should we just call it now? (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530896)

Hell, we can even do it American Idol style and text our votes each week.
Bad idea.

What next? (2, Funny)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530126)

Is Ross Perot going to run again too? I miss that guy.

Re:What next? (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530470)

I remember Dennis Miller describing him as "a Hobbit in a golf cart."

Best.Description.EVAR

Re:What next? (1)

Apiakun (589521) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530536)

Can I finish? Can I finish?

If Clinton wins the D. nom, he should. (3, Insightful)

Draconix (653959) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530156)

If Obama gets it, Nader probably won't get much support anyway, but if Clinton gets it, he'll probably get enough support to hurt the DNP in the general election, and frankly, the DNP needs a massive smack upside the head. They need to learn to stop fielding candidates the people can't get behind. Gore was too robotic, Kerry was too wishywashy, and Clinton is too ambitious and unscrupulous. Maybe, just maybe, if Clinton runs and Nader "steals her votes" the party might just get a frigging clue.

Re:If Clinton wins the D. nom, he should. (4, Insightful)

Apiakun (589521) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530552)

I understand your sentiment here, but I think that instead of stepping up and realizing that it's their own fault, they'll just happily blame Nader instead. It's always easier to blame someone else than to modify one's behaviour.

Re:If Clinton wins the D. nom, he should. (1)

ryanov (193048) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531276)

That's what everyone has done so far.

I have to say, though, parent is incorrect on almost everything. All of those things he said about the other candidates were what the media says was true of them. In reality, to me, the reason Gore didn't win is that he didn't stand for what he stood for. In reality, that's the same thing Kerry did. Look at Gore now -- did he believe all of the things he says and does now in 2000? Maybe, but it certainly seems as if he was told not to say any of it. Every time the Republicans have sandbagged Democrats with ASININE bullshit (look at what Bush has done and compare it to anything that the Democratic candidates have), there has been no tough response that points out how stupid it all is. The debates of 2004 showed Kerry basically failing to intelligently hit back on any question.

I suppose too wishy-washy could be true, but I call it a failure to actually stand for anything. Not that the Republicans truthfully stood for anything either, but at least they put on a better show.

Nader should be on Slashdot (2, Interesting)

Tiger4 (840741) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530256)

He has an Iconoclastic view of the world,
He pulls obscure facts out of nowhere to make trivial debating points,
He thinks ThePowerStructure is out to ruin everything,
He knows how everyone else should run their lives,
And he's a total Karma Whore.

Ralph Nader is getting nominated by the Greens (3, Interesting)

Kligat (1244968) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530306)

whether he likes it or not. He won in California, the state with the most delegates, by 60%. They have over 100 while all other states have 4 to 16. In states where he can't be on the ballot in the Green primaries, they have someone from the Draft Nader committee, who will presumably tell his delegates to all vote for Nader. What happens if he wins, but doesn't run? He essentially gets to single-handedly pick the Green nominee. In second place is Cynthia McKinney, a former Democrat member of the House of Representative and the Green running with the most political experience, but nearly all media attention she's received is for striking a security guard with her first after being caught running through the halls without the badge identifying her as a Congresswoman, and also saying "Al Gore's Negro tolerance level isn't very high. He only has one Negro around him at maximum at all times." As someone earlier mentioned, the Green Party weirdly doesn't seem fond of Al Gore. In third place is Kat Swift, whose main political experience is being co-chair of the Texas Green Party and coming in 2nd place for city council. Get this---while running for president, she's also running for city council! Just because it's a third party, doesn't mean it's better than the two in power. The Green Party seems to be the only third party tracking how many delegates each candidate has, but I saw while researching third parties that in Minnesota, all Constitution Party candidates available in their caucuses were Republicans or Democrats, minus one guy I'd never heard of with 2.5% of the vote, and Ron Paul won with over 80%, despite saying he would not run on a third party ticket. The Constitution Party, from their website, looks like the Republican Party without support for the Iraq War or warrantless wiretapping or anti-drug laws, but they mention Jesus in the preamble of their platform. It's pitiful that 2 out of 3 of the third parties the media ever talks about seem to be in favor of people that are not running. Also, I'm new here, so be nice.

GOP says "PLEASE!" (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530352)

I'm all for him running - he can throw the election to the Republicans like he did last time.

Listen Carefully,,, (2, Funny)

cacepi (100373) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530406)

That's the sound of John McCain's campaign staff high-fiving each other.

In other news, Lyndon LaRouche launched a lawsuit against Ralph Nader in federal court today, claiming that a 2008 Nader presidential campaign infringes on his trademark to "crackpot candidate."

"I'M the nutjob who always runs for President, no that tree-hugger!" rages LaRouche in a strong-worded press released issued earlier today. "The American public looks to ME as their butt of wisecracks and snide remarks come election time, and I'll be damned if some Ralphie-come-lately takes that away. I ruined Ross Perot; I'll ruin him, too!"

A Nader spokesperson refused to comment on the lawsuit except to say that the 'Unsafe at any Speed' plans to summon George Wallace from the grave as an expert witness should LaRouche's petition go to trial.

Nader was on target with one thing ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22530422)

Nadar way back before the 2000 election cycle always said that the Democrats and the Republicans were exactly the same. Then for the next 7 years the Democrats have proved him right.

Who is Ralph Nader? (5, Interesting)

orangepeel (114557) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530464)

Before he ran for president the first time, all I really knew about Ralph Nader was that he appeared on Sesame Street once long ago.

During his run for president (both in 2000 and 2004), I learned a little more about him here on Slashdot. 90% of what I read here was negative.

I was deceived -- the reality was that 90% of the comments I read here on Slashdot were just gross oversimplifications and instances of senseless finger-pointing.

What changed my point of view? Just one thing: an Independent Lens documentary, "An Unreasonable Man" [pbs.org] .

After watching that documentary, I still don't know if Ralph Nader would have made (or would make) a good president. Instead, what I do know is that I'm sorry I took most of the Slashdot comments back in 2000 and 2004 as a good source of information. Ralph Nader has been unfairly dragged through the mud by many, and by some has been blamed for everything they care to believe went wrong with American leadership over the last 8 years. From some of the comments I'm reading here, it seems there's still a lot of unfair hostility aimed at him.

If you have the opportunity to watch that documentary, do so. It might create a more complete picture of the man for you, as it did for me.

Re:Who is Ralph Nader? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22531016)

So, evidence has come to light that Nader isn't the apotheosis of all nanny-statist control freaks?

The man has opinions about things he's never personally experienced, and he wants to stick a gun in your back to enforce them. No aspect of your social, personal, or economic life would remain untouched if he ever managed to gain real political power.

Re:Who is Ralph Nader? (1)

ryanov (193048) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531304)

It's kinda too bad he forced you to wear a seatbelt, isn't it?

The man who put Bush in the White House (2, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530702)

This is the man who put George Bush in the White House, by getting a small number of votes in the closest Presidential election in American history. Nader needs to give it up.

Re:The man who put Bush in the White House (2, Interesting)

ryanov (193048) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531326)

Really? Let's take a step back for a moment -- why was this the closest Presidential election in American history? Gore's shit campaign? Republican meddling? Ralph Nader's margin NEVER should have mattered in an election where a man with a fairly distinguished record was running against an apish former cokehead. You can't blame that on Nader.

Re:The man who put Bush in the White House (3, Insightful)

rpillala (583965) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531566)

No one but Gore is to blame for Gore not being able to get enough votes.

Nader's Ego in 2008 (1)

Black Art (3335) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530708)

In 2004 I listened to an interview with Ralph Nader and why he was running. It was very apparent by the end that he does not give a damn what happens if he runs, he is only concerned with feeding his ego. In fact he seems to think that the disaster of the last eight years is a validation of why he must run. He does not have a clue, nor does he want one.

Ralph needs to wake up and figure out just how much damage his running would cause.

A vote for Nader is a vote for McCain.

Re:Nader's Ego in 2008 (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531062)

This seems to be a rather popular position. It embodies a rather dim view of Nader-nee-Dem supporters, unable to foresee Nader's inability to win, yanking the lever for their man, ignorant of the consequences. I don't think so. Your average voting, bipedal primate is wickedly good at applied game theory and certainly able to understand the two party situation endemic to presidential elections in the U.S.A., and the consequences of a third party vote.

I could get behind "Occasionally, a vote for Nader is a vote for McCain.", but anything more than that is overstating the case, as the joker voting for Nader knows damn well what he is doing, so you can't really assume that they would have voted democratic without Nader in the picture.

Stated another way: If people who voted for Nader were interested in making sure McCain did not win, they would vote for the Democratic party candidate, rather than Nader. That they vote for Nader indicates that they could give a flip about the choice between the major candidates, so it is a bit of a stretch to assign them either way.

A vote for Nader is...a vote for Nader(and all that stands for), unless you think the person voting is a blithering moron.

I've never voted for Nader, and I've voted both Democratic and Republican in presidential elections, so let's not make this about me.

Who doesn't have a clue? (5, Insightful)

xealot (96947) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531124)

A vote for Nader is a vote for McCain.
People like you are the reason why America is locked into a two party system, with only the choice between the lesser of two evils. I voted for Nader in 2000, and if he wasn't on the ballot I still wouldn't have voted for Gore, or Bush for that matter. My vote for Nader was not a vote for Bush, and I doubt many of the other were either. I have no trouble believing that there are 5% of voters in America who feel the same and would never vote for the Democratic or Republican candidate because it's obvious that they are both in the pockets of lobbyists.

I'm sorry, but as a geek I'm only going to vote for someone with an ounce of intelligence and common sense, not the one who needs the votes to beat the greater of two evils. Nothing is ever going to change unless the greater population of the US realizes that professional politicians, regardless of party, are all the same. If you don't vote for who you actually want to win what is the point of living in a democracy, why not move to China?

Re:Nader's Ego in 2008 (1)

Fex303 (557896) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531280)

In 2004 I listened to an interview with Ralph Nader and why he was running. It was very apparent by the end that he does not give a damn what happens if he runs, he is only concerned with feeding his ego. In fact he seems to think that the disaster of the last eight years is a validation of why he must run. He does not have a clue, nor does he want one.
Pure character assassination with nothing backing it up. Care to add some actual quotes or examples? If not, -1 Troll.

This is great news (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 6 years ago | (#22530796)

I want John McCain in the white house and I would love to see him tip it again.

You go Ralph. :-)

Spoiler () (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22531220)

I believe that the quality of the U.S. national debate emanating from the so-called 2 party system benefits from the participation Ralph Nader and his ilk. The efforts of his constituency, a loyal political opposition to the status quo, serves to highlight the slim difference in the social agendas offered by the Democratic and Republican national parties.

I am hopeful the the last 8 years speak undeniable volumes about conservative right-wing politics and its true nature. The good ol' boys have brought us such ill-conceived administrative efforts as a completely failed foreign policy in the mid-east, from the status quo in Israel to an arguably illegal war in Iraq, promoted by fear mongering and deceit, as well as the laizze-faire economic policy in the financial sector that resulted in the mortgage market collapse. (Arguably, this was facilitated by Alan Greenspan with the tacit approval of both Clinton and Bush but George sat there with his thumb in his navel while all gains were erased without so much as a sneeze.) One of my favorite jibes at the neo-cons is over the thinly veiled religious tenets behind compassionate conservatism masquerading as public health policy. The result is a the denial of objective education on the benefits of birth control or the simplest and most effective form of AIDs prevention. It's called a condom... not a Con-Dumb. The arrogance allowing religious belief to substitute for critical thinking resulted in avoidable suffering and death. Stupidity currently reigns down upon us from the elliptical office.

Howover, I am hopeful that Nader and the Green's focus on the benefits of a progressive rational approach to the development of federal policy could enhance the debate over health care systems and their economics, consumer protection and advocacy for public health and that of the environment as sourced from best science and a strong EPA/FDA, as well as a forward thinking approach to global warming and the scaling back the influence and effects of the military/imperial agenda for National Security.

The best way to achieve this, IMHO, would be for Hillary and Barak to welcome Ralph and his cadre into the debate schedule and deal with Ralph as more of an equal based on his political agenda and years of public service. The tried and true method of dealing with Greens has been to ignore their effort or attempt to discredit their messages rather than allowing for a free and open debate and discussion. Encouraging the inclusion of the Greens' participation would be wise move that might deflect some the inevitable misdirection of the press, many of whom find it easier to focus on the analogy between horses and candidates than to engage in analysis of underlying arguments or principles.

Moreover and also IMHO, reporters who address the 'Spoiler' question should, as Stephen Colbert suggested, should shut-up, go home and write the great American novel about the journalist with the integrity to live up to the ideal to which they are all supposed to be encouraged to aspire, even if they happen to work for editors who owe their allegiance to Rupert Murdoch. Oh, and reconnect with your family, if you have one.

Wasteful Voting (1)

mqduck (232646) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531334)

The two-headed beast known as Tweedledeeum has something like a 101% chance of winning. Truly, if you don't like the beast, nothing can be a greater waste of your vote than to give it to either of its heads, Dee or Dum. The Iraq War, for instance, is a lost cause and will be given up soon, no matter which branch of rhetoric the president subscribes to. Don't forget that the Vietnam war began under a Democratic president and ended under a Republican one. Despite the common, status-quo-serving wisdom, I insist that the only way for your vote to mean a goddamn thing is to vote for a third party.

(Personally, I'm hoping Cynthia McKinney wins the Green Party nomination. She's the one I'd most like to campaign for, though I'm a big Nader fan too.)
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