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Why aren't third party candidates gaining any popularity?

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al gore the idiot Posted: Sat, Sep 20 2008 11:16 AM

Normally third party candidates in this type of crisis environment would get at least a glimmer of attention. Why isn't it happening? We saw Ross Perot compete head on with Bush and Clinton in `92 when the environment wasn't nearly as bad. History shows new candidates and new parties start becoming popular in times of extraordinary circumstances. We should be seeing Barr, Nader, Baldwin gaining crowd suppport. But it isn't happening.

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Media marginalization and general lack of charisma.

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Nitroadict replied on Sat, Sep 20 2008 11:35 AM

asusenior:

Normally third party candidates in this type of crisis environment would get at least a glimmer of attention. Why isn't it happening? We saw Ross Perot compete head on with Bush and Clinton in `92 when the environment wasn't nearly as bad. History shows new candidates and new parties start becoming popular in times of extraordinary circumstances. We should be seeing Barr, Nader, Baldwin gaining crowd suppport. But it isn't happening.


Money.  Absolutley the most prime barrier for entry (if you will) for political expsosure & getting the vote.  Perot had a *lot* of money, of which most of it was his own, & was able to easily flex his wallet's muscle to gain attention. 

If Bloomberg ever ran (hopefully he will not), he would probably make history & get considerably more than Perot (depending on his running mate, as well). 

Also, what baawa said; although, I think Ventura has probably enough charisma to make a "dent", as it were, especially since from what I've listened to, as he speaks in easy to understand, Joe Sixpack language. 

That's stretching it though, but the recent deveoplments of RP attempting to open common dialouge with 3rd parties may be a prolouge towards changing the ineptitude of 3rd parties. 

Imo, the 3rd parties will most likley not become the white knight that the state "needs" in order to survive it's abuse & transformation into a state-socialistic kleptocracy (at least, officially), riding on fascist training wheels.

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Perot not only had money, but he had some brilliant campaign strategies.  Look at RP.  He was more successful than Barr, Nader and Baldwin combined (which is why most of them paid homage to his anti-FED platform recently) because of unconventional tactics.  Now Paul and his campaign didn't come up with those tactics, but they did benefit from them via the grassroots.

Nader, Barr and Baldwin are lacking in that sort of grassroots energy and spontaneity.  Perot did the infomercial thing, to appeal to a certain segment of the population.  It was very avant garde for political media at the time.  I do believe that marketing will be the key to future political success, and the potential of internet marketing was only scratched by the Paul campaign.

At the end of the day, there are no Nader or Barr networks.  There is no energy, no excitement, and no consistency (in media efforts).  Is it just me or did Paul campaign (while holding his seat in the Congress) twice or thrice as much as Barr and Baldwin combined?  There was a 4 or 5 month period where Paul seemed to be somewhere, at all times.

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True, but you would think that someone with money and influence would burst out on the scene. I know it's a little late, but if another Perot came out, I bet he would make a difference in the electrion outcome.

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jtucker replied on Sat, Sep 20 2008 2:52 PM

The problem with 3rd parties is that they can't win and will not go anywhere because the 2 parties own the system that elects them. The whole 3rd party thing assumes that there is this great neutral territory called democracy that anyone can compete in and win. That is just not true. Maybe people are wising up to this fact and rightly see 3rd party ventures as hopeless.

Not that they aren't some fun! But ultimately they are pointless.

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Jeffrey, I'd say the third parties are important, because they continue to fail.

If they didn't fail miserably, then people could continue to believe in the notion of democracy, but by failing year after year, they emphasize that the remnant's place is not in the electorate.

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A difference between Statist A and Statist B perhaps.  Big deal.  Going one step further than Jeffrey, do you really believe that the elections are not fixed?

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ama gi replied on Mon, Sep 22 2008 12:33 AM

asusenior:

Normally third party candidates in this type of crisis environment would get at least a glimmer of attention. Why isn't it happening? We saw Ross Perot compete head on with Bush and Clinton in `92 when the environment wasn't nearly as bad. History shows new candidates and new parties start becoming popular in times of extraordinary circumstances. We should be seeing Barr, Nader, Baldwin gaining crowd suppport. But it isn't happening.

It seems to me that you could have a third-party candidate win an election if they (and their supporters) work really, really hard at it.  For example, I think getting enough large, non-profit organizations to endorse a candidate would be enough to get them elected, even without the backing of the Republican or Democratic parties.

It also doesn't hurt to have some money.  Perot was a billionaire who mostly funded his own campaign.

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Kevin replied on Mon, Sep 22 2008 1:20 AM

Barr has had a bit of a spike according to his campaign since the bailouts have begun, but it's actually Ron Paul that has seen the biggest change in popularity.  He's been all over the map since early last week, which is of course a good thing.

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It's not such a bad thing that Barr isn't gaining popularity if you ask me.

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Indeed.  I'm turned off by Barr.  I keep waiting for him to pull the mask off and Cheney is underneath.

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bullfrog replied on Mon, Sep 22 2008 8:21 AM

Actually, I think people would be tempted to vote for anyone except for Obama and McCain just to show their disgust. Regardless of who the other candidates are and whether they've ever heard of them.

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Most people aren't disgusted by Obama or McCain, they're indifferent at best.

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bullfrog:

Actually, I think people would be tempted to vote for anyone except for Obama and McCain just to show their disgust. Regardless of who the other candidates are and whether they've ever heard of them.


You give emotional voters far too much credit; the best that could be said is "disgruntled & reluctant". 

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I think the country may have come to realize the pointlessness of the 3rd party. after Perot and Nader...

 

But there is a solution, I don't expect anyone here to buy into this as a way of saving democracy or justifying it, or any of the above, but at least it isn't as bad.

It's the idea of an instant voter run off. you get one fewer votes than there are candidates running for the office. You vote first for the person you would most like to see win, and you have the option of selecting your second favorite candidate to the right.

 

so my ticket might read

                          1                           2                3           4

Mc Cain             (   )                        (     )           ( )        (  )

Obama             (    )                      (     )             (  )       (    )

Hoppe              ( x )                       (    )              (   )       (     )

Barr                  (    )                      (     )             ( x  )       (    )

Paul                  (    )                       ( x )              (   )        (    )

 

if after the ballots are read and no candidate receives more than 50% of the votes for the 1 column, then the candidate who recieves the fewest # of votes will be dropped and those whose ballots had the least popular candidate ranked first would be read again under the 2nd column. so if Hoppe came in last my vote would be changed to Paul. if there were still no pure majority, the next least popular candidate would be dropped again and the process would repeat.

This would allow people to vote their conscience instead of  for the lesser of two evils, and would protect the would be winner from the spoiler effect. It does not fix democracy, but perhaps it is a little better that 51 rule over 49 than 23 rule over 77.

If nothing else it would be a legitimizing tool for getting the message out about Libertarianism and Austrian economics.

one last note. this would be a little tricky when it came to the electoral college, and I don't know how it would play out exactly. supposing this were implemented in all 50 states, we could have a design such that the electors might be recalled and the next most popular candidate would be elected by that state in the event that the candidate initially elected did not get a substantial number of electoral votes from other areas. So that even if Hoppe won Oklahoma straight away, his electors might be recalled in favor of Paul's if Obama is leading Paul 268- 264, Oklahoma would not send Hoppe electors if Paul was voted more popular than Obama.  In this case Oklahoma's 6 electoral votes would make difference 270-268.

Again, I'm not claiming that this will fix the world, but it may alleviate some of the pain. And most importantly, as I mentioned before, it would provide people a real incentive to take a good look at the issues, both economical and ethical and that would be the best for us, and for liberty.

 

 

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I'll also chip in and say that the Republican and Democratic parties are fairly open political machines. Any maverick can register as a Democrat or Republican and run on that ticket regardless of his political views. Thus Ron Paul a Libertarian can run for the Republican Presidential Candidate, even though the Republican Establishment is dominated by warmongering statists.

Contrast this the UK where each candidate for the three main parties must first be chosen by the local party association and then vetted by the partys central office. If he is elected to parliament his only hope of getting on the leavers of power is to vote for what the party whip tells you to. Thus British politics is dominated much more by careerist politicians interested in power for powers sake.

As for the Libertarian Party I wouldn't write it off completely, it performs useful libertarian outreach. For instance every election season the Libertarian Presidential candidate will get the obligatory interview where he gets the opportunity to pitch libertarianism to the masses. It also gives every libertarian who isn't an academic studying for his PhD an opportunity for activism.

 

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SURE! Ron Paul ran. but because we have an election process where a person with simply more votes than anyone else can win, with lets say 42% of the vote, it is nearly impossible for a 3rd party to win, and often causes the would be 2nd place finisher in an IVR system to come away with the win, remember 2000 in florida, and the 1992 election in several states.

The party still works its magic to ensure that no true mavericks will be able to get into office! Sure it isn't as bad as britian, but we can do better.

(did you read what I posted right before you?)

Everything you needed to know to be a libertarian you learned in Kindergarten. Keep your hands to yourself, and don't play with other people's toys without their consent. 

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Yes I did, the instant run off voting and voting systems designed to prevent the 'wasted vote' syndrome are all worthy goals and Libertarians should be advocating them.

I do not beleive that the Libertarian Party has a snow balls chance in hell of winning under the current system unless it has the money to compete seriously with the other parties. (and this can only occur when the movement is much larger than at present) But it is an important vehicle of getting libertarianism known to wider society. My criteria of success for any libertarian party at present is not how many votes it got, but how many media appearances and articles did the party get. Ron Paul and the ideas behind his campaign for instance managed to make into British media.

 

 

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Simon Lote:
ut it is an important vehicle of getting libertarianism known to wider society.

If by "libertarianism" you mean something that resembles a watered down version of the Republican ideology than yes, the LP is the way to go.

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows"

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vertesi replied on Sat, Oct 4 2008 2:22 AM

I'm a fan of IRV too... and correspondingly a supporter of fairvote.org .  IMHO changing the election system is the only way we will ever break the duopoly.  Under the current system, if your candidate is polling anything less than 40%, he's a spoiler.  You are actually helping the candidate you DISLIKE the most, because your second choice isn't getting your vote.    This puts voters in a tough spot - do I vote with my beliefs, even though that helps the guy I HATE get into office?  Or do I "hold my nose" and vote to make sure that the worst of the worst doesn't get in?

 

3rd parties are only as useful as non-profit ideology advocacy groups.   They have no chance of winning, but they CAN spread the message a little.

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