Larry King will moderate a debate tonight featuring third-party candidates. King told the Associated Press: “They have a story to tell. It’s a valid story. It’s a two-party system, but not a two-party system by law.” The participants will be former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party), Green Party candidate Jill Stein, former Congressman Virgil Goode (Constitution Party) and former Salt Lake City mayor Rocky Anderson (Justice Party).
While many voters feel bound to vote for President Obama or Romney in order to voice their disapproval of the other, even if they agree more with a third-party candidate, two independent websites — VotePact.org and VoteBuddy.com — advocate a strategy that allows for voting one’s conscience without fear.
“It’s almost a joke among couples: One reluctantly votes Republican while the other dejectedly votes Democrat. Neither likes the candidate they’re stuck with, they always seem to be voting against the ‘greater evil’. Few voters realize there’s a way out of that rut.
“Such voters don’t realize they have been wasting their votes, election after election, for no good reason at all. They are canceling out each other’s vote, meaning that neither has an effect on the election at all.
“Worse, their votes are interpreted as wholehearted support for the recipient candidates. Their reluctance is never communicated.
“Such couples — or two people in any kind of trusting relationship — can use their differences of opinion to free both their votes to support third parties, independents, or write-in candidates. They can vote out of conviction rather than out of fear. They simply agree they’ll both vote against the status quo.”
SAM HUSSEINI [email]
Founder of VotePact.org, Husseini is also communications director for IPA. He said today: “Authentic progressives and authentic conservatives have been consistently manipulated by the establishments of the Democratic and Republican parties. The party establishments agree on wars that are causing resentment against the U.S., trade policies that are hurting U.S. workers and exploiting third world workers, Wall Street and the Federal Reserve being kept firmly in control of the financial system, subsidies to fossil fuels industries that are destroying the environment, civil liberties violations from drone killing on down and a whole host of other issues.
“Many principled progressives and conscientious conservatives are opposed to all these things, but feel locked into voting for their ‘lesser evil’. They can continue to be effectively captured by the establishment parties, or they can take an opportunity to join together and back the candidates that better reflect what they believe. Instead of canceling out each others votes, progressives and conservatives who know and trust each other can vote in pairs without helping the establishment candidate they most dislike. They would in effect be freeing their votes, syphoning them off in pairs from automatically going to the Democratic and Republican parties. This strategy increases effective voter choice and enables people to no longer be taken for granted by the party establishments — giving them ‘some place to go’ and political leverage.”