As I was driving today, I turned on KTLK, a conservative radio station just to see if they were talking about anything interesting. What I found was quite surprising. The Chris Baker show was on and he was talking about the Minnesota Senate race. He was talking about how he was going to vote for Dean Barkley, and that Coleman and Franken were not being fair to voters. The main concentration of their campaigns has been on whether or not Al Franken has paid his taxes. Neither candidate would appear on Baker’s show even once to answer questions for listeners. What I found even more interesting is that he is planning on voting for Bob Barr in the upcoming election. He dislikes McCain and of course is not an Obama fan. Someone called in and said it doesn’t matter if you like McCain or not, you have to vote for McCain because it is a vote against an Obama Presidency. But what Baker said, that I completely agree with and will be where I stand for as long as I live, is that we can’t know if a candidate has a chance to win because of this mindset. Barkley is polling in the high teens, but surely there are many who are not happy with Franken or Coleman who would vote for Barkley but believe it is a “wasted vote” or “taking votes away” from either Franken or Coleman. But really, if everyone voted for the candidate who they believed represented them best and did not consider everyone who tells them their vote is wasted, it takes away votes, etc. then there would be a significantly different turnout on election day. Polls have shown that many people are unhappy with both of the major candidates. So what allows the two big parties to keep a stranglehold on the election process? In part it is the belief that a vote for a third party candidate is a wasted vote for someone who has no chance for winning. Of course if everyone thinks like this third parties do not have a chance to win!
Personally, it is easy for me to defend my choice of voting third party. My vote for a third party member does not ‘take away a vote’ for McCain. My vote was never intended for John McCain! If it was, I would vote for him! But clearly there are huge differences in my political ideology and John McCain’s. So please, if someone tells you they are voting third party do not even try to tell them they are taking votes away: if their vote was intended for John McCain or Barack Obama, they would vote for them. By deciding not to, obviously they are not intending their vote for the two major party candidates. Anyone who votes third party should be proud of their vote; they are standing up and voting for the candidate they intend to vote for; not someone who will not represent their political beliefs.
If you are not happy with either of the major candidates, what makes you think you will be happy when one of them gets elected? And if you won’t be, then why would you support them through your vote? Consider the alternatives – You have a CHOICE:
Check out the third Party Campaign Sites
Libertarian Party - Bob Barr
Constitution Party - Chuck Baldwin
Independent - Ralph Nader
Green Party - Cynthia McKinney