Thursday, November 1, 2012

Voting - Playing the Game the Right Way vs. Playing by the Broken Rules

I've been watching a sort of minor war develop between various parties on Twitter and Facebook.  On one side you've got the hardcore Obama supporters, who argue that a vote for a third party is a vote for Romney, especially in swing states.  On the other, you've got the Greens (mostly) and Libertarians that argue that the way the American political system (and any political systems that involves voting of any kind) is supposed to work is that you vote for the candidate you most believe in, not the best among few, relatively crappy, choices.

Both are correct in varying degrees depending on how you want to look at the situation.  And as much as I realize that the reality is that the system is broken, I don't know that playing by those rules is the right choice.  It doesn't help that I'm biased in being a member of the Green Party and my prevailing thought is that the Democrats brought this problem upon themselves by 1). not advocating for Run-Off Voting (in which voters rank candidates from most to least preferable) which eliminates 'vote-stealing', and 2). not allowing Green candidates on ballots by using their money machine to engage in lawsuit warfare that the corporate donation-less Green Party cannot afford.

Playing the game the Democrats' way might give us the second or third best candidate in any given election, but often deprives us of the top two.  We do ourselves a disservice by dichotomizing things so much into black and white (or red and blue if you will) that the only "acceptable" (or perhaps viable) options are the Democrat and the Republican.  With the miles long lists of things that candidates from either party have to be for or against because of the letter next to their name, we lose out on a lot of good ideas.

In the end, I live in a state that hasn't gone red since Ronald Reagan so it makes little difference whether I vote Green or Democrat at this time.  When it does matter again, I hope it matters because both parties are viable options to lead the country.

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