Another kind of undecided voter

discusThe most recently concluded debate makes me more likely to vote for Cynthia McKinney.

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4 Responses

  1. Like you weren’t before???

    I sincerely hope that more people do feel that way (despite being a big Obama supporter, variety is the spice of life, I don’t like the American two-party (for all intents and purposes) system) However, from what I can tell too many Americans see only three choices on November 4.

    [ ] John McCain
    [ ] Barack Obama
    [ ] Stay Home

    Does the average American know that there is an alternative to them if they don’t like either? (And try to answer this neutrally and not as a Green supporter and functionary, but as an average American) I’m sure many voters look at the ballot and say “Bob Barr? Cynthia McWho?”, that is the first time they would have heard of the third party candidates.

  2. Yes, of course. It’s the ever-feeding circle: oh, you’re running too? Well, no need to report, because nobody’s heard of you. And they haven’t heard of you, because…nobody reports on you.

    And nobody can do anything different at the polls, because they’re locked into spoiler-system, first-past-the-post voting, which most other countries have ditched or are in the process of doing so. (Canada isn’t, really, but they also have a unique regional component to their voting system.)

    We really, really need to get ranked choice voting (for single winner) and proportional representation voting (for multiple winner) in place for elections.

  3. I don’t think changing the voting system will help if they don’t know anything about the other choices. Your average person in, say, a Blue state would still vote Obama #1, McCain #2, or go “eeny, meeny, miney, moe”, which isn’t the best way to pick a leader (one may argue it is better than your current system) – hell a lot of people up here vote that way for school trustee, a race where no one knows any of the candiates and you have to pick, say, 4 candidates out of 6. If I get fliers from any of them (usually 1 or 2 tops) I vote for them, then just randomly pick the rest. Not the best system, but if I haven’t heard of the other people, what the hell am I supposed to do???

    The mainstream media didn’t focus on Ralph Nader or Ross Perot, and both of them got a fair amount of attention – people knew about them and they knew where they stood. For third party candidates, they did admirably as well. Is *any* third party candidate making themselves visible?

  4. No, and that’s only partly the fault of the candidates themselves. In all of these things, money talks; Perot got a huge amount of publicity with his own money, while Nader didn’t, but looms larger in retrospect because of the so-called “spoiler effect”.

    The media can and will make a candidate. They’re largely doing so for Obama in this election (depending on the channel). They aren’t doing so in the race for school trustee because they get nothing out of doing so – and it’s useful to remember that when dealing with any commercial media outlet. You haven’t heard of them because it didn’t profit anyone for you to hear of them.

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