Hey there, Ralph

Ralph Wiggum Here’s my semi-annual posting about the Green Party and instant run-off voting and such.

First off, there’s a pretty solid chance that the Green Party nomination will go to somebody other than Ralph Nader, who just announced his fourth consecutive run for the presidency. In particular, it could go to (twice-) former congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. She might be a much more energetic and enticing candidate for many than a tired Ralph.

In 2004, back when I was a Green, a number of us (particularly Greens who actually held elective office) pushed back against Nader, and succeeded in denying him the party’s endorsement. (With which would’ve come dozens of ballot lines, including many in swing states.)

We founded a PAC, called Greens for Impact, which pushed for lefties in safe states to vote for David Cobb, the Green nominee, and for those in swing states to vote for Kerry. And we pushed for structural electoral reform everywhere. We reached a million some targeted voters, and probably helped mute Nader’s effect in some key spots.

More and more, I just have little sympathy for any of the characters invovled: Nader’s an egomaniac, and neither he, nor the Dems, nor the Green Party at large, has pushed hard for the obvious structural reforms — like instant run-off voting — that would mitigate the “spoiler” problem.

IRV isn’t a secret, even at the highest levels: Howard Dean’s been a proponent. Dick Gephardt’s aware of it.

And so are our presidential front runners: McCain endorsed it in 2002, and Obama’s introduced legislation in support in Illinois.

So why don’t we do something, and stop throwing our hands in the air whenever a third party candidate makes a run?

3 thoughts on “Hey there, Ralph”

  1. Dave,

    Thanks for raising the key issue! What on earth is going on here that even Nader himself isn’t pushing for reforms like IRV, or even mentioning it when asked about spoiling. It’s outrageous and we should push for him and all these candidates to be pressured on that issue.

    I’ve written about this in a very short piece called The Key Issue Suspiciously Missing from Ralph Nader’s “Table”. Hope you’ll check it out, leave some feedback, and get in touch if you want. I’d consider starting a group of us dedicated to raising this issue during this campaign. As a group we could be more vocal about it and pressure the media and candidates to talk about it.

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