Frankly I am an enthusiastic supporter or HRC, she's not a "lesser evil" for me, I think she's one of the most pragmatic and more ethical politicans in this country right now. I'd be happy to defend that statement elsewhere but that's not why I'm replying to you.
bondsbw wrote:So sad that smart people are backing her or Trump.
I felt that way after the Nader/Gore/Bush three-way election. Then I went and learned some political science and game theory.
Go read about Duverger's Law
. It is well accepted in political science that a system with our (the USA's) voting structure has a single, mathematically stable solution: a pair of national parties. This is dictated by mathematics and game theory.
Until or unless our voting structure changes, the primary function of any third party is to siphon votes from the party most similar to them, which causes two things:
- It causes the most-similar major party to win fewer elections.
- It drives the most-similar major party the other direction, politically speaking.
So a "successful" Green Party with 5% matching funds would still not win many elections, and never the presidency, but it would push the entire Democratic party to the right to try to capture more of the middle in response. It defeats its own purpose.
With our voting laws, even if you open parties on both ends of the spectrum, it doesn't absolve you of strategic voting. Suppose we get Green and Labor parties on the left, squeezing the democrats, and White Nationalist and Pro-Corporate parties on the right, squeezing the GOP.
If you're a centrist, you don't want an extreme win in either direction, so your best move is to vote Dem or GOP.
If you're on the far left and would (say) prefer the Labor party, your best strategy is still to vote Dem. Because weakening the Dems risks throwing the election to the GOP, which is worse for you, or opens a chance for the White Nationalists to win which is a much
worse outcome for you. If you're a hardcore pro-business voter on the far right, voting for the Corporate party weakens the GOP, increasing the Dem chance of victory or even opening the door to a Labor party win.
In every case, your best strategic move is to go back to the center party closest to your beliefs. The marginal parties die and we're back to two parties again.
We need more and better realistic choices, non-strategic voting,
I agree. But voting third party in national elections does not
accomplish this: all it does is anti-strategically harm your own personal goals as above. This isn't a chicken-and-egg problem: the change to the voting system clearly must come first. When Nader threw the election to Bush (and yes, it's clear that's what happened) a LOT of smart people cried out for ranked balloting. Most voters still never even heard of it. We can't make the change from that direction.
If you want a more diverse political ecosystem, advocate at the local and state level
for ranked balloting, Condorcet scoring, and proportional representation in your local and state elections
. If enough of that happens, it might slowly help pull the country towards those (admittedly better) voting systems. There's no chance of a national
movement for ranked balloting or proportional representation being successful until a large number of local & state experiences with those systems make the american electorate more familiar with them.
and to get rid of the electoral college.
There IS a chance for elimination of the electoral college, a goal I am 100% in agreement with. The Electoral College is a travesty and 70% of American voters are in favor of eliminating it (polls have shown that ever since the 1940's!). The National Interstate Popular Vote Compact
requires zero national action lets states basically commit to throwing every election for the popular vote winner. It only triggers if enough states commit to it to override the electoral college. And it's closer than you think. When California signed on, it reached 61.7% of the goal of making it a reality.
IMHO the next best target for the NIPVC is Texas. It has 38 EVs and gets completely ignored in presidential elections because it is reliably red. The NIPVC would get national candidates paying attention to Texas and the needs of Texans again, which would be better for the people of that state.
voting for a third-party candidate will provide federal funding for their party next cycle ... vote for a third-party candidate and help them get to the 5% popular vote required for funding in 2020.
... Which will have exactly the opposite effect you desire. Again, see Duverger's Law. A third party cannot stably compete: if it doesn't completely overcome and replace one party, the best it can do mathematically is harm the next-most-similar party.
Another note on a multiparty system. There's no guarantee it's really what you want. Maybe it will help but consider: legitimizing the Green and Libertarian parties ALSO means opening the door for legitimized white nationalist and fascist parties. And if you don't think those would win seats in today's climate, you haven't been paying attention to the sociopolitical drivers of Trump's success. Many European nations have systems that allow for multiple stable parties ... and they have many of the same problems we do, except with explicitly racist parties winning seats and being entites the government is forced to take seriously. I'm not certain that's worth it.
EDIT: Fix markup & clarify wording