++$_ wrote:Okay. Seriously, though, this idea that we should vote for Nader because he's better than the two other candidates is ridiculous. It ignores reality. The reality of our voting system is that there is no runoff in the election, which means that if a certain bloc of voters splits their votes, they lose. For example, suppose that exactly the following people run for president at the same time:
Even if 80% of the country opposed John McCain and only 20% supported him, McCain would win if the liberal bloc split their votes among their candidates. If, as is actually the case, the split were closer to 55-45, McCain wins in a landslide. This is not what the Nader voters intended, but it's what they got.
That's why we have political parties in the United States. So that the vote isn't split over multiple, well-qualified candidates, which ends up handing the election to the opposition if they have formed a party.
Voting for Nader instead of Obama doesn't make it more likely that Nader becomes President, but it does make it more likely that McCain becomes President.
This seems really weird to me because I'm used to a preferential voting system, whereby candidates who actually have enough support to run (but not necessarily have a realistic chance at winning) don't simply get snubbed as irrelevant because they can give preference to another candidate. Therefore, voting for Nader under that instance would work, because Nader voters could give second preference to Obama. If more vote for Obama, the Nader votes go to Obama for the candidacy.
You can even have a 3rd party, such as the Greens or even Pauline Hanson's One Nation party running and winning seats in the House of Reps and the Senate. These minor parties can become important when they hold the balance of power between the two major parties.
I always hear that voting for a 3rd party candidate (with respect to American voting) is "throwing your vote away" and it doesn't sound like it's completely tongue in cheek, either.
How are independents and 3rd parties properly represented if people are encouraged to never vote for them until they become popular enough to win a majority?
How does the system prevent the Senate being overrun by the elected majority?