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Ralph Nader for candidate
Posted: 2004-09-17 22:20
2 comment(s)
Author: Phil Gengler
Section: Stuff

This election season, both the Democrats and the Republicans are playing dirty politics, and one man is caught in the middle—Ralph Nader.

Perhaps best known for his supposed role in helping George Bush win in 2000, by taking votes away from Al Gore; Nader is running again this year, as an independent candidate. He is facing challenges in many states from the Democratic Party, and in some cases is getting help from the Republicans.

The most recent example is in Florida. Democrats challenged Nader's application, and a Florida court issued an injunction preventing Nader from appearing on overseas absentee ballots, which must be sent out by September 18. The Florida Division of Elections filed an appeal, lifting the injunction pending a hearing. Shortly thereafter, Division of Elections director Dawn Roberts issued an order that Nader be included on the ballot. Republicans say quick action is necessary with Hurricane Ivan imminent; the Florida Democratic party called the move "blatant partisan maneuvering."

Florida is not the only state where Nader is facing challenges. There are eight states in which Nader will not appear on the ballot, and a dozen others where challenges, filed by Democrats, are still pending.

The seemingly obvious explanation for this is that Democrats do not want Nader to "steal" votes that would otherwise be cast for John Kerry. While some Democrats have openly said that their efforts are to keep Nader off ballots to try and win the election, "this is an issue of fairness" is the rationale of others. It is worth mentioning that the Democrats are not challenging the Republican application in Florida, which was filed after the deadline had passed.

It is more than just Democrats that are taking action with regard to Nader's campaign. In Michigan, Republican volunteers collected 43,000 signatures on a petition to put Ralph Nader on the ballot there. In battleground states across the country, there are reports of Republicans pushing to get Nader on the ballot there.

These actions, by both sides, are "blatant partisan maneuvering." Both parties are trying to use the strongest third-party candidate to improve their success in the election by abusing Ralph Nader's campaign. The Democrats are clearly trying to maintain the two-party system, while Republicans are using a political party with radically different ideals to try and achieve victory.

Is this the future for third-party candidates? It seems likely that if any third party candidate poses a threat to either of the major parties, that party will be fought every step of the way. The American political system should not be one where the two major parties determine who can run; such behavior should not be tolerated in a democratic system.

This was written before the Florida Supreme Court ruled that Ralph Nader could appear on the Florida ballot.


Posted: 2004-09-20 23:18:36
Author: Michael

You'r right.  In the supposedly "democratic" society tht America is supposed to be, someone shouldn't have to fight to run for president just because they're not a candidate in one of the big two parties.

» If You Havent...
Posted: 2004-10-15 21:53:39
Author: Jay

If you haven&#39;t figured out the whole system is completely fucked up in a way that cannot be mended without upheaval yet, thinking about the deeper reasons why these actions by the democratic and republican parties are stupid.<br /><br />Control the media, move public opinion to the right via scare tactics, assist and/or prop up leftist third party, and voila. &nbsp;Democrats must either move left and adopt some more leftist policies(where apparently Liberal is now a dirty word in American politics) or die (or face significant setbacks, like the loss of, say, 43,000 votes in Michigan).

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