Objections to third parties often include a common rationale which is flawed:
“Nader Cost Gore the Florida election in 2000″.
Gore lost by 543 votes in Florida; Nader got 97,488 votes.
Why this myth is false:
Nader wrote, “25% of my voters would have voted for Bush, 38% would have voted for Gore and the rest would not have voted at all”.
As noted here (table at bottom of page), ALL of the seven OTHER 3rd parties received more than 543 votes (why not blame THEM?). Moreover, Twelve percent of Florida Democrats (over 200,000) voted for Republican George Bush (why not blame THEM?). So it’s absolutely disingenuous to blame Nader for Gore’s loss in Florida.
Nader was made a whipping boy by the two major political parties.
They fear what viable third party candidates might do to their monopoly.
And that’s why they’ll try to prevent third party candidates from taking part in debates — as they did with Nader.
But even if it were true, that’s still not cause to dismiss third parties.
Look at it this way: If a viable third party candidate is in the race, that might cause the major party candidates to be concerned. It promotes debate and discussion. And maybe, just maybe, it makes the major party candidates a little more concerned about voters than their corporate campaign contributors.
Objecting to third party candidates because they may take votes away from a major party candidate is wrong. It simply concedes control of our political system to the two major parties, and that hasn’t been working very well.
Hate Nader, if you must, but what he says is true:
It’s time to open the debate.