Prague Twin

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Voting Day

So it is voting day in America. I will not be voting in this election. I applied for an absentee ballot, for which I have a confirmation, but instead of receiving an absentee ballot in the mail, instead I received a voter registration confirmation on November 1st. In the confrimation it noted that I could apply for an absentee ballot by October 31st.

I'm sure if they had sent this letter to an adress in the U.S. it would have reached me in time. I know, it is a big world, and I don't expect the voting authorities in Mono County CA to understand that it takes a little longer for a letter to reach Prague than it would to reach say, Bishop. In the end, it is my fault for not being there and not being a true American. However, since I am not allowed to vote in the country of my residence, it would be nice to cast a vote for someone, somewhere. Maybe I could vote for UN ambassadors next time. On second thought, I guess the Senate's votes don't even count on that one.

Had I been able to vote, perhaps I would have voted for some third party candidates. There are no Senate seats up for election in California, and district 25 is the model of a Republican stronghold. However, the third party representation in the United States is quite dismal at this point. And why is that?

The biggest obsticle that third party candidates have is the perception that they are helping the enemy. If you take for example Ross Perot's candidacy in 1992, or Ralph Nader's in 2000, you see in both cases a third party candidate taking away votes from the base of one of the big parties. In Perot's case, he received a much higher percentage of the popular vote than any third candidate in recent times, and although most of these votes would have been otherwise Republican, many would have gone Democrat as well. Yet the bulk of the Ross Perot campaign machine was made up of people who would have otherwise helped the Republicans or at least would have voted Republican. Ralph Nader captured a much smaller percentage of the popular vote than did Perot, but virtually all of his votes came directly off of the Democrat's voter rolls. Both were criticized harshly for helping the opposition party win.

So for a third party candidate to have any real success, I believe that a new direction has to be taken. A party that is liberal socially, but conservative economically seems to be a winner. Having said that, I think it will be easier to convince the conservatives that it is okay to be gay, than it will be to convince the liberals that markets work, and total socialism does not.

We really do have a long road ahead of us. Right now, both parties have their heads stuck where the sun don't shine. The There are exceptions to this on both sides of the aisle, of course, but the general direction of both parties leaves much to be desired. I think that someone with sound conservative economic policies and liberal social policies could get a lot of traction, especially with the younger generation.

If something like that could get started now, maybe in twenty years we could have an interesting election.


  • Guess you now know how the military voters felt when Democrats tried to have the votes discounted.

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 10:34 PM  

  • PT

    Sounds like you are coming around to a Libertarian viewpoint.

    Welcome to the club.

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 10:36 PM  

  • I really, really hope it doesn't take 20 years. And, while I'm not nearly the social liberal as you are and highly recommend a more "middle-of-the-road, socially speaking" candidate, I understand what you mean.

    BTW, just to throw this out there, I voted for Nader, instead of Bush, the first time around. The second time Bush won out instead of Peroutka.

    By Blogger Stephanie, at 11:33 PM  

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