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Voting: Why Third Party Means Nothing (for Now)

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Voting in November is the end of the process.

Literally for YEARS we have been leading up to this race. A ton of people have jockeyed for position. This is almost like an NCAA bracket where game after game is played to refine the best team. Bringing in a third party candidate at the end make no sense. It would be like following your March Madness pool and right before the Final 4 game between Temple and UCLA, Villanova somehow gets onto the court.

Third party candidates are woefully unprepared compared to the major party candidates.

Continuing the sports metaphor, think of the major party primaries as minor league baseball. You learn to hit a curve ball, hit behind the runner -- all the smart stuff you are supposed to do in the batters box with everyone looking at you. The primary system vets out a lot of odd folks like John Edwards or Newt Gingrich who could never hit from the opposite side of the plate. Guys like Rick Perry shrank once the pressure got turned up.

The campaign is the regular season. The stump speeches and appearances test the mettle and veracity of the candidate. The advantage of the current two-party system is the pressure testing by the media that supposedly forges a solid product. There is a reason you give the ball to the 20-game winner for the final game of the playoffs.

Putting a third party candidate into the mix is similar to sticking a guy off the street into the ninth inning of the final playoff game. You have no idea of what you are going to get. The person has not been vetted at all. Likely they have no experience as evidence they could do anything if given the mound in that situation. A manager (We The People) would be nuts to allow such a person to even throw a single pitch.

Voting for a third party in a two party race helps the major party candidate furthest from you.

If you are on the far left voting for the Green Party, or the Far Right tallying for the Libertarians, your vote will be helping the GOP and the Democrats, respectively. If the Green Party (or Libertarian) candidate wasn't there, you would be voting for the Democratic (or GOP) candidate instead. Those candidates needed your votes. Anyone remember John Anderson in 1980? He pulled six percent of the vote. His being in the race was a minor factor giving Ronald Reagan the win. Ross Perot gave Bill Clinton the White House in 1992. How did Ralph Nader work out for you?

If you want a third party, create a third party.

That means getting people elected at the lower levels so that you can train someone to step in with each larger successive office.

One way to create a third party is from the ground up. The Tea Party was able to abscond with the GOP because they got enough people in the grassroots (the ground up) to figure out how the system works. They took over because they knew the rules. They also had message discipline.

All those sane people who left the GOP do not have a home now. They can return to fight for their old GOP apparatus or they can create a new one. I am sure there enough people disassociated with the current system that would come back if there was a legitimate path to victory.

How to create legitimacy?

Increase the size of Congress. We are currently the second worst represented country on the planet with one congressperson for every 710,000+ people. Only India is worse with over 1,000,000 people per seat. Most western democracies have about 300,000 people per seat. We would need about 1,001 seats for now. The really smart thing to do would be to link a Congressional Seat to a fixed population number. Currently we have a fixed number of seats, 435, with a variable number of people being represented.

Some side effects of increasing the size of Congress:
  • it takes fewer people for you to get elected
  • it costs less to get elected (campaign finance reform)
  • congressional gerrymandering gets mitigated
There are ton of others...

For this discussion of creating a third party, you get legitimacy when you get seats in Congress. You can then start to create the bench you need to go deep into an election cycle.

Since you are an expansion team, you can expect to get some free-agents who are tired of playing for the existing teams as well as walk-ons who never played before.

Oh, by the way, increasing the size of Congress can be done by fixing one small phrase in a law passed in 1929.

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