When you say you would vote for a "viable" third party or independent candidate, just what do you mean, exactly?

Among the greatest paradoxes to result from the ideology that sustains the two-party state is the fact that though a majority of the public reject both the Democratic and Republican Parties, refusing to identify themselves with the aims and ends of either, only a small fraction of that same public support third party and independent alternatives to the representatives of the ruling Democratic-Republican political establishment. While browsing the news yesterday for reports on the recent LibDem surge in the UK, I came across a video of John Cleese's "party political broadcast for the Liberal Democrats" from 1997 (via Robert Mackey). In the video, Cleese hones in on this precise paradox, effectively framing it as a constitutive but completely irrational element of the viability hurdle faced by all third party and independent candidates for political office. The comedian states:
People like our policies, so what's the problem? The problem comes because you like our policies. The polls show that half of you prefer LibDem policies and would vote for the Liberal Democrats if you thought we could win. Do you see the problem? Half of you prefer LibDem policies and would vote for the Liberal Democrats if you thought we could win.

That means if you did vote for us, we would win. Right? I mean, not just do well, but actually win. In fact, half the votes would give us the biggest landslide this century. We should be so lucky. So look, when you say that you would vote for us if we could win, I'm not being rude, but what do you mean, exactly?


Anonymous said...

Yep! That's the problem all right! I have wrestled with this exact issue for years, and for years have believed the lie, a vote for any third party is a vote for the opposition. Well, no more!

I have finally come to realize, it doesn't matter whether the Republican or Democrat party has the majority, the outcome for our country and way of life will be the same.

As I state in my most recent blog post, I will vote for the best candidate only, less than the best is not worthy of my vote!

An "R" vote or a "D" vote, either one is a vote to continue as we have, as we are today. A vote for a third party or independent candidate is a vote for hope, a vote for real change!

d.eris said...

Glad to hear it John! The only wasted vote is a vote for a Republican or a Democrat because it is a vote for the reproduction of the problem that is Democratic-Republican Party government.