In Response to Limitations of Two Party System

While I greatly applaud how thoughtful and well researched the post was about your desire to vote for the green party candidates, it will simply be a wasted vote. I say this not as simply a Democrat who hopes you will reconsider and voting for a president, but as someone who would like to see real election reform. While I think the best thing for the American electoral system would be to revise the Electoral College so that the popular vote is truly the vote that ends up deciding the presidency, we must work within the system we have presently. In our current system, it is extremely challenging for third party candidates (especially ones that are underfunded to gain access to the ballot in all fifty states. Additionally, the United States’ public financing of campaigns which comes along with fundraising and vote requirements, make it very hard for anyone thats not a Democrat or Republican to remain in the race. Although I respect finding and eventually voting for the candidate who most aligns with your views, the best way to affect change is to do it from within each of the two major political parties. Before the days of primaries, nominees were picked by party bosses in “smoke filled rooms” and were usually the result of political patronage. Through the progressive and other social movements, all nominees are now required to participate in the primary elections so that the voters have a real say. My long winded point with this post is continue to be involved in grassroots social movements, particularly ones that are within either of the major parties so that you can potentially become a delegate at the conventions and have the party platform reflect what is in the hearts and minds of the grassroots voters of the party.


Dan Wolf


About rowlanda12

This is a blog about the 2012 presidential election. Content is generated by students in Professor Heldman's Politics 101 class. She does not necessarily endorse the views expressed here.
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2 Responses to In Response to Limitations of Two Party System

  1. I find the notion that simply because it is not at the moment likely that another party other than the democrats or republicans will win that third parties should be written off is dangerously naive. History, perhaps not in this country, but around the world, that smaller parties need time to flourish. The most recent example of this occurred in Canada. A small band of left-wing farmers form a small party known as the CCF. After decades of election failures, numerous leaders and even a name change (to the NDP) they now sit as the official opposition in Parliament. A more well known party to see this happen is the British Labour Party which for the first thirty or so years of existence, was nothing more than a minor annoyance to he establishment but has now been on top politically with the conservatives for more than 70 years, There is always hope for third parties, but you do make a good point, Vote Obama, Jill Stein has no chance.

    Evan Pritsos

  2. Evan Tolley says:

    Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it!

    While I realize that Stein doesn’t have a realistic chance of winning the Presidency, I still plan to vote for her out of principle. This is because I believe that there is something fundamentally wrong with not voting for the candidate you believe is best for the country and the world. Democracy doesn’t work if only two perspectives are given a legitimate chance. By confining themselves to voting for only Democrats and Republicans, individuals are upholding the status quo. By confining our choice to a mere two parties, I believe that we are cheating ourselves out of the public debate that would take place if more voices were heard. In doing so, we are limiting our ability to change out society for the better and make a positive impact in the world.
    That being said, I realize the necessity of “working within the system.” While I plan to vote for Stein, I agree with your point that changes need to be made regarding issues such as ballot access, funding and media recognition. Unless these changes are made by activists and politicians working within the current political system, the Green Party stands little chance against the much stronger machines of the Democratic and Republican parties.

    Evan Tolley

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