[extropy-chat] electing ideas [was Re:Fahrenheit 911-objectivereview?]

Brett Paatsch bpaatsch at bigpond.net.au
Sun Aug 15 01:36:51 UTC 2004

> >> If a libertarian candidate did well in an election, 
> >> the major parties might consider that there is 
> >> a politically significant minority with those views..
> > Lets say both the democrats and the republicans did consider that there
> > was a significant minority of voters who were libertarians. So what?
> if the libertarian candidate got more votes than the 2nd place finisher
> lost by, one tactic that suggests itself is for the candidate [or party] 
> that lost to see if they could adopt [and water down, of course]
> some issue or position associated with the libertarian candidate
> in hope of picking up some of those voters...


I could be missing something in how US presidential elections are
run (I don't follow the mechanics as closely in the US as I do
in Australia - so that might be effecting my thinking.)

Here in Australia I couldn't personally vote for Howard or Latham
because they aren't sitting in the same electoral seat as each other
and neither of them is sitting in mine. To get either Howard or Latham
as a Prime Minister the best I could do with my vote (short of moving
my place of residence) is to vote for their party and expect that their
party if they win a majority in the House of Reps will win government
and then the party leader becomes the Prime Minister. 

Isn't it the case though that you do vote in the US for the President
directly. ie. Don't you get to vote for Bush himself or Kerry himself or

I know I could check this using google but then no one would tell 
me and in so doing also tell and educate other people reading.  ]

Now (if my understanding of what you are suggesting is correct
and you can each vote directly for the person who will be president
not just the party then what you are saying might be put like this)
Let's say the Libertarian presidential candidate gets 5%
The candidate from party A gets  48%
The candidate from party B gets  47% 

Your saying Party A and Party B would see AFTER the Party A's
candidate becomes president for 4 years (and does whatever the
hell he likes with libertarian issues for four years) that there was a 
5% wedge that might have been attracted somehow to make a 
difference and that they should consider that next time - aren't 

If so my problem is that that 5% wedge of Libertarians is not a
wedge that can be relied on to be there in four years time or that
can be relied on to be broken up in such a way as to effect the
electorate in four years time. All it tells you is that the libertarians
amounted to 5% this time around. 

Libertarians and non-libertarians alike ARE going to get Bush or
Kerry for four years.  That four years is four years of *your* life.
By the time the next election comes around and the number
cruncher come to consider the protest vote of the libertarian message
senders you will all be four years older and four years closer to being

And whichever of Bush or Kerry (Party A's or Party B's presidential
candidate that would have been least bad exercising presidential power
for this coming for years including on your libertarian issues will
not have been affected by your vote).

That true isn't it?  (Obviously if you thought party A or B's candidate
was slightly more libertarian and was going to win anyway you could
vote for you libertarian candidate as well.)

But with a line ball election could you rationally risk it?

I stand ready to be educated if I'm wrong, especially with respect
to the mechanics of US presidential elections.


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