Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

June 30, 2004

by J

Dean V. Nader

From the DFA media announcements mailing list:

Friday, July 9, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. - National Press Building in Washington, DC

BURLINGTON, VT- Gov. Howard Dean will debate Ralph Nader on Friday, July 9, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. at the National Press Building in Washington, DC. Taped in front of a studio audience of 150 people, the debate is sponsored by NPR's Justice Talking. It will focus on issues surrounding this election, including whether this is the right time for Nader to run for President and the role of third parties in this country. The debate will be open to the press.

Margot Adler, NPR correspondent and host of Justice Talking will moderate.

"I am anxious to debate Ralph Nader in order to speak about why he wants to run for President," said Dean. "This is the most important election in my lifetime and a third party candidate could make a difference - this November and for years to come."

Dean is currently the honorary chair of Democracy for America (www.democracyforamerica.com), a political action committee dedicated to supporting fiscally conservative, socially progressive candidates at all levels of government - from school board to the presidency. Every two weeks, Dean and Democracy for America endorse twelve candidates - The Dean Dozen - to help recruit volunteers and raise money for races all over the country.
Well, that should be fun.

Also check out this transcript over at BFA to read Dean's response to some idiot (er, Andrea Mitchell) asking him whether he shouldn't be supporting Ralph Nader for President. Clearly, this "journalist" has paid not a lick of attention to any of Dean's policy stances beyond noting that he opposed the Iraq War. In Delong's words, why, oh why can't we have a better press corps?
Posted by J at June 30, 2004 01:29 PM

I was happy to hear both Nader and Dean endorse Instant Runoff Voting (IRV), a method for fixing the "spoiler" problem. This system of voting is described at http://www.instantrunoff.com/faq_1.html . IRV allows a voter to vote for a third party candidate without the fear of throwing the election to the major party candidate that they like least. This would allow a qualified third party to steadily build support, something that is not currently possible.

I think that Nader could best publicize this issue by running his campaign to promote his positions but dropping out just before the election, stating that he is forced to do so by the current system so that he does not act as a spoiler. He could then recommend that his supporters vote for the candidate who has best taken up his positions or that he most supports. That, at least, would give him some political leverage and the major parties, as well as the people, might give a little more thought to addressing this issue. In any case, this would be much more responsible than acting as a spoiler.

Ironically, a spoiler is most likely to throw the election to the candidate who he is least like. During the debate, Nader stated: "And if you don't vote your conscience, I'd like to hear from you about what part of your body you are voting.". I would propose that, in not facilitating Bush's election by voting for Nader, a voter is voting their BRAIN. Nader likewise needs to exercise his brain along with his well-developed conscience.

Posted by: R Davis at July 16, 2004 01:35 AM

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