I presented this to Warren a few weeks ago and he asked me to post it here to obtain reader input on the [read more]
Submitted by Joshua Fauver
Perhaps you, like so many other third party activists, remember very fondly the Open Debates that were hosted by Free and Equal in 2012. Being that I was involved (while slightly) I know I remember those debates with a slight grin on my [read more]
Top officials from past presidential campaigns have quietly formed a group to push for major changes in the general election debates, with recommendations expected by late spring.
Members include the longtime lead debate negotiator for each party: Bob Bauer for Democratic nominees and Ben Ginsberg for the Republicans. So the Annenberg Working Group on Presidential General Election Debates could have a profound effect on the signature fall events of the race for the White House. The group’s co-chairs were top debate-prep advisers to each of the 2012 nominees: Anita Dunn for President Obama, and Beth Myers for Mitt Romney.
The group is sponsored by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, debate expert and the center’s director, leads the study.
The group has been talking with the Commission on Presidential Debates about the study’s intentions, and plans to meet next month with the commission’s co-chairmen, Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr. and Michael D. McCurry, and the executive director, Janet H. Brown. The group also plans a session with people who represent the view of non-major parties, to discuss third-party and independent candidates.
By Tiffany Holland
Former vice presidential candidate and retired U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman visited Roanoke College on Wednesday night to discuss the partisan politics of Congress, which he feels are detrimental to the country and said the country [read more]
There was much discussion before yesterday’s election in the media and here on IPR about Robert Sarvis acting as a spoiler in the Virginia race for governor.
Today, the day after the election, at least two articles help to dispel that possibility.
Posted to Time
Stop Scapegoating Third Party Candidates for Election Results
By Nick Gillespie
November 6, 2013
Even before yesterday’s election, Republicans were ready to blame Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli’s looming defeat to Democrat Terry McAuliffe on Libertarian Party candidate Robert Sarvis. “A Vote for Sarvis is a Vote for McAuliffe” argued one Cuccinelli supporter.
With the final count in, expect Republican anger at the Libertarian “spoiler” to grow exponentially. McAuliffe, who had enjoyed a double-digit lead at various points in during campaign, won with just 48 percent of the vote to Cuccinelli’s 46 percent. The Libertarian Sarvis ended up pulling almost 7 percent, far more than enough to tip the election the other way.
But to blame a major-party loss on third-party candidates is fundamentally mistaken. First off, it ignores data that the Libertarian pulled more votes from the Democratic candidate than he did from the Republican one—an exit poll of Sarvis voters showed that they would have voted for McAuliffe by a two-to-one margin over Cucinelli. Second, and far more important, it presumes that all potential votes somehow really “belong” to either Democrats or Republicans. That’s simply wrong and it does a real disservice to American politics.
Trevor Lymon of [read more]
Libertarian Robert Sarvis scored another favorable article in the Washington Post in his campaign for Governor of Virginia:
Bits like this:
new nuggets Saturday from little-known candidate Robert Sarvis: Quoting Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Advocating an end to the war on drugs. Discussing abortion as a “metaphysical” disagreement. And saying flatly that contracting policies that favor minority-owned businesses violate “the rule of law.” …
He said that both major parties had failed the country and that it was time for something new: someone who supports both smaller government, as Cuccinelli does, and socially liberal policies, as McAuliffe does — the only candidate, as Sarvis put it, who is “both open-minded and open for business.”
“A third-party governor is exactly what we need,” he said. “We need . . . to take the good from both and leave the bad behind.”
He even made an impact on a supporter of one of the major party [read more]
This is good not only for Libertarians but for third parties generally. [read more]
A Facebook fan sent us this link, claiming it showed why third parties are a “wasted vote.”
In a winner-takes-all system, there is a strong tendency toward two parties because voters act strategically, preferring to vote for legitimate contenders than cast a “spoiler” vote for a third-party candidate. As a consequence, most voters eventually gravitate toward either the Republican or Democratic candidate.
This seems a charitable view of voters. While some might say they’re acting strategically, it’s part of a false concept that your voter matters more [read more]