Third Party & Independents Archives

The Cher Factor

If there is one thing the third parties or independents may have over the major parties in the 2008 presidential election it is the Cher factor. The Cher factor is being known by just one name, such as Cher…or…hmmm..Ralph.

Yeah, okay you may be thinking so what? But the closeness associated with referring to someone by their non-formal first name is something that rarely exists, outside of friends and family.

This is what, if he runs, Ralph offers to the independent third pary movement, a candidate which voters can really feel close to and embrace in this manner. Think hard, it is not easy to name another potential candidate, from any political persuasion, who has this kind of closeness with the populus.

It is very important that after the pathetic display of third parties in the 2004 presidential election that we play a larger part in 2008, and we have to consider every factor we can.

Posted by Richard Rhodes at September 26, 2006 3:24 AM
Comment #183886

Ralph Nader. I supported him, I sent him money, I voted for him. Ralph Nader has all the charisma of dead beached jellyfish. The man cannot escape his legal background when talking to the public. That is his achille’s heel. He is smart enough to know what’s wrong and what to do about it. But, he hasn’t a clue how to communicate that to an audience of centrist voters at their level.

Best keep looking!

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 26, 2006 5:40 AM
Comment #183904


Agreed about Nader’s charisma. Historically, he appeals to enough people to get a small percentage of the vote, but I don’t see him ever appealing to enough of the people to have even a decent chance at winning. His best chance is to be a spoiler, as he was in ‘00.

Personally, I’d not support him due to his politics, but his lack of ability to connect with people at a visceral level, as Bill Clinton was able to do, prevents him from “selling” his ideas. In all of life, there is a bit of marketing that must go on. Even boring pieces of software are packaged in bright shiny boxes. Nader is a bright shining light to some, but he packages himself in an old stained cardboard box.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at September 26, 2006 8:12 AM
Comment #183915

My impression of Nader has been that he was more on the socialist end of the spectrum than the libertarian end, but I admittedly dont know a great deal about him.

What would you say are Nader’s 3 key issues or core beliefs?

Posted by: Matt at September 26, 2006 9:03 AM
Comment #183937

Without Nader, Bush would never have been president to begin with.

Posted by: Max at September 26, 2006 10:38 AM
Comment #183943

Nader’s a terrific consumer advocate. As a populist politician, he’s well, no Huey Long. Nader would make a great commissioner of the FDA or USDA, or some other agency responsible for consumer advocacy.

The issue with most independent candidates for president (even Perot) is they are one trick ponies. Historically, they don’t do anything more than play spoiler usually against a candidate closer to their political view than the other guy (re: TR’s independent run which got Wilson elected, Nader v Gore & Bush, etc.).

The best way for independents to affect the political landscape is to win seats in congress and change the balance of power from a bi-party power structure to a coalition based legislature. Committees are where legislation is born or killed. Having a majority party running all the committees is the problem. A coalition based legislature has a better chance of getting moderate legislation through to passage.

Posted by: Dennis at September 26, 2006 11:04 AM
Comment #184007

Dennis- In general of course it would be a great way for third parties or independents to affect government through winning seats in Congress. However putting up a successful, and success doesn’t necessarily mean winning, presidential candidate grows third parties and allows them to eventually put up better challenges in Congressional campaigns.

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at September 26, 2006 2:16 PM
Comment #184011

I don’t know. I used to like him as a consumer advocate, but as a politician, he seemed as dishonest and smarmy as many. The fact that he helped serve as a Kingmaker for the current disastrous administration doesn’t endear him to me, either.

I could concievably vote for a third party candidate if it didn’t mean the more evil of the two lessers got in power, but I wouldn’t vote for Nader.

Posted by: Trent at September 26, 2006 2:20 PM
Comment #184024

Max, without Nader voters, same result. Without Democracy - same result. Without the Moon - same result. So, your argument is what?

Folks who oppose candidates who ended being so called “spoilers” are really opposed to democracy and giving voters choice. Every person in America should have the opportunity to run for election without being condemned as spoilers. But, Americans have such a tenuous hold on their self-evalution as winners or losers, that they try to push people who lose as far away from them psychologically as possible. Sad, but true.

Trust me, the world does not end or the sky crash in if one freely votes for the candidate of their choice and they lose. I supported Nader because he was absolutely right about the corruption, abuse, bribery and blackmail of politicians by wealthy special interests and he held up political greed as the culprit. He also sought to empower common people in more oversight of its own government and politicians. Finally, he said the wealthy would bankrupt our nation — Our national debt has risen another trillion dollars since he lost. That’s a trillion dollars taken from our children’s future earnings.

When Americans find and embrace their democracy again, they will stop calling candidate choice alternatives to the greedy and greedier candidates, spoilers. When your candidate doesn’t win, if our democratic republic is working properly, voters should rejoice in the democracy and trust the common sense of the majority in electing representatives. We are a long way from there, now however.

Common sense has nothing to do with it, and money and PR firms and 100’s of millions of false negative and false positive campaign ads replace the issues and stands and directions candidates would take if elected.

I mean here we are again, about to elect or reelect a bunch of politicians - Republicans who won’t change their stance regardless of how badly it fails, and Democrats who won’t take a stand at all, for fear it might alienate some voters. How does common sense vote in such an election? There is only one rational response, vote out incumbents, vote for challengers, and keep doing so, until politicians accept the fact that reelection in the future depends upon positive results from government and politicians adhering to the same laws that govern the rest of us.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 26, 2006 2:47 PM
Comment #184034

Trent- No matter who wins in 2008 the losing major party candidate will most likely blame it on a third party or independent candidate. If the Democrats lose they will blame the Green candidate or Nader, if he runs. If the Republicans lose they will likely blame the Libertarian or Buchanan, if he runs. To the Republicans credit though they have less of a history of blaming people as spoilers, where as the Democrats do nothing but make excuses and call third party candidates spoilers.

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at September 26, 2006 3:06 PM
Comment #184121

Richard said: “To the Republicans credit though they have less of a history of blaming people as spoilers, where as the Democrats do nothing but make excuses and call third party candidates spoilers.”

I agree, but, I think it is more to do with the fact that Republicans didn’t lose as a result of so called spoilers. Had Bush lost with Buchanan as a so called “spoiler” in 2000, I think the same rancor about spoilers would have peeled from the GOP and its supporters as well.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 26, 2006 6:58 PM
Comment #184125


Well, I’m not one-sided about it. I think Perot helped Clinton beat Bush Sr. Just an observation, not meant to be polemical. Dems do nothing, though, is a bit strong.

Posted by: Trent at September 26, 2006 7:18 PM
Comment #184573

Richard and David,

Yeah, I see your point; if you don’t vote for whom you really want elected, then … ? But as a practical matter (and politics is a strange combination of the ideal and practical), we sometimes have to vote in such a way as to prevent the worst scoundrel to win. At least that’s what I feel I need to do.

This actually hasn’t happened in awhile. I liked John Anderson, and almost voted for him, but I ended up going with Carter because, well, aside from his lousy speaking ability, I liked him. Since then I haven’t seen a third party candidate I liked enough to vote for. In the recent elections, I thought Gore was the best choice, and still do. (God, the country would be in so much better shape if he had won.) I liked Kerry, too; my god, as a young man speaking before that Congressional committee — who could not respect that?

I have no problem with people voting for whom they think is the best candidate, but I can regret some things :)

Posted by: Trent at September 27, 2006 8:42 PM
Comment #185236

In 2004, Green Presidential candidate David Cobb said, “I’d rather vote for something I want and not get it than vote for something I don’t want and still get it.” I think that’s the best reasoning for voting for real change.

Also, Max, without Pat Buchannan running on the Reform ticket in 2000, you wouldn’t have had the debacle in Florida (at least, not as much). He got 20,000 votes, which would have been enough to put Bush so far ahead of Gore that it’s likely it wouldn’t have been contested.

And really, why don’t people blame Gore for his loss? Why don’t they blame Gore for not fully contesting the Florida election? Why, when the Congressional Black Caucus brought charges of massive voter disenfranchisement, did Gore not back those charges?

Gore did not deserve to be president in 2000 because he was not willing to take risks—or stand up for disenfranchised voters. And Kerry was practically the same, only in Ohio.

It was the Green and Libertarian party candidates that raised some $300,000 to sponsor a proper recount in Ohio. Kerry never truly signed on, yet he had over $1 million at his disposal. It’s BS that he was too afraid to look like a whiner instead of trying to look like a hero for the disenfranchised.

Posted by: Daniel at September 29, 2006 9:22 PM
Comment #186745

Is the time ripe for one-third of California voters to favor third-party candidates; as a collective “none-of-the above” sentiment in that state’s upcoming Governor’s race?

With the latest-polls showing Phil Angelides at 31 percent approval versus 48 percent for Schwarzenegger (with twenty-one percent remaining undecided) Can it be asked if a growing majority of CA voters may consider voting for any of the third-party candidates?

This would be a six-person Governors race! Remember the 2003 Recall with over a hundred candidates? By comparison, grassroots efforts supporting third-party candidates are possible.

The key message that would resonate with the public would be choices; the choice of four third-party candidates.


* The Democrats who have switched over to Schwarzenegger because they have given-up on Angelides.

* The undecided /malleable voters e.g., who may be undecided because of the classic-dilemma of choosing from the lesser of two evils, or just plain voter confusion, and lack of awareness.

* The favorability of third-party candidates can also stem from an ‘Anybody but Arnold’ sentiments; as third-party candidates must only draw votes from Schwarzenegger.

Already, the California Democratic Party has taken an “anybody but Arnold” approach to their Ad campaigns.


* Phil Angelides can raise his approval ratings up a few points by radio and television appearances alone.

* According to one poll, about 1 in 8 California voters would consider third party candidates; so it’s not that far-fetched that 1 in 3 voters can be swayed to third-party candidates.

— If there are specific parties favored, the first choice may be the ‘Green Party’ as this party favors advocating a majority of the public interest, as well as environmental/green-economic development initiatives; as California wants to advance agendas on cutting greenhouse gases. The ‘Libertarian Party’ favors the reduction of unnecessary government, and subsequent tax-reductions.

* Schwarzenegger would receive less than one-third of the vote; if 1 in 3 voters favor third party candidates, and over one-third of voters favor Angelides.

The California Governor’s election will be a textbook-example of “media-tainment” Yet, an ample majority of California voters are more likely swayed through news without the “media-tainment”, Internet campaigns, and grassroots efforts (largely through old-fashioned word-of-mouth; like the multiplier effect) combined, than are swayed by celebrity appeal alone; especially an appeal orientated around knee-jerk reactions. Talk about choices!

Can “grassroots-efforts” also counter the ‘self fulfilling prophecy effect’ that’s more like a ‘self-defeatist prophecy?’

QUOTES (talking-points) e.g., for bumper stickers:

* Tired of the “media-tainment” elephant in all of its Arnold hype? Vote for one of the “none-of the above!

* Tired of the choosing for the lesser of two evils? Vote for one of the “none-of the above!”

* The first and second parties are uninviting; especially when the third, four, fifth, and sixth parties offered written (printed-ballot) invitations!

* With all mudslinging, nobody seems to come clean; except for third party candidates.

Posted by: Marc Ross at October 6, 2006 5:28 PM
Post a comment