Re: greens for browne

From: Dave Sill (
Date: Sat Oct 14 2000 - 15:25:55 MDT

Spike Jones <> wrote:
> Nowthen, suppose we go ahead and accept things the way
> they are, recognizing that the winner of this election will be
> either the Democrat or the Republican. I dont know the exact
> numbers, but suppose that currently the likely voters are as follows:
> Republican: 45%
> Democrat: 46%
> Green: 2%
> Libertarian: 2%
> undecided: 5%
> If this is the case, then obviously this election is going to be a
> cliffhanger,

You really have to look at it state-by-state, though. It's the electoral
breakdown that matters, not the popular vote.

> and the outcome is important as all hell,

Is it? Sure, given the choice between Gore and Bush I'd rather see Bush
elected. But they're idealogically so close that I don't think it matters
much which is elected. And who knows...if Gore is elected and goes overboard
his liberal agenda it could cause a swing back toward smaller, less
intrusive government. Or maybe not.

> so then
> suppose further that:
> 1) You decide you will donate 500 bucks to some political
> party and 20 hours of your time campaigning for them.
> 2) That you are a Libertarian
> What is the most logical thing to do? Vote Republican, your
> *second* choice, and donate your money and time to...
> the GREEN PARTY! Your last choice! The Eco-nazis!
> Reasoning: since the news media is covering everything
> said and done by the Rs and Ds, your paltry 500 bucks
> and 20 hours would sway perhaps 10 votes. However,
> if you donate and campaign to one of the "miscellaneous"
> parties, you will sway perhaps 100 votes with the same
> donation and effort. The 100 votes you win for the eco-
> nazis would be mostly at the expense of your third choice
> Dems, whereas if you donated and campaigned for the
> Libertarians, the 100 votes you would sway would come
> at the expense of your second choice Republicans!
> So, Mike, you are absolutely right, dammit. {8-[ The logical
> thing for a pragmatic Green to do is to vote Democrat and campaign
> for and donate to Browne, while the most logical thing for a pragmatic
> Libertarian to do is to vote Republican and donate to Darth
> Nader. Libertarians for eco-totalitarianism. Greens for Browne.
> Ill be damned.
> What am I missing? spike

You're missing the long view. Despite the fairly close polls at this time,
the election will probably be another electoral landslide. Your 100 votes
subtracted from Gore still won't have any effect on the outcome of the
election, even multiplied by hundreds if you could convince others to do the
same thing. So while this strategy maximizes your effect on the coming
election, its not going to be enough.

So we should be looking at the next election, the one after that, or the one
after that. We should be growing the Libertarian Party. First we want to get
it to the point that most people are aware of it--enough that LP candidates
will get press commensurate with their poll numbers. Next, maybe the LP
presidential candidate draws enough votes to have changed the outcome of the
election. At that point, Demos and Repubs will start adopting Libertarian
ideas to draw Libertarian voters, and even without a Libertarian President
we'll start to see some Libertarian initiatives. Eventually, a Libertarian
candidate will be a serious contender and the duopoly will be a thing of the

You're also missing the fact that it's morally reprehensible to support your
enemies. If every Libertarian did as you suggest, the Greens would get a
huge boost and the LP would be seriously set back.

The best way to support the LP is to support the LP. Vote LP. Donate to the
LP and the LP candidates. Don't play games trying to maximize your impact
that could backfire.


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