Vote for the Minor Party of Your Choice!
by Fred E. Foldvary, Senior Editor
In California, where I live, many voters are unhappy with the major-party candidates for governor. They think the Democratic-party governor bumbled the electricity crisis and caters too much to special interests that contribute funds to his campaign, while the Republican-party candidate made an accusation about the governor's receipt of contributions that turned out to be glaringly false, something he should have checked on prior to making this blunder. Fortunately in California, we have several minor parties as an alternative to the otherwise dismal choice.
All across America, there are minor "third" parties on the ballot. While the Democratic and Republican parties have some differences, they both support similar broad policies. For example, there is little substantial difference in foreign policy between the two major parties. Both happily go to war, whether to Vietnam or Iraq. In economic policy, the Republicans and Democrats both support the tax structure we have and programs such as spending more to subsidize prescription drugs and nationalize education. Even where there are heated differences such as on the right to abortion, in the end, the actual policy pursued does not differ much.
The innovative ideas and visions for the future come from the minor parties. They offer not just some changes within the system, but different and possibly better systems. The Libertarian Party seeks radical liberty, an exhilarating world with the freedom to do anything peaceful and honest, and no bureaucrats to tax everything that moves. The Green Party envisions a world with a clean and beautiful natural environment, to switch voting to proportional representation by party, and also have government provide for basic needs such as medicine and housing. The Reform Party seeks to stop the capture of government by special interests. The Natural Law party wants to harness our knowledge of nature and the power of meditation to heal society, and also to bring together the minor parties. The Constitution Party, known in California as the American Independent Party, seeks to base our laws on God, the traditional Family, and the Constitution.
All of these visions are incomplete, but at least they offer a real ideology and program for significant improvements. They offer a refreshing change from the negative campaigns and superficial appeals of the major parties: brochures showing the candidate with this smiling wife, several grinning children, and a dog with its tongue hanging out. We don't see his back side, where he has a wallet bulging with cash from the moneyed interests he caters to.
When we vote, we vote on two levels. On one level, we are voting for particular candidates and propositions. On a higher level, we are voting for an entire political system. Voting for a Democrat or Republican is not just voting for that person to represent you, but also endorsing the status-quo, the current political system they represent. If you vote for a major party candidate, you become indirectly responsible for what he does; you put him in power and have approved of the political structure in which he operates.
Some folks are disgusted with politics, see it as corrupt, and so refuse to vote. But I think there is no such thing as not voting, if you are eligible to vote. If you don't cast a ballot, you are in effect voting to let everyone else decide the outcome. There is no way to tell from the percentage who do not cast ballots whether they are just lazy, or have better things to do, or refuse to vote out of principle.
So if you don't like the current system of politics, government, and law; if you think the system needs major changes or we need a different system; if you think the government does not really represent the will of the people; if you strongly disagree with the way we elect government officials; then you should logically vote for a minor party. There are enough minor parties in most states so that one will most closely fit your own vision. So vote for the minor party of your choice! In many cases, you can vote for several minor parties, since most minor parties do not have candidates in all the offices to vote for. If there is no minor party for a particular office, then just leave that blank. Voting blank sends a message that you do not approve of the choices offered. Voting blank is a clearer message than not voting at all. It is like "none of the above."
Why vote at all? Because if you care about the world, voting is the righteous thing to do. Voting will make you feel good. Sure, one vote will not determine any outcome except in a small election. But that is not why most people vote. Many vote because they think it is a civic duty. We also vote because at the moment we cast the ballot, we are sovereign human beings. All other times, we are slaves to government chiefs. They tax us, restrict us, use force against us, cheat us, and bully us. The tyrants murder innocent people, and get away with it. There is little we can do about it; they have the big guns.
But when I am in the voting booth, I am king. During those few minutes, I am truly free. I get to say what the taxes and spending shall be. I get to choose who gets in power. At that moment, I am politically sovereign, I use my sovereignty to reject the system. It is a secret ballot, so nobody knows how I really voted, but I do, and the satisfaction is in my mind. If I did not cast a ballot, I would feel deprived of my sovereignty, and by voting to let others decide, would have implicitly endorsed the current system. No! I don't endorse it! I must vote "no!" on the system. I do this by voting for minor parties and for blankity blank.
So on Tuesday, go to the polls and vote. That moment of sovereignty will be good for your soul, and if you vote blank or third party, you will be morally absolved of responsibility for the evil deeds that government may do.
-- Fred Foldvary
Copyright 2002 by Fred E. Foldvary. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, which includes but is not limited to facsimile transmission, photocopying, recording, rekeying, or using any information storage or retrieval system, without giving full credit to Fred Foldvary and The Progress Report.
What are your views? Share your opinion with The Progress Report:
Page One Page Two Archive Discussion Room Letters What's Geoism?