Tag Archives: president

Nader and Third Party Politics

Despite what you may think about the American Presidential campaign, there are more candidates than just Obama and McCain running for the office. One of the candidates is Ralph Nader, the consumer advocate crusader of the 1970s who worked successfully to improve vehicle safety.  Nader and other third party candidates have been shut out of the debates. Is this fair or better put, is it just?

I happen to like two party politics. It is simple. Contrary to the claims of the third party candidates, differences do exist between Democrats and Republicans. Granted those differences get frequently blurred, but they do exist.

The real question before us is whether it is fair to shut out other candidates for president from the presidential debate? How should debate committees decide who is allowed to participate? Should it be 1. is the candidate on the ballot in all 50 states? 2. the candidate has a certain level of support in the polls? or their party got a certain level of voter support in the last election?

The trouble is if you make the bar too high, you effectively stifle options. But if you set the bar too low you allow essentially any extreme group to gum up the works by raising issues that will never carry the day. It would be like the opinions of one student dominating the course of class discussion. The tyranny of the minority.

So I am interested in hearing what Europeans think of the matter? Other groups are welcome to pipe in too.