I would like to vote for Ralph Nader on November 2. Really, I would.
Ideologically, he is the candidate for me. I wholeheartedly disagree with the Bush Administration’s policies over the last four years and John Kerry, well, he just isn’t that liberal (despite what conservatives claim).
Unfortunately for me and other like-minded progressives, Nader is not an option in 2004. This presidential race is going to come down to two men, and it’s going to be close. The CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll taken October 14-16 showed George W. Bush leading among likely voters at 52 percent, with John Kerry following at 44 percent, and Nader lagging far behind at only 1 percent.
[Ashley] It seems obvious that Nader, or any other third party candidate for that matter, cannot win this election with such low numbers in the pre-election polls. So why vote third party? I understand the desire to follow your heart by voting for the candidate that truly represents your stance on political, economic, and social issues. Ideally, the goal of an election would be to let your opinions be heard and represented.
However, this isn’t the time to be voting for the Independent, Green, U.S. Taxpayers, Libertarian, or Natural Law candidate. Voters with progressive values need to come together in effort to achieve one goal: defeating Bush. Voting third party distracts from that shared goal; it’s essentially a vote for Bush.
Republicans love the thought of Nader “stealing” votes from Kerry. Many actually took to the streets, petitioning to have Nader included on the ballot. Others donated money to Nader’s campaign, clearly in hopes that Nader’s success would lead to Kerry’s loss come Election Day.
We can’t let that happen. We must all consider the greater good in this situation. Bush needs to be removed from office, and together we can do that. As much as we might like to vote for the candidate that truly represents our voices, we must realize that the U.S. is based on a two party system. The only way a third party could ever get a majority of votes is with drastic reform of the voting system.
One option is Instant Runoff Voting (IRV), in which voters would rank candidates in order of preference. Under IRV, I could choose Nader as my first choice, Kerry as my second, etc. If Nader did not win the majority of votes in my state, my vote would go towards Kerry. This voting method would encourage more people to vote beyond the rigid constraints of Republican v. Democrat. For more information on IRV, go to www.fairvote.org/irv/whatis2.htm
With voting reform not in the near future, liberals must stick together and ensure that Kerry is elected president on November 2. Although Kerry may not be the perfect candidate, at least it’s a new start. We’re all ready for some change; now let’s ensure it happens.

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