Power And Dollar

How can a third candidate (Nader or Bloomberg) produce effective and positive impact to the nation?


How can a third candidate produce effective and positive impact to the nation?


If a third candidate (Ralph Nader or Michael Bloomberg) enters the race, quite often he will draw votes from one side of the spectrum.  This one side of the spectrum may get >50% of the popular votes.  The third candidate may have a good agenda, yet the worst candidate (the other side of the spectrum who has <50% of the popular votes) may actually get elected.  Should the third candidate quit?  A lot of blames were placed on Ralph Nader for 2000 presidential election.  Should he not run for the Democrats to maximize the chance of Democrats?  Should Michael Bloomberg not run to maximize the chances of Republicans?  How can any third candidate make the States a better country without having changes in the election rules?

The key is the third candidate has to be perceived out of this one dimension spectrum, i.e. his platform has to be able, before the TV box and proven after the exit polls, that he got votes from both side of the existing dimension.  For this to happen, he does not only have to offer something down the middle in the existing political spectrum, but also to create a new dimension of political spectrum so that the political landscape becomes a two dimensional political space rather than an one dimensional space.  

This new political dimension has to be able to draw resonance from both sides of the existing spectra and not conflict with anything they now adhere to.  What would this something be that chamber of commerce kind of Republican /fiscal conservatives, religious right, foreign policy enthusiasts, social liberals, labour protectionists (anti-free trade or industrial upgrade advocates) have in common?  

Once this new dimension is acknowledged by the general public, then three or even four candidates may survive in the market of votes.  Only then would the third candidate no longer be perceived as the spoiler.  When the general public accepts this reality, the big/conventional/traditional two political parties will then have to get out of their deadlock and respond harder to their voters.  After all, this is a market too.  When there are more competitors, they have to compete harder, respond better, and devise better products (be it better politics or better platform).  

Of course, there is one market failure in this situation:  the electoral system is still a winner takes all.  Strategic voting will continue to work at that very last second when the voter makes up his/her mind in the booth.  The solution to that or the improvement to that failure is: preferential ballot.  


February 25, 2008 - Posted by | Current Affairs | , , , , , ,

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