Sunday, November 4, 2012

Third-Party candidacy - it's a good thing?

A New York Times article focuses on Virginia where a third party candidate may take votes away from Romney. The gist seems to be that a third-party is something to be disdained. But isn't more candidates with more and different ideas good for democracy?

Apparently it isn't when the votes are taken away from your candidate. But isn't that the goal - take away votes from the other candidate? There is an assumption that registered Republicans vote Republican and registered Democrats vote Democratic. It just ain't so - arguably any third-party candidate will take votes away from both of the other candidates.

And if the assumption is that the third-party candidate can't win - are the votes he or she garners statistically significant?

And isn't a bigger problem - the electoral college?

Popular vote doesn't necessarily require that the popular candidate win.
"There is no Constitutional provision or Federal law that requires Electors to vote according to the results of the popular vote in their States. Some States, however, require Electors to cast their votes according to the popular vote. These pledges fall into two categories—Electors bound by State law and those bound by pledges to political parties." [Citations in the original text]. [U. S. Electoral College: Presidential Election Laws].
Now that is more scary than voter fraud or third-party candidacy.