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Larry Kestenbaum (polygon@potifos.com) - 2003-11-05 11:08:09
It is extremely difficult for an independent or third-party candidate to beat the majors in a partisan election. It requires an intense campaign (one reaching practically ALL of the potential voters) and special circumstances, usually including some compelling reason for Democrats or Republicans to abandon their nominee in this case. We ask a lot of our voters. From president and vice president to governor, state rep, university regents, judges, county drain commissioner and all that, collectively, your personal vote helps chose more than 100 elected posts. I myself, a longtime politico, cannot recite off the top of my head all of the names of the officials theoretically answerable to me. And lots of voters come to the polls without even knowing who's on the ballot for low-level offices like city council. Partisanship is a simplifying assumption which helps voters navigate this thicket. More than that, people take it for granted that major party nominees are not complete loons. Independent and small party candidates, lacking even this mininal quality assurance, have to reach and persuade voters that they are solid and worth voting for. Given these realities, if you really want to replace 1st Ward incumbents Robert Johnson or Kim Groome, you have to run in the Democratic primary.


Larry Kestenbaum (polygon@potifos.com) - 2003-11-05 11:09:36
Phooey -- I forgot to mark off my paragraphs with HTML tags.

js (rock@sgipub.com) - 2003-11-05 17:01:20
Hey, I voted for Haug, despite the fact that he never came to my house and I didn't receive any mailings, because of what he said on Goodspeed. But for those without access to weblogs, some actual fucking campaigning probably wouldn't have hurt Haug or Lax. And I'm not just talking about going door-to-door (though neither made it to my neighborhood, fulla po' people). I'm talking about actively seeking endorsments from community leaders, sending out mailings, communicating with voters and even pooling resources with other independents. This election was a great chance for the third parties to win, because there wasn't any Republican challenger, and most of the ward is solidly in the socialist camp. Without the risk that comes from not voting Dem when there's a Republican running, they should have been easier to convince IF anyone bothered to communicate with them. Poor organization lost this election, and inertia won it. js

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