Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Why most of us can vote third party

As I've noted before, we Catholics and pro-lifers are in a difficult position this year, if we limit ourselves to the candidates of the two main parties.

But only if we limit ourselves to those two main parties.

After all, we can vote third party.

The most frequently raised objection is that by voting third party we will be throwing the election to the candidate we don't like.

For Catholics who live in states where there might actually be a contest that might be a factor to consider. The old voting for the lesser evil - or voting to lessen the evil - arguments might come into play. (Though I still contend that the voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil - and this time around, both major party candidates are just so objectionable.)

But for most of us, that simply is not the case.

First, remember that it is not popular vote that decides who will be President. It is electoral votes, and how many such votes the states have vary based on population. One can win the majority of the popular vote , and even the majority of states, yet still lose the election.

Now if you look back at presidential elections over the last few decades, in the majority of states the candidate of one party or the other almost always wins the state. Take my state, New York. The Democratic candidate has overwhelmingly won the last 7 presidential elections. In California, the largest state with the most electoral votes, the Democratic candidate has won the last 6 elections. On the other hand, Texas has gone to the Republican candidate the last 9 elections.

There are realistically only a few states with enough electoral votes to be significant that could go one way or the other. Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Virginia are the ones most often mentioned. One's vote might make a difference in those states. For the rest of us, our votes basically don't count. In New York, I could votes 10,000 times for the Republican candidate - were I so inclined - and the Democratic candidate would still win. Heck, in 2012, I could have voted one million times for Mitt Romney, and President Obama still would have won!

So unless we live in one of the few swing states, for most of us, we are free to vote third party or for write-in candidates. We can vote our consciences freely.

There is now a party and candidates we can support.

The American Solidarity Party has nominated Mike Maturen for President and Juan Munoz for Vice President.

The Party's platform is very much in conformity with Catholic and Christian teachings on issues like abortion, the death penalty, economic justice, war, marriage, subsidiarity, and so on.

So, for many of us who live in states where our vote doesn't matter, we can vote for the  Maturen/Munoz ticket in good conscience. We would be voting for someone with whom we agree, and we don't have to worry about swinging the election to a candidate we find completely objectionable.

The good thing about the ASP is that it is new and has room to grow - a centrist party would be a welcome thing in this country, as opposed to the extremism of the two main parties or most of the third parties. Who knows, if one of the major parties does indeed splinter and essentially die as some pundits say might happen, the ASP could become one of the main parties - that's what happened with the Republicans just before the Civil War.

Again, if I lived in one of the swing states, I might be tempted to vote differently (though I suspect I would still vote ASP). But I don't live in such a state - and most Catholics don't. So we are free to vote for someone who is not the "lesser of evils."

We can actually vote for a good candidate.

Imagine that.

Pax et bonum


A Secular Franciscan said...

Here are some of the Presidential election results in New York -

2012 Democratic margin: 3.5 million
2008 Democratic margin: 1.8 million
2004 Democratic margin: 1.2 million
2000 Democratic margin: 1.7 million
1996 Democratic margin: 1.9 million
1992 Democratic margin: 1.1 million
1988 Democratic margin: 260 thousand
1984 Republican margin: 545 thousand
1980 Republican margin: 165 thousand

Pat, Marcus & Alexis said...

I agree with your analysis. Indeed, my state is going for Donald Trump no matter what, so there's no danger at all of votes for third party candidates tipping the balance in favor of Hillary Clinton here. It's impossible.

I was also intrigued by the American Solidarity Party, but for what its worth Dr. Amir Azarvan has already dropped out as their candidate. Apparently his university employer indicated it wouldn't provide him with time to campaign, or something along those lines (it isn't clear to me). Mike Maturen will apparently be their candidate. I don't know if that's good or bad, but it is. I would think, however, that a party that nominated a candidate who then immediately drops out is off to a bad start.

A Secular Franciscan said...

Thanks - I was aware and was going to change the candidates' names - but you got here first!

Pat, Marcus & Alexis said...

I am, quite frankly, quite disappointed.

Not that I think that Maturen is a bad guy. I thought Azarvan was interesting, even though I don't agree with him on everything.

I really also think that the nominee dropping out just days after he accepts is a really horrific start for that party. It makes it difficult to take the party seriously, as it sounds so much like "sorry guys, my mother said I couldn't play". I will accept his situation, but it's a very bad start indeed.

A Secular Franciscan said...

Valid point. Azarvan agreed to run because we needed a candidate, and didn't realize what it would entail. That's what you get when you have average people running. I fully understand his reasons - family does come first, and who knew his employer would cause a problem - though I think it does not help to improve the party's credibility. It's fortunate that it happened so quickly, and as word of the party hasn't really gotten out so many people won't know too much about it.

Pat, Marcus & Alexis said...

In my view, he had the opportunity to run an Internet campaign, the 21st Century version of a "front porch" campaign.

I have some problems with the employer causing a problem concept as I can't quite see how in this day and age, what with academic freedom et al, a university can really do that. But I haven't looked into his situation either.

A Secular Franciscan said...

I think that's what he hoped. But when his employer said he would have to go without pay for the semester, and he is the sole means of support for his family, he had to withdraw.

Pat, Marcus & Alexis said...

That would be the deciding factor for me as well.