[sixties-l] Nader or Gore? (fwd)

From: Matthew J. Countryman (mcountry@umich.edu)
Date: 11/01/00

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    My friends and I have been debating the Nader/Gore dilemma for weeks and
    have finally concluded that it is a false choice created by the two-party
    system and the winner-take-all electoral college.   There are numerous
    examples of electoral systems that allow voters to express both their
    first choice (as a statement of political philosophy) and, if necessary,
    their second choice (in order to oppose even worse alternatives).  We
    therefore issued the following call to Nader supporters in Michigan (a
    swing-state that could decide the election between Gore and Bush) and Gore
    supporters in New York (a solid Gore state in which large number of Gore
    voters should be willing to support the Green party's drive for 5%).  Our
    goal simply is to contribute to the defeat of George W. without
    undercutting the Green Party effort to win federal matching funds.
    
    You can find the details of our effort below and on our website:
    www.nadergore.org.  If you live in Michigan or New York and would like to
    participate, please send an email to nadergore@hotmail.com with your email
    address and phone number so that you can confirm your match.  If you live
    elsewhere, there are links on our website to other nadertrader
    voteswapping websites.  The fact that others came up with this idea
    independently suggests its potential power.
    
    One other note: It seems to me that Humphrey and the Democrats (and LBJ)
    are primarily responsible for their defeat in 68 (as the recent
    revelations that Humphrey knew from wiretaps of Nixon's effort to undercut
    the Paris Peace talks and chose to remain quiet make clear), just as
    Carter was responsible for his defeat in 80 (not Anderson or Commoner).
    Even if Nader contributes to Gore's defeat next week, it will primarily be
    Gore's fault.
    
    Matthew Countryman
    Assistant Professor of History and American Culture
    University of Michigan
    mcountry@umich.edu
    
    
    Nader or Gore?
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    Nader OR Gore ?
     
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    A Call to Nader Supporters in Michigan and Gore Voters in New York to Work Together to Defeat George W. Bush and to Help Ralph Nader Reach the 5% Plateau

    Al wins <--> Ralph gets 5%

    NADER VS. GORE:
    A FALSE CHOICE

    Like many of you, we have struggled with the question of whether to vote for Ralph Nader or Al Gore in the upcoming election. As activists with a long-term commitment to racial justice, civil liberties, reproductive freedom, a clean environment, and the struggle for economic equality, we believe that the Gore/Nader dilemma is a false one. We believe that most progressives can agree that helping Ralph Nader reach the 5% goal and defeating George W. Bush are both worthy and necessary goals. In the 1996 presidential election, we both wrote in Ralph Nader. This year, we believe we have found a way to continue supporting Ralph, while voting to defeat George W. We can have our cake and eat it too!!

    THE SOLUTION IS A VOTE SWAP

    As progressives, we are working to match Nader supporters in Michigan who are willing to swap their votes with Gore supporters in New York. Specifically, we are urging Michigan progressives who are supporting or leaning towards Nader to vote for Gore. And in return we are asking voters in New York who are supporting or learning towards Gore to vote for Nader.

    A VOTE FOR GORE IN MICHIGAN...

    The race in Michigan is currently too close to call. The votes of Nader supporters could determine who wins the state and therefore who wins the national election. Michigan, with its 18 electoral votes, may determine the outcome of this extremely close presidential race. If Bush were to win, he would likely have 2 or 3 Supreme Court nominations in the next 4 years and he has said that he will appoint justices in the mold of Scalia and Thomas. Thus, if Bush is elected we can say goodbye to reproductive rights, affirmative action, environmental protection laws and constitutional rights that we all hold dear. The last poll of likely voters had Bush winning the election in Michigan by .2 of a percentage point. The same poll had Ralph Nader with 4% of the Michigan vote. We believe that it is therefore imperative that Michigan progressives cast their votes for the Vice President, if only to defeat George W.

    FOR A NADER VOTE IN NEW YORK

    At the same time, Michigan progressives can continue to express our support for Nader by matching our votes with Gore supporters in New York who are willing to vote for Nader. According to the most recent polls in New York, Vice President Gore enjoys a 20+ point lead in the state. Whether he wins by 10 or 15% in New York will in no way affect the outcome of the national election. In contrast, New York votes for Nader could make an important contribution towards the goal of demonstrating the existence of a progressive voting bloc in the U.S. They could determine whether the consumer advocate reaches 5% and therefore whether the Green Party receives federal matching funds in the next presidential election. Moreover, they will send a message to the Democratic Party that they cannot afford to take progressive votes for granted.

    VOTING FOR OUR FIRST AND SECOND CHOICES

    We are sick of supporting the lesser of two evils. We all want to be able to vote for a candidate who reflects the ideals that we support. If the U.S. were to adopt the Instant Runoff Vote (IRV) system currently utilized in Australian presidential elections, we would all be able to vote for Nader as our first choice and then for Gore as our second choice.

    STRATEGIC VOTING IN AN ELECTORAL COLLEGE SYSTEM

    Our electoral college system gives us the opportunity to express our first and second choices if we organize effectively. Together we can defeat Bush in Michigan, while building a Nader vote that will help the Green Party reach its 5% national goal. We CAN have our cake and eat it too.

    HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THE NADER/GORE VOTE SWAP FOR MICHIGAN & NEW YORK VOTERS

    Click here to participate!

    WHAT IF I DON'T LIVE IN MICHIGAN OR NEW YORK?

    If you would like to participate in a vote swap, but don't live in Michigan or New York, there are other voter exchange websites you can visit. See our links section.

    WIN-WIN PROPOSALS BEAT LOSING

    We believe that ours is a win-win proposal. Please consider participating in this innovative program. Like all political coalitions, the vote exchange will depend on trust. But we believe that there are enough voters in our two states who recognize the value of these two electoral goals to make this program work. We don't want to wake up on November 8th with the same sinking feeling in our stomachs that we had the day after Reagan was elected in 1980! Thanks.

    Matthew Countryman and Nimish Ganatra
    Ann Arbor, Michigan



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