Gatemouth Joins The Times Editorial Board
“Both Mr. Spitzer and Mr. Faso have been cross-endorsed by other parties….This is part of a strange shell game that is unique to New York politics. Rather than field their own candidates, third parties can simply latch onto somebody else’s nominee. …The Working Families Party, which has had a great deal of success in recent years, says it exists to pressure Democrats (and an occasional rogue Republican) into supporting progressive principles. But there are lots of ways to push for change in Albany or in local government that are not such blatant invitations to abuse. The cross-endorsement system is basically a permission slip to sell lines on the New York ballot to the highest bidders. At its best, the system rewards parties with little or no accountability outside of a small group of organizers with a disproportionate amount of power. Their key to electoral success does not lie in developing candidates who can appeal to the voters. It lies in picking a really good name. (Who could be against independence? Or working families?) After that, all that is necessary is to cross-endorse Republicans or Democrats who are hungry for extra positions on the ballot — or afraid that the third-party line could be handed over to a genuine candidate who might siphon away needed votes. If you want to vote for a real third-party candidate, the ballot is going to be full of them. The Libertarian, Green and Socialist Workers Parties all have their own nominees for governor. Qualifying through petition signatures is easy enough that even the Rent Is Too High party made the cut. But if you want to vote for Eliot Spitzer or John Faso, stick to the parties they really belong to.”
New York Times Editorial, Sunday, November 5, 2006
Actually, I sincerely hope that the Conservative Party gets the 50,000 votes on its line for Governor it needs to keep its line on the ballot, so it can continue to push the NYS Republican Party to the unelectable right, extort them, and occasionally cost the Republicans elections by endorsing their own candidates. Last time around, the Conservative Party cost the Republicans a State Senate seat in Syracuse; here’s hoping that this year they do so in Staten Island as well.
For those who’ve recently watched me unrelentingly dump without mercy on the Working Families Party (WFP) (see here, here, here, and here), I should make it crystal clear that if you want to vote for Eliot Spitzer, but you cannot bring yourself to do so on the Democratic line, then I plead with you to instead do so on the line of the WFP, rather than for one second consider a vote for Spitzer on the line of the repugnant Independence Party (IP) (for the reasons why see here, here, here, here, here, here and here).If necessary, write Spitzer in; your vote won’t be counted (since under state law, write-ins count only for candidates whose names do not appear on the ballot) but it’s still preferable to a vote for the IP. Even a vote for Faso, or the goddamned Bush-enabling Green Party would be preferable to one extra minute of the IP’s continued existence.
But for those who find compelling the idea that a vote for the WFP “Sends a Message”, let me offer a counter argument.
The real message we need to send with this election is that the public’s tolerance for poorly planned and oedipally motivated wars, massive transfer payments to the superrich, and social policy in the hands of snake-handlers, has come to an ignominious end.
The way to send that message is to elect a Democratic Congress, but because of gerrymandering and the inherent nature of the Senate, the magnitude of the massive public repudiation of the Republican Party may get lost if the race is solely calculated by the number of Democratic victories.
However, in every election, commentators always take note of the number of actual votes cast on the Democratic line for Congress versus the number of votes actually cast on the Republican line. The message from that vote total will not be muted by a smaller number of actual victories; in fact, commentators will note the dichotomy when speaking of the actual scale of the Republican’s massive defeat.
However, what would mute the scale of that defeat and mute the message would be anti-Republican votes cast on lines other than the Democratic for Congress, even if those votes were actually cast for Democratic candidates. Therefore, if you truly want your voice to be heard you have only one option:
“SEND A MESSAGE; VOTE FOR THE DEMOCRAT ON THE DEMOCRATIC LINE!”
Gatemouth's Homepage was updated on 11/05/06; for more fun and laughter, visit:
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