Saturday, September 18, 2004

Tracking The Fringe Candidates

A few days ago my favorite electoral vote poll tracking site (despite the webmaster's political views), Current Electoral Vote Predictor, offered a link to a page at Politics1 that shows state-by-state ballot status for a dozen fringe/spoiler candidates. I didn't know that Leonard Peltier was running, albeit only on California's ballot. Robbie Robertson did a song with and about him several years ago regarding his controversial conviction (Clinton was petitioned to pardon Peltier, but he didn't). Being in prison probably kept Peltier out of the running in a few states, but it's nice to know California doesn't discriminate against incarcerated people. Why isn't Manson on the ballot? He's got name recognition, just like Arnold.

And what's up with the Socialist Workers Party? Their candidate, Roger Calero, is constitutionally ineligible for the presidency because he wasn't born here. Why would you nominate someone who couldn't be president? Isn't that a way of acknowledging that you don't have a prayer? Do socialists pray? Oh well, I suppose they wouldn't release Peltier if he won, so that makes two "impossible" candidates regardless of how many votes they get.

Speaking of spoiler candidates, I recently found an old quote from Ralph Nader regarding the Republicans' beloved Saint Ronnie: "Reagan is the most ignorant president since Warren Harding." And now the Republicans are trying to help him get on the ballot. Politics certainly makes strange bedfellows!

Fortunately for Kerry, Nader probably won't draw as many voters away from the Democratic Party this time around. It was nice to be idealistic when Clinton was the president and everything was going well, but now people are seeing where Bush & Co. have taken this country and deciding that it is more important to defeat him than to make some sort of a statement by voting for a candidate who can't win. At least I hope people realize that.

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