Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Third Party, or an Alternative Process?

This article about Americans Elect just ran in the News & Observer. The nonprofit group has one of the most flashy/social-media-y websites I've ever seen (it reminds me of the "We the People" petition site). It heralds itself as facilitating the "first nonpartisan presidential nomination." They're on the ballot in 16 states already, and expect to be approved by North Carolina in March.
Obama only won North Carolina by 14,000 votes in 2008, so any development that could split the vote in some manner will attract attention. The article points out the potential impact of third-party candidates, referring to Ross Perot and Ralph Nader.
I'm really fascinated by this group, and wonder whether this signals an attempt to affect the gridlock in Congress...outside of Congress. As the article notes, the group hopes to "help break gridlock and change politics as usual" and nominate a candidate who will put "American interests before special interests" and "reach across party lines to form a balanced ticket."
They already have more than 2,467,000 signatures. It will be interesting to track the group's progress and see where they end up- even if it's just a flash in the pan, the principles that are being articulated are telling of wider phenomena.
Their leading "draft candidates" are Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman and Bernie Sanders (Colbert and Stewart are up there, too). Perhaps the common thread is a deviation from the status quo?

Read more here:

1 comment:

  1. I am not really convinced by a third party argument to break gridlock in Congress. The past has shown that a third party cannot win presidential elections, even though it can be effective in winning enough votes to make itself heard.I think that the most important problem for American Elect is that they do not have a leader. Ross Perot's movment was defined by its leadership and he did not win...