VOTE OTHER PROJECT
28 October 2010
GREEN OFFICIAL URGES DISILLUSIONED VOTERS TO “VOTE OTHER”
Encourages Support of Third-Party and Independent Candidates; Says “Break the Duopoly”
(HONESDALE, PA) Citizens who have become disgusted or disillusioned with the political process, or who feel that their points of view are not adequately represented, usually stay at home on Election Day. But local Green Party chair Skip Mendler has a different suggestion.
Mendler says such people should “VOTE OTHER” – that is, support third-party and independent candidates wherever possible.
“Here’s the problem,” says Mendler. “If someone’s not voting as a matter of protest, as far as the politicians are concerned that looks the same as someone who’s just lazy or apathetic.”
He suggests that part of the problem with politics is what the Greens call “the duopoly” – the traditional two-party system.
“There’s a broad spectrum of valid political discourse that just gets chucked out the window, that the American voter doesn’t hear about in the media and that they don’t get to choose from at the ballot box,” says Mendler. In Pennsylvania this year, for example, Green candidate for US Senate Mel Packer was forced off the ballot by the threat of an expensive lawsuit from the state Democratic Party – and the state Republican Party did the same thing to the entire Libertarian Party slate, which included candidates for Senator, Governor, and Lieutenant Governor.
“Whether you’re on the left or the right, in many states the traditional parties have a stranglehold on the mechanisms of democracy, and you do not get heard,” says Mendler.
Mendler hopes that by “voting other,” the American people can send a signal to those in power that there is a broad level of dissatisfaction not just with both parties, but with the overall power structure in American politics.
Mendler’s goal is “first, to produce election results where the mainstream parties together garner less than 50 percent of the vote,” he says. This, he believes, would reflect a rejection by voters of the “ruling class” as a whole. Eventually, he wants to see “a true multiparty democracy in America – one that better reflects our political diversity, and allows more citizens and more points of view to have a seat at the decisionmaking table. To do that, first we have to break the duopoly.”
More information about the Vote Other Project is available at www.voteother.us.