Take the VOTE OTHER Pledge!

26 Sep

If you’ve had enough of BOTH parties’ shenanigans…

If you’re tired of having your vote being taken for granted because you “don’t have anywhere else to go”…

If you’re fed up with having to vote for “the lesser evil”…

If you want to have more choices, and hear more viewpoints…

If you want to help create a true multiparty democracy in the USA..

Then take the VOTE OTHER Pledge!

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VOTE OTHER: THE HIDDEN BALLOT QUESTION

27 Sep

OK, look at it this way.

There’s a question on the ballot this November, though you won’t be able to read it.

Here’s the question:

“DO YOU APPROVE OF THE WAY THE RULING CLASS HAS BEEN RUNNING AMERICA?”

By “ruling class” here, we mean the whole works: Republicans, Democrats, legislators, executives, judges, CEOs, think tanks, financiers, media… all the people and institutions who have taken it upon themselves to try to control what the rest of us do with our lives.

And here’s how the vote works:

You can vote “YES” on this question a couple of different ways… You can vote for any of the major party candidates, for instance. If you can find one you want to vote for, hey, more power to you – but you are also issuing a vote of approval for the way the system’s been working.

But you don’t need to go to all that trouble – you could just stay home.

If you DON’T VOTE AT ALL, you are ALSO voting “YES” – at least, that’s the way your absence is seen by the system. You might actually be boycotting because you think the system is corrupt and politicians are ineffectual dunderheads – but as far as they’re concerned, you look like a happy camper.

So how do you vote “NO”? Simple: you VOTE OTHER.

Download the “VOTE OTHER” brochure

27 Jul

Citizens Creative PRESS has published a trifold pamphlet outlining the “VOTE OTHER” strategy. To access this document (PDF format), click the link below.

VOTE OTHER brochure

Government Shutdown? VOTE OTHER

4 Oct

In the wake of the government “shutdown,” people are starting to talk again about what to do about our two-party system.

Ditching the two-party system would first require changing the way we do elections…. and why would the existing pols have any reason to do that?

They would have to be shown, demonstrably and unambiguously, that the American people reject both parties, and the system they represent.

But just boycotting the election doesn’t do that – the System reads nonparticipation as apathy and moves on.

Third-party candidates have a tough time of it – for one thing, since the dissatisfaction with the present system runs across the political spectrum, it’s tough for any one candidate or one party to accumulate enough support to make a difference.

But here’s the thing: who said we all have to vote for the *same* alternative? Wouldn’t it be sufficient, for the purposes of spurring political reform, to show that a majority of voters reject the traditional parties?

All we have to do is vote for somebody ELSE… ANYBODY else.

Imagine an election, for Congress, Senate, or Governor, where the Republican gets, say, 25%… the Dem gets 20%… and OTHERS get 55%. In other words, the major parties FAIL to garner a majority between them. That, I suggest, would be the kind of signal that rattles the DC political establishment to its core.

Vote… but VOTE OTHER.

Gallup: little support for third parties

8 Jul

Joe Gandleman at The Moderate Voice comments on a Gallup poll showing scant support for third-party candidacies this year – which is somewhat surprising, given the level of dissatisfaction among voters. Gandleman points out:

For a viable third party to emerge, the concept has to go beyond the conceptual and needs to be spearheaded by a charismatic, mainstream-oriented figure who can also garner (or who has) the money needed to mount such a difficult campaign, plus the political smarts to oversee and assemble a strong political organization that can at least acceptably compete with the big, entrenched political parties.

He is, of course, absolutely correct.  But given the present situation, with such a broad disparity of viewpoints among the disaffected, there is no way that such a leader could emerge.

This means that the VOTE OTHER strategy becomes even more crucial if we are to see any significant improvement in the political system in our lifetimes.

ADVANTAGES OF THE “VOTE OTHER” STRATEGY

17 May

Why VOTE OTHER?

It’s important to remember that the “VOTE OTHER” movement is not aimed at actually electing third-party or independent candidates (though it would be great if that were to happen more frequently) – it is aimed at gathering a majority against the duopoly candidates and, by extension, the parties and system they represent. Therefore, it is not necessary for participants to coalesce behind any individual candidate, or even to agree on any political program or viewpoint.

This means that the movement cannot be attacked by focusing on the shortcomings and foibles of individuals.

The “VOTE OTHER” strategy is also ideal for citizens who have become so disillusioned with politicians and politics that they have dropped out of the system and decided not to vote. In a time when large percentages of the electorate have given up, this strategy could encourage greater voter participation and engagement.

It’s not just a problem, it’s the law: Duverger’s Law & Third Parties

19 Sep

Third parties and alternative political movements have a hard time gaining meaningful traction in the American system.   Part of the reason is explained by a principle known in political science circles as “Duverger’s Law.” Basically, this law states that our electoral system – sometimes called “winner take all” or “first past the post” – almost inevitably leads to a strong two-party system (though there have been exceptions).  So, the obvious conclusion is that those of us who want to see a more pluralistic, multiparty democracy must first seek changes in the electoral system itself. No charismatic independent leader, or centrist coalition, or other factor will break the duopoly’s death grip on power, media attention, and public allegiance as long as electoral law remains unchanged.

“VOTE OTHER PROJECT” PRESS RELEASE

28 Oct

VOTE OTHER PROJECT
PRESS RELEASE
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.

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Hello world!

4 Sep

Welcome to the VOTE OTHER Project!