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gop4e

Third parties: Just try to stop 'em!

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As you know, there is serious efforts going on to keep Ralph Nader in the race (if you're a Republican) and keep him out (if you're a democrat). All the means are legal that are being employed, however they look sneaky and nasty to the public.

I think instead of primaries for certain third parties, there should be a campaign to get on the ballott in all 50 states. Plus they'd have to fend off the major parties if they are "spoiler" parties/candidates.

How about:

If it is a new party or independent candidate, they must establish themselves by actively campaigning to get on the ballott (like Perot). There would be no primaries for the third party, as there would all ready be a preferred candidate. The leader would have to campaign hard state-by-state, and if they have enough money, appear in the media. Once there seemed to be enough support gauged in a particular state, the party could apply to appear on the ballott (by collecting signatures or holding a nominating convention* in that state).

Libertarians, Greens, Constitution, and Reform (after 1992) would still have primaries, since they are established and it would be futile to try to knock them out. The early reform movement led by Perot in 1992 was still in its infancy, although popular, and is subject to the rules I propose here.

The major parties have the available options during the primary phase to deal with the third party if they find them a help or nussiance:

support the third party/candidate: Help the candidate get on the ballott using your foot soldiers to circulate thier petitions or have your foot soldiers encourage your party faithful to attend the nominating convention and vote for the candidate.

Benefits: moves undecides toward third party, not your opponent, weakens oponents base core, negative news story for oponent (headline: Environmentalists bolt to Nader)

Consequences: More attention to campaign reform issues, chance of integrity scandal, possibility of negative news stories (headline: Bush campaign actively supporting Nader candidacy), chance of backfire

sabotage the third party bid: Use your crusaders/media to denounce the third party (headline: Rush Limbaugh denounces Constitution party as kooks) and the leader or have your foot soldiers fill the nominating convention with non-voting attendees.

Benefits: keeps otherwise undicided voters in your corner, could stregthen your platform and base core, positive news stories (headline New poll: Kerry gets big Anti-war vote)

Consequences: possibility of negative news story (headline: Democrats block Nader from California ballott), chance of backfire, chance of integrity scandal.

*Note: Nominating conventions are an arcane loop hole in state elections laws (still on the books from the late 1800's), and should be a state-by-state issue. Nader has found this in at least Oregon and used this to attempt to get on the ballott. It's sort-of like gatering petition signatures in one place. What happens is the supporters of a candidate hold a sort-of mini state convention and invite all registered voters (party afflitiation doesn't matter). They have to have at least 1000 people attending to proceed. Once this number is reached, they doors are locked and the meeting is called to order. A majority of the attendees must vote for the proposed candidate (I think that secret ballots are used). If the candidate is approved, the supporters send the ballotts to the state elections board to be certified and the candidate's on the ballott. Here in Oregon, Nader's tried this several times in Portland, with Democrats flooding the convention to occupy space to not vote and Republicans voting for Nader. Nader's attempts at this have, so far failed and have moved to petitioning).

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I would like to see Victory conditions besides just winning. Especially for third party candidates. The implications of an election stretch on for the entire decade at least. Not just the next four years. A more complex system of goals and conditions would be nice.

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I agree there should be a greater incentive for third party candidates. Perhaps some kind of continuance whereas if a third party ends up with 5% of the vote, in the next game of the same scenario, that third party becomes more established and qualifies for federal election funds.

Also, I also think that third parties are too powerful and the game should take in an "erosion factor" for third parties, especially if the election is close. For example, Nader in 2000 was polling 5-6% in most polls heading up to election day, but ended up with only 2.7% due to many of his supporters voting for Gore as the election was expected to be very close. I suspect the same thing will happen this time around and I know it's not an easy thing to put into the game...I don't know, maybe if the election is within the margin of error of 2 or 3 points, there is a news headline the day before the election that says: POLLS SHOW TIGHT RACE - NADER SUPPORT SPLITS!

That's all I can think of right now, any other ideas?

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i disagree i have played both the 2000 and 2004 election many times and i've never lost an election because nader took too many votes there are a few scenarios (like who vs whom) in which the third parties are to strong but for the most part it's usually republican vs democrat

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