2004 Ap Free Response Question 3

Topics: Elections, Election, Voting Pages: 1 (357 words) Published: April 5, 2005
The political cartoon by Nick Anderson depicts Ralph Nader standing at a podium addressing American society's "throw away mentality". Meanwhile a citizen in the background is casting her vote for the green party behind him. Ironically, the ballot drops into a waste basket, thus a wasted vote. We now realize that Nader is not talking about the environment, but addressing the issue of how the general public views votes for 3rd party candidates. This cartoonist feels that we should reform our views on 3rd party candidates and vote for who we think would make the best president, despite there chance of winning or not. In recent history no 3rd party candidates have come anywhere close to getting a substantial number of votes in the presidential elections. The last time a minor party was able to win a presidential election, was with Abraham Lincoln, in 1860. He was not truly campaigning under a minor party either; the Republican Party which he ran for had recently gained control of the congress and was becoming well established in the federal government. This is a key issue that 3rd parties must understand before they consider putting up a candidate for president. The reason why 3rd party candidates don't win in presidential elections is not because they are unqualified; it's because the electoral system that we have in place creates enormous obstacles for them. One obstacle is that 3rd party candidates get unfair representation in political debates on television and another is that 3rd party candidates have trouble mobilizing their voters to get to the polls.

Despite what's against 3rd parties they still do manage to make some important contributions in our political system. One contribution is there ability to shift other party's views along the political spectrum slightly. Take the case of the 2000 and 2004 elections where Ralph Nader was running as the extreme liberal 3rd party candidate in the election. Green party supporters would argue that by Nader running...
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