July 13, 2012

What do you mean by the Green Party’s “majoritarian agendas”?

“They’re for single-payer, everybody in, nobody out, free choice of doctor and hospital. That’s been a majoritarian position for years. Living wage? Overwhelming. Anti-war? [About] 70% want us out of Afghanistan now. The Green Party stands for bringing the soldiers back and curtailing the American empire. Cutting the military budget? A majority of Americans think that the military’s budget is too big and should be cut. Getting rid of special tax breaks for corporations? Overwhelming support. Renegotiating NAFTA and WTO? Majority support. I can go on and on.”

So why doesn’t the Green Party have a majority-sized following?

“That’s the conundrum. A minority party fostering a majority agenda. The reason is that the two-party duopoly has every conceivable way to exclude and depress and harass a third-party. Whether it’s ballot access. Whether it’s harassing petitioners on the street. Whether it’s excluding them from debates. Whether it’s not polling them. And with a two-party, winner-take-all electoral system, it’s easy to enforce all those. Unlike multi-party Western countries where you have proportional representation, the voters [in America] know that if you get 10% of the vote, you don’t get anything. Whereas in Germany, you get 10% of the parliament. So voters say, ‘Let’s just vote for the least worst.’”

—Ralph Nader, Q&A at Time Magazine

[related:  see “Ralph’s Fault” about Bush's stealing of the 2000 election]

[also see: Basic Steps of Election Reform”]