August 18, 2004

Ballot Skulduggery

The Democrats have mounted an effort to keep Ralph Nader off the ballot in as many states as possible.

This behavior, especially shameful and undemocratic though it is, has ample precedent in New York, where both parties use baroque and inscrutable ballot requirements to control who gets on the ballot.

Though Ralph Nader is an apostle of the Nanny State, he represents a real political current in the country, and in fact, with Senator Nuance's recent statement that he would have voted for the Iraq resolution even knowing what he does now, may be the only candidate to represent the true heart of the Democratic Party activists on the issue. Nader has a real following even if the Republicans in some states are trying to get him on the ballot as a matter of tactics.

To spend energy to keep him off is a disgrace.


Phoebe said...

But it's okay for the Republicans to spend money to get him on the ballot, right? Of course, only in states where they think he would do more damage to Kerry than to Dubya.

I agree that there is no democracy in New York. The state government is a disgrace. The Governor and the heads of the State Senate and the State Assembly control everything and districts are so gerrymandered that incumbents are guaranteed victory and even open seats are not winnable by the "wrong" party. Banana republics have more honest systems than NY. And the arcane system for getting on the ballot if you're not the party's pick is as you said "inscrutable". Some day NYS may deliver a budget on time. CA isn't much better in this department.

Grumpy Old Man said...

Helping put him on the ballot is Machiavellian, but at least furthers democratic choice.

California is as bad as New York in legislative apportionment. There are few contested seats, and hence the primary voters tend to select the more extreme candidates.

Term-limits, on the other hand, mean the Legislature is always full of neophytes.