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22.2.04

The Legalize Ralph Nader Party

I was always suspicious of the sincerity of Ralph Nader's argument in 2000 that we should vote for him in order to boost the standing of the Green Party. After all, he wasn't even a member of the party (though that didn't change the actual efficacy of a Nader-for-the-sake-of-the-Greens vote). But apparently he didn't get the memo that this year he's running as an independent, i.e., without the backing of any party:

"Let me say, this is going to be difficult," said Nader, who planned a round of interviews after his announcement. "This isn’t just our fight. This is a fight for all third parties ... They want to have a chance to compete. This is not a democracy that can be controlled by two parties in the grip of corporate interests."

Third party candidacies have been a greater part of presidential politics in recent years; businessman Ross Perot twice ran for president, winning 19 percent of the vote in his first try in 1988 against George Herbert Walker Bush and Michael Dukakis.


The reporter makes the same mistake. The facts about Perot could easily be related under the rubric of "non-major party candidates."

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