I do concede on the Jill Stein line, and have discussed this with several others at length. However, it still stands that strategic voting could easily backfire. Could you clarify exactly how you are going to design strategic voting if not after the Canadian model?
Canada’s strategic voting system was designed to tell progressives which party to vote for and which to ignore; this system is designed to tell progressives to split their vote by a relatively precise margin. While in a safely progressive state, the Democratic Party and the Greens (or Libertarians and the GOP in a safely conservative state) could conceivably sacrifice a significant number of votes. What I don’t get, however, is how exactly to sacrifice those votes. Strategic voting told anyone voting in a specific riding not to vote for Labor, or not to vote for NDP, but instead to vote for the one with the highest ability to win so that a coalition could elect a progressive government.
We, first off, elect our head of state semi-directly, which, again, means that we can’t use this kind of coalition building in our elections. We, secondly, don’t have the kind of data to truly let us interface like you’re suggesting. And, on another note, what I’m confused on is where you guys will get the Clinton supporters that will be willing to work with third-party voters.
Finally, this is nothing against third parties. With all the calls to getting involved in electoral politics this election if we want to really feel the Bern again, I did look into the possibility of running — in the not terribly distant future — as a Green myself. Their party platform does sound like what I want out of politics.
Nonetheless, at least in my state of Arizona, the Greens don’t have enough people to fill their women’s or youth caucuses. There is no structure. When I got in touch with them, it took them two weeks to respond to a simple email asking, a) if I could co-register with them and the Democrats, and b) what their system is like to set up a campaign. I’ve not seen any of them on the ballot in my municipality, which considers itself very blue.
I stand by the fact that if a third party wants to be taken seriously, they need to build up their local and state-level parties beforehand. While an independent can caucus with a party, it’s a bit harder to see a major party get defeated in the presidential race and then be willing to play nice with their ideological ally but political rival without significant coalition-building precedent.
Who knows? Maybe I’ll get involved and run for city council in the near future. Maybe I’ll do so as a Green. But Jill Stein, M.D. and the current Green Party need more people like me to be at the local and state level before they can expect to run a presidential candidate with success.
I want to see a viable Green Party. But I don’t think strategic voting will get any of us the national leadership that we want, now or in the next election, without a constitutional overhaul.