[EM] To Bill Lewis Clark re: stepping-stone

Adam H Tarr atarr at ecn.purdue.edu
Sat Jan 24 17:49:02 PST 2004

Bart wrote:

>It's probably a safe bet that almost everyone
>who voted for Nader (at least in a competitive state such as Florida)
>didn't much care what happened between Bush and Gore, and placed a
>higher value on placing a protest vote.

I don't buy this.  The fact is that, even in a battleground state such as 
Florida, the chance of the election being decided by one vote is vanishingly 
small.  A progressive liberal could want everyone who shares his/her views 
to vote for Gore, and yet could still rationally vote for Nader.

It's also worth noting that some Nader supporters were hoping that Nader 
would reach 5% so that he could receive federal matching funds in future 

>As an aside, it's not clear to me that Gore would have netted anything
>in Florida if IRV had been used.  Of the 1% or so Nader received, some
>voters would have named either Bush or NOTA as the second choice.  So
>Nader might have gained 1/8 or 1/4% against Bush from this group.  But
>then Bush would have picked up additional votes from the Buchanan and
>Libertarian voters.  So I wouldn't want to bet on whether IRV would have
>changed the final outcome.

(FOLLOWING THIS ASIDE FURTHER OT) I find it very hard to buy these 
arguments.  Honestly, I think it's a bit of mass cognitive dissonance on the 
part of the Greens - they'd rather not admit to themselves that they helped 
elect Bush.  It's all well and good to say that Gore and Bush are the same, 
but I can easily tick off a half-dozen issues near and dear to the 
progressive camp where the difference is really, really obvious.  It's easy 
to argue that the difference between them is smaller than the difference 
between Gore and Nader, but that's hardly the point.


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