Wednesday, May 05, 2004

How Nader can run without being a spoiler 

Bruce Ackerman has a brilliant opinion piece in today's NY Times explaining how Ralph Nader can run and raise awareness for his issues without handing the election to Bush.

Ackerman points out that when we vote for a presidential candidate we are actually voting for the group of electors that the candidate has nominated in each state. Technically, it is these electors who cast the votes that actually determine the next president. Ackerman's idea is that Nader should nominate the same slate of electors that Kerry does. These electors will then go on to vote for Kerry. The net result of this is that Nader will receive his share of the popular vote, while still ensuring that Kerry will win any state where the total votes cast for Kerry and Nader are greater than the total votes cast for Bush, even if Bush manages to get more votes than Kerry alone.

This proposal gives progressives a guilt-free way to vote for Nader. The decision to accept or reject this proposal will give us all real insight into Nader's character. Does he really care about what's best for America, or is he selfishly running for the ego boost that comes from influencing world affairs?
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