Green party blues

Some democrats worry that this November Ralph Nader, Presidential Candidate of the Green Party, will probably take vital votes from Obama.This is reminiscent of 2000, where many Democrats have accused Nader of costing Al Gore the presidential election by receiving votes that would have otherwise gone to the democratic candidate.While it is likely that, had the Green Party never existed, Al Gore would have won the election, there is a bigger issue that underlies this debate.The two-party system has dominated American politics for the past hundred years. It has thrown the United States back and forth to extremes with minimal compromise. Each party blames the dominant party of the past few years for creating problems and vows to fix them, but the Democratic and Republican parties do not give third parties a chance to try a new approach to the problems facing the United States.They use gerrymandering to reduce the influence of third parties in elections and they create legislation and ballot regulations that make it more difficult to get the petitions needed to get a third party on the ballot.Taking votes from either Democrats or Republicans is about as much as any third party can do in the contemporary system.So how can Democrats blame Nader? The only other option they give is him is to dropout out of the race, but if third parties dropped out completely it would mean the end of progress in American democracy.Third parties bring new ideas and perspectives to the table. Without them one is left with a two-party tyranny, and significant change is near impossible.How is Obama going to change the system if his party is a fundamental part of the broken system?Regardless of how Nader affects the 2008 election, neither Obama nor McCain will come close to bringing about the amount of change that they advocate for if they don’t do something about the party system in this country.Despite what he says, if Obama wins, he will still be tied down to his party’s agenda, he will still be influenced by donations and contributions made to his party, and he will still be entering the same gridlock in Washington D.C.Not that Obama is a bad candidate, but Nader presents new approaches to campaign reform and domestic and foreign policy without strings attached.Nader probably will affect some of Obama’s votes in this upcoming election, but if Democrats really want to bring about change and reform they need to try something new: quit worrying about Nader and vote for him.