Thursday, November 07, 2013

That Virginia "Spoiler" Thing

Since someone already brought it up, I thought I'd start a post on the Virginia gubernatorial election where the Libertarian Party candidate, Robert Sarvis, is being accused by conservatives nationwide of being the spoiler in the race. He received over 6% of the vote, which was more than the margin of victory between the Republican and Democrat. 

All I'll say now is it's rather arrogant to assume that the libertarian vote belongs to a Republican or Democrat, especially when it was widely reported both major party candidates in that race were generally not thought well of (to put it mildly). 

Reason's Nick Gillespie had a commentary out this morning addressing the spoiler issue which I pretty much agreed with, except I can't find it right now. If I find it I'll post a link here. In the meantime, here's a couple of other Reason articles on that race:

A generic Sarvis did great, piece

A Why it's Great To Have More Options piece.

Addendum: Not Gillespie's piece, but along the same lines, this writer claims Sarvis actually helped Cuccinelli. He quotes a poll that says 71 percent of the Sarvis voters would have voted for MCAuliffe had Sarvis not been in the race. 

Here's Nick Gillespie's article.


At 2:45 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

democraticJon said...

Fred - any comment about the Virginia race. I think less than 2 votes separated the conservative R and the conservative D. A libertarian had 6 points. Pundits are saying he wasn't a spoiler, but that makes no sence to me. If you were in Virginia would you have voted for the libertarian? Who would have been your second choice?

At 2:46 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Not much to say about the Virginia race. The Cooch is lucky he did as well as he did. I've been hearing a bit from conservative types saying Sarvis was the "spoiler". Rather arrogant for them to assume I or any other LPers owe the Republican our vote. Some outpolling has shown Sarvis votes would have been split between the Rep and Dem.

At 2:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, that Virginia. From the title, I thought the article would be about Bass.

At 7:37 PM, Anonymous democraticJon said...

It's not that R's (or D's) are entitled to the vote - not at all.

It's about what you care about. For me for example, let's say Nader ran as a Green and both the R and the D were pretty conservative on environmental or health issues (for example) These are a couple of things that are very important to me that would sway my vote. And assume I was voting in Florida (or Virginia). But because of the system we now have, I would have to vote for the D - if for no other reason that I could not afford to put another R-nominated Judge on the Supreme Court.
I don't think the system is particularly ... good, but it's what we have and I have to vote my interests.
We have to undergo some not-so-radical changes before I would ever vote for a Green, even though I would most likely prefer their platform.

Thanks for the answer btw.

At 7:49 PM, Anonymous democraticJon said...

It's great to have more options - except if voting for the other options means the person you mostly agree with loses to a guy you totally don't agree with.

Here's a quote from the second article...
"their candidates keep pressing on with a message of limited government, lower taxation and limited regulation."

He was describing a libertarian - but this IS the conservative/Republican mantra too. Just take the Republicans back like Ron Paul is trying to do.

Thanks for the answer again, we are not going to agree on this one. However, I am VERY glad I can't convince you (or more importantly libertarians in battleground states) because most votes for a Libertarian would be for a Republican anyway.

At 8:09 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

As I've mentioned here before, I can vote for just as frivolous a reason as the next guy.

The last time I can remember voting for a Republican when there was a Libertarian candidate on the ballot was Frank Riggs against Democrat Michela Allioto for congress. Emil Rossi was the LP candidate in that race.

Allioto struck me as a complete airhead and scared me to death. I went ahead and voted for Riggs. Back then we had an HSU Libertarian Club. A couple of those folks told me they were scared of Allioto and voted for Riggs, too.

While my vote might go to the Republican if there was no LPer running, that's not always the case.

When Republican Lawrence Weisner ran against Mike Thompson for congress there was no LP option. This was in the run- up to Gulf War 2, or shortly after that. Weisner was certainly War Party from what he said. In that race, had I thought Weisner had any reasonable chance of winning, I might well have voted for Thompson. As it was I stood aside and didn't vote in that race.

The one time I struggled a bit with a presidential election was Bush vs. Gore. I hated Al Gore and still do. Bush seemed like a pretty decent guy to me and spoke of a gentler foreign policy and no nation building. I struggled with that one a bit but ended up voting for the LP candidate(Browne?).

I have no regrets and can't think of any Rep or Dem presidential candidate in the past 20 years I regret NOT voting for. But who knows what the future will bring?


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