Lesser-evilism and third parties

Brett Knowlton brettk at unica-usa.com
Mon Aug 28 12:56:11 PDT 2000

Max wrote:
>The ardent lesser-evil-ists among us have yet to explain
>how we get out of the box of choosing among bad alternatives
>indefinitely, except by reference to a bigger, badder labor
>movement of the future. So if we had ham, we could have ham and eggs,
>if we had eggs, as the saying goes.

Ideally people should be able to vote FOR something, as opposed to having to strategically vote for a guy you don't like to avoid getting someone you like even less. I agree with Nathan that lesser evilism is less evil, but it still leaves a bad aftertaste.

The problem is the winner take all system itself. If we had proportional representation, this dilemma would melt away, and progressives wouldn't have to worry about being sold out by New Democrats (and right-wing fascists wouldn't have to worry about being muzzled by compassionate Republicans).

Obviously we don't have proportional representation, and I'm not claiming I have a vision of how to best move in that direction. But I do find it surprising and a bit depressing (note the small 'd') that there isn't more discussion/agitation around this kind of electoral change on the Left.


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