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July 2003

Voting in Primaries

I just got an email from my grandmother encouraging her grandchildren to register in order to be able to vote in the primaries as well as the general election. She also implying a subtle endorsement of Dean as a possibility. I first wrote something longer and bringing up more esoteric points, but I ended up thinking better of that and shortened my reply to this:

Nah, voting in a primary implies endorsement of one of the two major parties, and even worse, acceptance of the ridiculous two party system and unfortunate legal recognition of parties rather than simply individuals and all sorts of legal mechanisms that favor the two major parties over independent candidates.

If one is a partisan, and active member of one of the two major parties, I guess voting in a primary would make logical sense and in fact be a recommended activity. But myself, objecting strongly to BOTH parties, only differing on which issues I violently disagree with depending on the party, and also the specific individual running, won’t be doing that.

As usual, I’ll look at all the candidates on the ballot come the general election (there are usually about 6 to 10 of them) and pick the one that most closely matches my stands on various issues. If nobody is on the ballot that matches more than say 80%, then I’ll write someone in who does. :-)

There was a second email from her talking about Governor Dean and mentioning again how important it was to vote in the primaries. This time I replied with this:

Having said what I said in the last one, Dean does seem kind of interesting. I’ve been reading his blog entries. Not that I necessarily agree with him on lots. But interesting none the less.

I’d be curious to see who comes up top for you in this “Candidate Selector”… you answer a bunch of questions on various issues, and it ranks the candidates by how well they match your views…

Here is the ranking I got when I told it to not exclude anybody, even those who have withdrawn already, have not yet announced, and of course not excluding 3rd parties. Dean came in tied for 3rd with a 70% match to my views. Of the Democrats my best match is apparently Kucinich at 82%. This compares to President Bush at a 58% match to my views. (By comparison, Al Gore only matches me at the 29% level.) But the as yet unchosen and unnamed Libertarian party candidate comes in at a 100% match. So unless they end up nominating someone I really dislike, I’ll probably end up voting Libertarian again as I did in the last two Presidential elections. My candidates never win. :-) But they do most accurately represent my own views, which I believe to be important.

1. Libertarian Candidate (100%)
2. Kucinich, Cong. Dennis, OH – Democrat (82%)
3. Dean, Gov. Howard, VT – Democrat (70%)
4. Kerry, Senator John, MA – Democrat (70%)
5. Clinton, Senator Hillary Rodham, NY – Democrat (69%)
6. Feingold, Senator Russ, WI – Democrat (68%)
7. Buchanan, Patrick J. – Reform/Republican (67%)
8. Sharpton, Reverend Al – Democrat (65%)
9. Green Party Candidate (64%)
10. Leahy, Patrick Senator, Vermont – Democrat (62%)
11. Edwards, Senator John, NC – Democrat (61%)
12. Socialist Candidate (61%)
13. Lieberman Senator Joe CT – Democrat (60%)
14. Daschle, Senate Minority Leader Tom, SD – Democrat (60%)
15. Bush, George W. – US President (58%)
16. Bayh, Senator Evan, IN – Democrat (58%)
17. Gephardt, Cong. Dick, MO – Democrat (56%)
18. Biden, Senator Joe, DE – Democrat (54%)
19. Jackson, Cong. Jesse Jr., IL – Democrat (49%)
20. Graham, Senator Bob, FL – Democrat (45%)
21. Dodd, Senator Chris, CT – Democrat (44%)
22. Clark, Retired Army General Wesley K “Wes” Arkansas – Democrat (42%)
23. Moseley-Braun, Former Senator Carol IL – Democrat (41%)
24. Feinstein, Senator Dianne, CA – Democrat (39%)
25. Kaptur, Cong. Marcy, OH – Democrat (36%)
26. Phillips, Howard – Constitution (36%)
27. Bradley, Former Senator Bill NJ – Democrat (31%)
28. Gore, Former Vice-President Al – Democrat (29%)
29. Hagelin, John – Natural Law (26%)
30. McCain, Senator John, AZ- Republican (24%)
31. Vilsack, Governor. Tom IA – Democrat (11%)
32. Hart, Former Senator Gary, CO – Democrat (11%)
33. LaRouche, Lyndon H. Jr. – Democrat (0%)

For those of you who saw the SelectSmart results I got a couple weeks ago, this is more acurate, as last time I neglected to fill in the “how important is this issue to you” parts, so the various issues were not properly weighted. This is probably better. Although I think some of this may evolve over the next year and a half before the election. :-)

I wonder how my grandmother will react. Hopefully she won’t be too upset with me. :-)

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