Finally! My absentee ballot arrived in the mail.
My choices for president are:
John McCain (pres.), Sarah Palin (VP) - Republican Cynthia McKinney (pres.), Rosa Clemente (VP) - Green Alan Keyes (pres.), Wiley S. Drake, Sr. - American Independent Ralph Nader (pres.), Matt Gonzalez (VP) - Peace and Freedom Barack Obama (pres.), Joe Biden (VP) - Democratic Bob Barr (pres.), Wayne A. Root (VP) - Libertarian
Wait. Who are all those other people? There are other choices besides the Republicans and Democrats??? Yes, there are. There always have been. It annoys me more and more that the other choices don't get any press time, and don't get to participate in the presidential debates. It annoys others, too.
So, who are these candidates? I know who I'm voting for, and my vote this election is purely strategic, not a true I-like-this-one-the-best vote. But since I don't care for the two big parties, really, I am very curious about these other parties and their candidates. And I wish that things were not such in the US that I feel the need to be strategic this election. I'd love to vote for whoever I really like and have my vote be registered as such. I guess that would mean ending the electoral system, though.
The strategy is to not drain votes from the party that can beat the party one doesn't want. I've heard that the real reason both Al Gore and John Kerry lost is because people who'd normally vote Democrat, were sniffing around alternatives like the Green party. The Republicans simply experienced less of a drain from its typical voter group in 2000 and 2004.
2008 is a special election, no matter how you slice it. A black man is running for president and a woman is running for vice-president for the first time in US history, and there is the backdrop of the current financial crisis, the mistake war in Iraq, and 9/11. Well, the truth is, Alan Keyes is black and is running for president for the third time, and Cynthia McKinney is both black and a woman and her running mate is also a woman, but of course you haven't heard of any of these people. I certainly hadn't until I got my ballot today. Still, the main issue is that the white-men-only stranglehold on the two big parties (and the White House) is coming to an end, and that is indeed significant. And historical.