a)The political cartoon expresses the view that a voting for a third party is equivalent to throwing away their vote. In the carton Nader is addressing society’s “throw away mentality,” but in the background a citizen is casting their vote for the green party. The vote casted by the citizen ironically drops into a garbage can that represents a wasted vote. This image tells voters that they should amend their views on minor party candidates and vote for the candidate they think will be the best president, despite their chances of winning. b)The reason many minor party candidates don’t win isn’t because the nominee isn’t qualified but because of obstacles they have to face because of the electoral system. One obstacle third parties are forced to face is the winner-take all system they are forced to deal with. This system makes it difficult for third parties because if they don’t receive a majority of the votes then they don’t get any at all. Another rule that makes it difficult for minor parties to win is that they need to have a certain number of signatures to get their name on the ballot. If they don’t, then citizens in some states wouldn’t even get to vote for the minor candidates. So while the other candidates are campaigning, minor party candidates have to go and collect signatures just to have their name on the ballot. c)Despite the challenges they face, third parties still make important contributions to the political system.
One contribution is that they have the ability to split one party’s vote so that the opposing party wins. For example, because Ross Perot was able to split the republican vote George Bush lost the presidency to democrat Bill Clinton. Third parties also have the ability to shift national attention to a particular policy. Third parties usually revolve around a single issue or concern, which forces candidates of major parties to discuss those topics. “For example, segregationist American Independent Party candidate George Wallace gained 13.5% of the popular vote in the 1968 election. In response, the Republican Party adopted a “Southern Strategy” to win the support of conservative Democrats in the South who opposed the new Civil Rights movement” (The Impact of Minor Parties).
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