A good friend of mine since high school told me yesterday that he's moved his allegiance to the Green Party instead of the Democrats, in the hope that the party would theoretically move left, and address some of the few issues that separate Green loyalists from mainstream Democrats. I said that his view concerned me, as instead of getting a Green candidate elected, his vote and others like it would only make it more easy for Republicans to gain the advantage - as we so memorably saw when Ralph Nader siphoned away Al Gore's margin in Florida, teeing up the mess we have now. I was told instead that his one vote didn't matter - especially in California.
Tonight, as the Senate majority hangs in the balance, a small handful of seats are still up for grabs. Most notably, with 97% of votes counted in Virginia, the Republican candidate, George Allen, has a 3,000+ vote advantage over his Democratic opponent, and he just might win (although CNN is saying Webb has eked ahead with 99% in). The major issue here? A candidate, G G Parker, of the Green Party, has nearly 25,000 votes. One could safely say that Green voters would be happier casting their votes for Democrats than Republicans, and yet, here they are handing the race away.
Real-time Virginia Precinct Results: http://sbe.vipnet.org/
It's mind boggling. Want to throw your vote away? Do it in a race that doesn't matter. Want to completely nullify your vote and accomplish the opposite of your goals? Then go ahead and vote for a third party in a close race. You might as well not vote at all.