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ISSUE 117 VOL 12 PUBLISHED 3/5/2004

Nader runs again

By Peter Gloviczki
Staff Writer


Friday, March 5, 2004

Until Feb. 22, the race for the presidency was focused on a simple question: which Democrat would face Bush in the upcoming election? As the list of Democratic candidates dwindled, voters were inundated with advertisements for both John Kerry of Massachusetts and John Edwards of North Carolina . We knew it would be one of these men until Ralph Nader announced his campaign for the Presidency. Nader, an Independent, claims to present, according to www.votenader.org, an alternative choice to the two major parties in the presidential race.

As an Independent, Nader does present an alternative. But in 2004, as the Democrats are vying to win back the White House, his candidacy will most likely help Bush in his efforts towards reelection. When asked about Naders candidacy, Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe called it unfortunate.

Although there are only 19 million registered Independents as of 2000, the number of registered voters reflects only a portion of those who actually vote. Many voters choose not to register with any political party. So why, then, does Naders candidacy cause such trouble for Democrats in particular? When one examines the similarities between Naders platform and the platform of the Democrats, it becomes evident that McAuliffe is correct in his assessment. There are differences between Nader and the Democratic candidates: most notably that Nader supports gay marriage. But his candidacy will likely take votes away from the Democratic nominee.

Like many Democrats, Nader opposes the war in Iraq, the repeal of the Patriot Act and of Bushs tax plan. Still, Nader works to distance himself from both major political parties. He criticizes the lack of substantive response from both the [Democrats] and the [Republicans] to important subjects and necessities facing Americans. In this regard, he cites what he percieves as the prevalence of corporate government in Washington. Nader points out that Washington is influenced by what he calls corporate interests. With his candidacy, in fact, Nader vows to join all Americans who wish to declare their independence from corporate rule and expanding domination.

However, before Naders name can be placed on the ballot, he must secure the required number of signatures in each state. In Minnesota, this means that Nader must collect 1,170 verified signatures by Sept. 14.

Nationally, Nader will require about 1.5 million signatures, as requirements for signatures vary by state.

Nader may contend that those who vote for him are voicing their displeasure for the two-party system, and, to some degree, he is correct. There will be those individuals who, fed up with politics, will support Naders run. Other voters will support Nader simply because they prefer him to both Bush and the Democratic nominee. Perhaps most importantly,however, some voters who would have cast their ballots for the challenger, be it Kerry or Edwards, will undoubtedly vote for Nader. With the similarities between Naders platform and platform of the Democrats, Naders 2004 presidential run jeopardizes the chances that a Democratic candidate can defeat Bush in the November elections.


Staff Writer Peter Gloviczki is a sophomore from Rochester, Minn. He majors in political science.


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