Alex Sanders is a great guy, but he is a political partisan. He’s someone I like in spite of that fact.
And like most folks who try in good faith to defend partisanship, he was unconvincing in a letter you no doubt saw on page this past Sunday:
Ignoring candidate’s party seldom works
As in every election, I heard people say they always vote for the candidate, not the party. People who think like that go to horse races and bet on the jockey, not the horse. That seldom works out for them.
Incidentally, I wasn’t the first person to express that idea. Winston Churchill was.
It so happens that Churchill provides us with one of history’s most dramatic examples of the madness of putting party ahead of the candidate.
Churchill did as much as any man to save Britain from the Nazis in WWII, and the British people were grateful. But when the war was over they voted him out of office — not because they didn’t want him to be their P.M. any more, but because they chose the Labour Party to rule Parliament.
It was a terrible shame, but that’s the parliamentary system — one that, at least in the case of the executive part of government, makes the individual completely subordinate to party. Thank God we can avoid that in this country, as long as we don’t surrender our ability to think and choose to parties. No matter what Alex Sanders says.
You certainly are a good sport. Run the man’s letter and then shoot him in both knees on the blog.
As long as we have the electoral college it’s possible that neither man nor party matters. We got lucky this time but sooner or later we’ll have another 2000 fiasco. With a new president and a near filibuster proof majority this would be a good time for a constitutional amendment on this. Never again should the will of the majority be thwarted by this out-dated attempt by our founding fathers to seek an elitist method for selecting the president. We no longer observe the sentiment of the EC, so why not just get rid of it?
Well, I didn’t mean to shoot him in both knees — or even one. I just meant to disagree.
Come to think of it, Churchill’s original metaphor was pretty lame, too. For it to work, you have to assume that — assuming one is a party-line voter — you always bet on the same horse, in every race. To do that, you’d have to bet on no more than one race a day. In fact, you’d have to wait many days (I guess; I don’t know from horses) before you could bet again, which wouldn’t be very English of you.
The fact is, each horse is different, just as each candidate it different. So if you bet on the horse, you’re betting on an INDIVIDUAL in each race, just as if you’d bet on the jockey. And just as if you voted for the candidate, not the party.
So the metaphor makes sense HOW exactly?
You know less about horses and horse racing than you do about politics. I didn’t think that was possible!
Bud, don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
Brad, the horse supports the jockey like the party supports the candidate and the candidate controls the party like the jockey controls the horse.
You can’t spell T-E-A-M without M-A-T-E.
The Electoral College would work quite well if it were used according to the Constitution. The “winner take all” method of assigning electors is where the problem is. If electors were determined proportionally, as is intended by the Constitution (IMO), then the electoral vote would follow the popular vote. Unfortunately, the Dumbocrats and Repugnants have stolen the “so-called” Electoral College and remade it in their image so that ONLY a Dumbocrat or a Repugnant can win an election.
Very true, Spencer.
The sham “debates” we now see on TV are staged by the Demopublicans to exclude all other candidates and ideas. The League of Women Voters used to hold the debates, until the two parties grew frightened about the prospect of having the public see someone like Roger McBride or Ed Clark answer sensibly and directly the same questions dodged by the two major party candidates.