Ralph Nader supporters on campus said they consider the Green Pary candidate’s bid for presidency successful despite only garnering three percent of the national vote Nov. 7.
Sophomore Bernard Pollack was the volunteer coordinator for the Nader campaign in D.C.
Through the campaign we have established 900 Green chapters around the country, he said. We were successful in making people aware of the issues.
Sophomore Kareen Asmus said she is working with other GW students to form a Green chapter on campus to continue the spirit of the campaign.
Hopefully many that were in the Nader campaign will go on to join a new chapter of college Greens here at GW, she said.
Students said they were successful in getting the word out for Nader. Asmus said she was impressed by the number of voters who turned out for Nader.
Just to know that 2.8 million came out for Nader is unbelievable, she said.
Nader captured about 2.8 million votes, or 3 percent of the total ballots nationwide. The showing pushed the Green Party ahead of the Reform Party as the third-largest political party in American politics. Although Nader did not net the desired 5 percent of the national vote needed for federal matching funds in the next elections, he told his supporters the campaign is a step in the right direction.
This campaign has established the Greens as a viable political force, Nader wrote to supporters on his Web page after the election. Across the country we attracted enthusiastic supporters who intend to remain committed to the party’s progressive agenda. The party will only grow in the coming months and years.
Nader support was drawn largely from college students nationwide. The GW chapter of the Nader 2000 campaign was active in the city and on campus. The chapter participated in a protest to include Nader in the presidential debates and efforts to educate students about campaign issues outside the Marvin Center.
In addition to supporting Green Party candidates in the 2002 election, Nader is seeking reform of election procedure – a system that he says proves to be fraught with inconsistencies, represented by Florida’s election debacle.
In so many elections, there is only one major-party name on the ballot, or a choice between two candidates with few significant differences and little new to offer voters, Nader wrote on the Web site.
Voters should be able to reject the candidates in an election by choosing None-of-the-Above (NOTA) and if NOTA wins, force a new election with new candidates, Nader wrote in his letter last Wednesday, titled Vitalizing Democracy. This binding measure would give voters an escape hatch out of an unsatisfactory election and give the disaffected a chance to shake things up.
Nader contends that this year’s election should be decided by a coin flip because Texas Gov. George W. Bush’s margin of victory in the Florida vote was within the margin of error for the state, making it a virtual statistical tie. The coin flip, Nader wrote sarcastically, would also give the Republicans and Democrats the chance to sell commercial airtime to finance further campaigns.
Whoever wins is going to have half the nation against them, Nader wrote. It’s going to leave a bad taste in the American people’s mouths.
This article appeared in the December 7, 2000 issue of the Hatchet.