Nuggets of Wisdom

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Third Parties Never Win? Tell That To UKIP!

Daily Mail

“Voting third party is a wasted vote! The Democrats/Republicans aren’t perfect, but they’re the best we’ve got. Voting third party would only steal votes from them. Third parties just can’t win!”

These are the tired arguments statists parrot to justify the illusion of choice called the two-party system. These arguments have since been rendered invalid by the recent UK European Parliament elections, which were dominated by the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP):
With 11 regions declared, UKIP has won more than 27 per cent of the vote, electing 24 MEPs, leaving Labour and the Tories to battle it out for second for the first time in 100 years.
...With only Northern Ireland left to declare, UKIP has 24 MEPs, up 11 since 2009, including its first MEP in Scotland.

Labour has 20 seats  and the Tories 19 seats in Brussels, with Labour narrowly ahead on vote share - 25.4 per cent to 23.93 per cent.

Support for Ukip has surged by more than 12 per cent, outstripping a more modest boost in votes for Labour, while the Lib Dems faced near-wipeout, slipping into fifth place behind the Greens.

Mr Farage said he was 'proud' of the campaign which has seen him humiliate the Westminster parties, pushing Labour and the Tories into second and third.

Speaking at an event in London today, he said: 'If you think you've seen the high watermark of Ukip, you ain't seen nothing yet. Our small party isn't so small anymore.'
I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, many of my fellow libertarians foolishly consider UKIP the British equivalent of our Libertarian Party. This simply isn’t the case. UKIP isn't libertarian. Libertarians support marriage equality and immigration reform and oppose the police state; UKIP opposes gay marriage and immigration and support “tough on crime” policies. At best, UKIP is like the Tea Party: socially regressive and economically corporatist.

On the other hand, with a third party like UKIP overshadowing the two major British parties of Labour and Conservative, their victory proves that a third party  not only can compete against the two major parties, but even win. (Gee, it’s almost as if third parties can win if people actually vote for them. What a concept!)

Over 60 percent of Americans claim there is a need for a third party. If the UK can fill their parliament with third party politicians during their election, what’s to stop the US from doing the same with their Congress come midterm elections this fall?