Ralph Nader, who has run for president both as an independent and as a third-party candidate, today warned against the ballot proposition promoted by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“Californians need to defeat Proposition 14 or they will risk further entrenching the two-party system,” stated Nader.
Nader explained that he has campaigned for the need for “more voices and more choices” on the ballot, not fewer. He noted that Proposition 14:
- Restricts voter choice by making it more difficult for a small or minor party to reach the general election ballot in November
- Unfairly favors the two candidates who secure the most votes when most of the electorate is not engaged or participating in the electoral process
- Stifles debate on a broad range of issues when most of the electorate is participating in the elections because candidates representing alternative platforms are shut out from the November ballot
- Is unproven as a mechanism to solve two-party polarization
- Discriminates against small parties trying to retain ballot access status because of current statewide requirements
- Will operate to favor big money, celebrity or major party insiders, which may reflect why an abundance of commercial interests support Prop 14
- Has historically reduced participation in the general election by non two-party candidates and enshrined incumbents in the two states with similar systems, Louisiana and Washington
- Forces independent candidates to participate much earlier in the election cycle when fewer voters are participating and while there are months remaining for agendas and events to unfold
- Bans the counting of all write-in candidates from the November ballot
Nader said that Californians could be stuck having only two Republicans or two Democrats or one of each on their ballot in November, precluding all other candidate choices.
“It is an incumbency protection plan that restricts choice and could eliminate minor parties,” continued Nader. “A competitive democracy requires more choices, new and better ideas, and fresh candidacies. Defend your right to more candidate choices on the November ballot. Vote NO on Prop 14.”