The debate goes something like this: You have to leverage who will likely win a nomination first, in regards to whom can beat the opposition in the 2 Party system afterwards. Example being, can McCain beat Gore or can George "Dubya"... from a Republican stand point. The Democrats use their candidates in the same manner. Then, when so-called Third Parties are added to the mix... people say, "If I voted for a Reform, Libertarian, Green, American Constitution, US Pacifist, etc... then *Blank* (the worst of the 2 evils/major parties) could win and I don't want that!". Ya, but who do you really want?
Interesting, so by abandoning what you truely want this will make things better? This *logic* doesn't wash. As Harry Browne says, we just don't make these compromises in real life. Settling for what you know you don't want doesn't happen nearly as often as it has in politics. That's sad, and keeps us from achieving any true change. A third party candidate can win... Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican to win the office of President, and the Party stills exists. Some would say that it took an issue as big as slavery to make that happen. I don't think today's issues are any less... our founders started a Revolution for less than what's happening now. So, don't try to rationalize issues with, "it can't happen". Third Party candidates do win now. There have been Libertarian State Representatives, a Reform Governor, and are now hundreds of locally elected and appointed officials. Third Party candidates would win overwhelmingly, if you'd vote how you really wanted. The limits are only in our minds.
Why does this change on a national level? Economics, the Democrats and Republicans don't have enough money to convince you at a local or state level not to vote for a candidate. While, on the national level they act quite strongly to exclude and belittle anyone who challenges their power- via , matching funds for larger candidates (a waste of tax money and exclusionary), very tough ballot access laws they don't have to live up to, stiff Presidential Debates standards made this year (which would have excluded Ross Perot in '92 (fact is those debates gave him the power to gain such a large voter percentage, and exit polls showed if everyone had voted their conscience...he would have won the Presidency), and McCain's Campaign Finance reform would eliminate the money Third Parties need to be seen, those contributions relegated to Party building and issue ads. (BTW-There are better options to stop influence peddling- like allowing voluntary unlimited contributions by individual AMERICAN citizens, registered to vote, from their personal incomes ONLY to a campaign. Fully disclosure being the ideal. Not to mention actually upholding current laws, which just isn't done, or most politicians would be in jail now!...or how about just the conviction not to be swayed from what's right? Anyone notice China contributing $ yet? Lots of $ and influence flowing, yet they just threatend us with nuclear weapons... hello?).
A wasted vote occurs when one settles between evils. Waste is allowing those who debate on how much to INCREASE our government, and it's influence upon our personal and financial lives. A wasted vote occurs in the Primaries and Caucuses when you ignore who you really want. A wasted vote is one not made in a decision based on issues, and deciding who matches your philosophy the most and within the Constitution... and acting on it. To do otherwise consigns all of us to the same games, same problems, same scandal and loss of liberty... just more of it. Playing the game of who can win over another is a losing game and the most wasted vote- because you never get what you want.
In a time when most seem to be Independents or non-voters, that must tell you most don't agree with the old parties. Then take the time to learn about your choices and think for yourself. Do for yourself, and vote your conscience this election season. The benefits include a more accountable government, as they see we *don't* agree with their direction... that we demand less intrution, cost, lies, and want to find better solutions locally. Our voices would be registered. The greatest benefit would be finally, we elect those who fit our beliefs, more than anyone else, or set the stage for that to happen soon. Until we start sending that message, we get the same problems. As long as you support the same growing flawed system, you continue with the same flawed results. Are you happy with Government today? Is government too large, too small, or just right? Vote your conscience, change the world.
(Now, how fair is that? I gave ya 9 sites above which I don't agree with in many regards! Freedom of choice, baby!)