Independent candidate Ralph Nader’s bid for the presidency proved both unsuccessful and inconsequential this year, though he has remained unapologetic in his decision to run.
Nader, who received about one percent of the popular vote nationally, proved largely ineffectual in this high-stakes presidential election.
In a press release dispersed by his campaign the day after the election, Nader vowed to continue working to abolish the pervasive enduring two-party election system and break the corporate lock on politics and government.
“November 2 is not the end, it is a new beginning,” Nader said. “The challenge to the two-party system that is choking political expression and response in the United States will continue and grow. If the parties want to continue losing significance in attending to the country’s necessities, they need only continue to place the interests of big business before the interests of the people.”
Nader’s effect on this election was a far cry from that of four years ago in which he received almost three percent of the popular vote.
Following an insignificant voter turnout on his behalf in most states that he ran in, the Nader campaign has remained critical of both major parties.
“Right now the two-party duopoly has a lock on the system,” said Ken Krayeske, the Nader campaign Youth Coordinator. “The 47 million people that lack health insurance were not represented by either candidate, the 47 million that make Wal-Mart wages were not represented by either candidate.”
Speaking on behalf of the Nader campaign, Krayeske spoke of their distaste in the existing electoral process.
“We need to fix our electoral system or we’re going to continue having contested elections,” Krayeske said.
Nader came up 15,306 votes short in the primary election in May to qualify to be on the Oregon ballot, leaving Nader followers feeling disenfranchised.
“They denied hundreds of thousands of voters the right to vote for the candidate of their choice,” Krayeske said.
Krayeske was critical of both the Democratic and Republican candidates.
“We acknowledge that there are differences between the two. However, they are extremely minimal differences,” Krayeske said.
A Green Party candidate in 2000, Nader was cast as an independent candidate this year for the first time since he first ran in 1996.
With his liberal policies such as universal healthcare and marijuana legalization, support for Nader ran high in 2000 among liberals, many of whom now believe his presence tipped the election in Bush’s favor then by mobilizing potential democratic voters.
However, Krayeske said he will continue supporting third-party candidates in future elections.
“It’s a victory we made it this far,” Krayeske said. “Third parties are vital when it comes to raising issues of major importance.”