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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

WASTING YOUR WRITE-IN VOTE

BRYCE ON POLITICS

- Now is not the time to be foolish with your vote.

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The Presidential election of 2012 has finally come down to a two horse race: President Barack Obama representing the Democrats and Governor Mitt Romney representing the Republicans. Frankly, there are a lot of people who are not happy with either candidate and are threatening to write-in a third party instead. Although one can understand the people's dissatisfaction with the two party system, that the Democrats and Republicans possess too much power and no longer produce strong candidates, the reality is we live in a two party system and supporting a third party candidate has never proven effective. To illustrate...

In 1992, millionaire Ross Perot from Texas ran as an independent in the presidential election where he helped defeat incumbent George H.W. Bush and hand Bill Clinton the election. More than anyone else, Perot turned the country over to Clinton.

In 1980, Republican Congressman John Anderson from Illinois ran as an independent where he helped defeat incumbent Jimmy Carter and elect Ronald Reagan. Reagan would have narrowly won without Anderson, but the independent sealed Carter's doom and helped the Republicans retake the Senate for the first time in 25 years.

In the 1912 election, two term President Theodore Roosevelt failed to gain the Republican candidacy (going to incumbent William Howard Taft instead) and, consequently, created a third party known as the Progressive Party (aka the "Bull Moose Party"). This split in the GOP allowed Democrat Woodrow Wilson to win the election.

There are of course other political parties, such as the Libertarian and Green Parties, as well as other smaller organizations. Cumulatively, they represent a miniscule proportion of the voting population and, as such, do not pose a viable challenge to the two party system.

Splitting either party in this presidential year will prove disastrous for the Democrats as well as the GOP. The Democrats have been rumbling about having a write-in candidate to oppose the president, but this will likely not come to fruition. On the other hand, the Republicans experienced a hard fought primary campaign with twelve candidates, finally resulting in Mitt Romney getting the nod. Some hardline conservatives are still hopeful Rep. Ron Paul of Texas will run as an independent but this would inevitably prove devastating to unseat the president from office.

As we all know, this will be a tough campaign which will likely go down to the wire. Every vote will be important. Although politicians like Ron Paul appreciate the support of their diehard fans, the harsh reality is anyone casting a vote in their favor will be wasting it.

A write-in vote is not a protest, it is a vote for the party you do not want to see elected. The wrong candidate will inevitably win.

Keep the Faith!

(A tip of the hat to S.C. in Orlando).

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2012 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.