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2004-10-29

VotePact.com Offers Alternative Way of Voting

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We speak with Washington-based political analyst Sam Husseini about Votepact.com, a website he founded that encourages dissatisfied voters from either side of the two party divide to make a pact in pairs and cast their ballot for a third party candidate. [includes rush transcript]

  • Sam Husseini, Washington-based political analyst and the founder of the website Votepact.com.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Before we look the at latest situation with Yasser Arafat sick and going to Paris, we have Sam Husseini on the line, who is a political analyst based in Washington, founder of the website, VotePact.com. As we continue on this theme of people struggling with who to vote for, what is your suggestion, Sam?

SAM HUSSEINI: My suggestion is that people who — take the most obvious case, somebody who, say, wants Ralph Nader to be president, but they feel like they have got to vote for Kerry because they don’t want Bush. My suggestion is to reach out across the two-party divide. Find a disenchanted Bush voter. There are Bush voters who, if they thought about it a little bit might actually prefer somebody like either a Libertarian or Constitution Party or conceivably even Ralph Nader. And if you have a relationship with this person — a friend, a co-worker, a neighbor, whatever — as people say, okay, we’ll both, instead of wasting our votes and both canceling out each other, one of us voting for Kerry and one of us voting for Bush, let’s both vote for the third party of our choice. They can both vote for Nader, or one can vote for Nader or the Green or the Socialist, and the other can vote for the Constitution or Libertarian Parties. That way, it’s siphoning off votes by twos, one from each Kerry and Bush, and giving them to third parties. You don’t affect the balance between the two parties, but you do help third parties. What this requires is meaningful dialogue with, god forbid, a would-be Bush voter. To actually reach out, see them as a human being and try to do something that benefits you both and gets you out of the partisan boxes, so that you’re not stuck voting for Kerry with all of his lies and hypocrisies, and they’re not stuck vote for Bush with all of his lies and hypocrisies.

JUAN GONZALEZ: But, Sam, your proposal assumes, obviously, that the republican counterpart or democratic counterpart in this deal or arrangement will keep his or her word and won’t actually end up lying in the same way that the candidates are, right?

SAM HUSSEINI: Well, largely, the one way around that would be that if you both had absentee ballots. If you both had absentee ballots you could both sit down, fill them out in front of each other, walk down to the mailbox, and mail them together. That’s one sure-fire solution. Short of that, I mean, the webpage, VotePact.com, I’m not trying to link people up who meet each other over the internet. It’s just an idea. Do you trust your wife? Do you trust your brother? Do you trust even your brother-in-law who might be annoying over the Thanksgiving table because you disagree with him politically, but you kind of like him as a human being. So, I’m saying people who you have a relationship with, people who you break bread with and look in the eye and you can trust. If we’re going to be a nation of liars, then maybe we get what we deserve. But if we can find a way out of that, and find a way to either verify what the other party is doing through absentee ballots or by having relationships that come out of meaningful dialogue with each other, then you can trust each other.

AMY GOODMAN: Sam Husseini, founder of the website, VotePact.com. Thanks for joining us.

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