November 8, 2016
The prize of an election is not only who wins (or who you make lose), the real prize, especially for a minority group like the Muslim community, is that when you go to vote, you sign next to your printed name – which creates political leverage. The names of people who voted are tabulated after the elections, and all parties and candidates look into them for future elections. When they see Muslim-sounding names increasing and voting over and over, that’s one concrete way to create political leverage, forcing candidates to take this minority more seriously, because then, you are a power to make or break their campaigns. That’s why Muslims in swing states such as Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, and others, are playing a huge role in the 2016 election. That’s why next year, the NYC Muslim vote will play a major role on who becomes Mayor, Public Advocate, Comptroller, among others. Again, the prize of electoral politics is not only who wins or who loses; It’s more about creating that leverage, that political machine, that block vote.
Most of us have been pretty occupied by this election. You might not read this till after the fact, but I developed the following practical thought-points and would like to share them with you. This, of course, is addressed and intended for New York voters, but can be applied in other non-swing states as well.
Also, this analysis is from a pure practical calculations approach. There are moral and ethical issues that I won’t discuss because the practical issues are enough to make the point, and the moral issues can be debated at another time.
So here we go:
- As per the latest numbers from the NY state board of elections, registered Democrats are DOUBLE those registered Republicans (state-wide).
- Over the past 32 years, the Democratic Party nominee for president won the state of NY in every election.
- All polls and trends are quite confident Hillary will win NY with relative ease.
2. Winning the presidency is based on the number of electoral votes, NOT the popular vote.
- In the year 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote (received more votes combined across the country), yet, George W. Bush won the Presidency because he ended up with more electoral votes than Al Gore.
- Each state has its own separate elections and as long as you win the state, you will receive all of its electoral votes (except Maine and Nebraska, 4 and 5 electoral votes, which get divided by the percentage of the vote).
- Therefore, whether Hillary wins NY with one vote difference or a million vote difference, she will still receive the 29 electoral votes of NY State.
Keeping these two points in mind, and thinking from a practical point of view, it is my conviction that a Muslim voting for Hillary (or Trump) in NY is a complete waste of that vote. Hillary will win NY whether all Muslims in NY vote for her, vote for Trump, or stay home.
It is better, in my view, to boost the numbers of the Green and Libertarian parties to try to get them over 5% (of the popular vote) nationally. The goal of voting for 3rd parties is to break the duopoly and corruption of the Republicans and Democrats, but that won’t happen in 1 election, maybe even not 1 generation.
A) Allow that 3rd party to receive millions in federal funding, similar to the Repubs and Dems (not that the later 2 need it). This would allow that 3rd party to have a good opportunity in actually building an infrastructure and competing. When I ran for NYC Comptroller in 2013, my campaign total was $10K, while the winning Democrat was $3 Million.
B) In many states, that 3rd party will receive automatic ballot access, which will make it 100 times easier to actually run people on the local and state level, and encourage more people to run for office outside of the 2 parties. From my own experience in 2013, libertarians didn’t have ballot access in NY, and in order to get on the ballot I had to collect 3750 physical unchallengeable petition signatures from registered voters in NYC who didn’t sign for someone else, within a specific 4-week period. The most successful day I had was when I spoke from the stage to a few thousands gathered at a park for a festival and told them what I need, and then went to the crowd to get their signatures. I had 5 clipboards with petitions, and each sheet can be signed by 10 people. I had some little help, and ended up collecting about 200 signatures in the 4 hours. A number of those signatures were invalidated for one reason or the other. I ended up on the ballot, but I’m trying to demonstrate how much of an obstacle that was/is.
C) In 2012 when I was advocating voting 3rd party, many people thought I’m crazy or some other negative image. Not so many even knew other parties existed or that they were allowed to vote for them. This year, you can see how many more people are talking about 3rd parties, and a 5% will create an even bigger conversation.
There’s no risk of “enabling” Trump or numerically hurting Clinton. The number of people who see the information presented here, and the number that will have the conviction, courage, discipline, to follow through by voting 3rd party, will not be significant enough to threaten the status quo in 2016. But it will be significant enough to boost the Libertarian and Green parties to be able to compete in future elections.
The U.S. Senate vote:
This is very similar to the NY presidential vote; It’s a done deal, and the Democrat, Schumer will be re-elected in a landslide. So why waste the vote on him or the Republican?