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Al Gore on third parties and the two party system

The one election is recent history in which the spoiler effect played the most major role – or at least it is perceived that way by many – was the 2000 presidential election. In case you live under a rock, Al Gore lost Florida to George Bush by about 500 votes and that caused him to lose the Electoral College. Meanwhile, Ralph Nader received over 90,000 votes in Florida and 2.7% nationwide.

Interestingly, Al Gore comments on third parties and the dominance of the two major parties in a recent interview with Digg on Al Gore’s channel Current. In the interview, Gore is actually much more gracious and thoughtful than many of his supporters.

The question begins a bit after one minute into the video, and after the first two questions it changes topic.


  1. paulie cannoli paulie cannoli December 12, 2008

    Post is displaying code rather than the video in FF3

  2. Ross Levin Ross Levin Post author | December 12, 2008

    Thanks, I haven’t been on the computer for a couple of hours.

  3. richardwinger richardwinger December 13, 2008

    This is really good journalism, having this Al Gore interview up at IPR. Thank you.

    The questioner wasn’t well prepared. He let Al Gore get away with seeming to say that Ross Perot was permitted in both the 1992 and 1996 debates. Actually Perot was shut out in 1996.

    Also, although it is true Al Gore saw 8 presidential candidates on his 2008 November Tennessee ballot, I wish the interviewer had known to mention that none of them was permitted to have a party label, except for Obama and McCain.

    And, like so many Americans, Al Gore doesn’t even know the definition of “two-party system”. All reference books that define that term agree that it is a system in which two parties are much bigger than all the others. Al Gore seems to think it is a system in which only two parties exist. But, he was likeable and agreeable.

  4. Ross Levin Ross Levin Post author | December 13, 2008

    I think he had so much more respect and thoughtfulness than so many of his supporters. I wish he had been asked about Nader specifically. I’m going to try to find an interview like that.

    I think Nader met Gore once after the 2000 election, at a book signing. Gore just graciously made the book out to Nader and they had a conversation that lasted no more than a couple of seconds.

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