S-Space Researcher Institutes (연구소) American Studies Institute (미국학연구소) 미국학 미국학 Volume 33 Number 1/2 (2010)
미국 제3정당 대통령 후보에 대한 법적, 제도적 제약: 2000년 랄프 네이더의 사례
David versus Goliath: Ralph Nader's Struggle against Electoral System in 2000 U.S. Presidential Election
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 미국학연구소
- 미국학, Vol.33 No.1, pp. 233-257
- Third Party Candidates(제3정당 후보); Legal-institutional Constraints(법적ㆍ제도적 제약); Ballot Access(밸럿 액세스); Ralph Nader(랄프 네이더); “Choice and Focus” Strategy(“선택과 집중” 전략)
- This research examines the legal-institutional characteristic of American politics which is disadvantageous to third party presidential candidates. In particular, it aims to answer two questions: how federal aspects of electoral system which guarantees each state’s autonomy and two levels of laws provide third party candidates with adverse circumstance, and how third party candidates devise their electoral strategy in response to these obstacles?
Electoral College system charted by federal constitution makes it impossible to convert popular votes which third party candidates gain to their substantial effects. Moreover, ballot access rules stipulated by each state’s statute are the prerequisite for third party candidates’ entry, which are the toughest barriers to them. By creating political dynamics unfavorable to minor candidates, these not only continue and reinforce the ascendancy of two-party system in the United States but also affect the scope and pattern of their electioneering. Ralph Nader, the nominated presidential candidate from Green Party in 2000, had to suffer from these harsh legal-institutional restrictions. Most of all, achieving ballot access is the most imperative to Nader, thus he travelled all fifty states for elevating his recognition. He criticized different and complicated regulation of ballot access laws and even brought in several lawsuits against state governments for qualifying himself as a presidential candidate. During the election campaign period, Nader selectively visited some states supportive to him among 44 states in which he could obtain ballot access as an electoral strategy of state-specific “choice and focus”.
This paper suggests that deep-rooted political system and constitutions which reflect the federal system of the United States are the most crucial factor to understand the low status of third party candidates. However, it is also implied that they are able to design their own electoral maneuvering under or beyond these legal-institutional obstacles.
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