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Posted 2 Nov 2000 00:00:00 UTC

Our poll of visitors to our website on who the best presidential candidate is has resulted in a clear majority for Ralph Nader as the person who would best represent the interests of people concerned about freedom of speech, the DMCA, and all of the bad things that have been happening in the hacker world in the recent past.

By a nearly 2 to 1 margin, Nader beat Libertarian candidate Harry Browne. Support for remaining candidates (including Bush and Gore) was a fraction of what Nader and Browne received.

The breakdown is as follows:

Ralph Nader (Green Party)
Harry Browne (Libertarian Party)
George Bush (Republican Party)
Al Gore (Democratic Party)
Pat Buchanan (Reform Party)
John Hagelin (Natural Law Party)
David McReynolds (Socialist Party)
Howard Phillips (Constitution Party)

While we normally get tens of thousands of unique visitors to our site each day, respondents here numbered less than one thousand, presumably because we asked people to justify their responses rather than merely pick someone. What our informal poll lacks in numbers, it makes up for in thoughtful insight which presumably represents what others think but simply didn't have the time to tell us.

Regardless, this is all completely unscientific and was really meant to satisfy our own curiosity as to what people think who take an interest in the hacker community and its ongoing struggles. Below are some of the responses we got.

Well, I'm supposed to believe because I'm going to vote for Nader that ultimately I'm voting for Bush... This only encourages me more that the democratic party is really frightened by Nader... I say GOOD!!!

Nader is an advocate for the consumer which though hashed over again and again is a good viewpoint to have. He is also for economic equality and maybe most importantly, removing the corporate control of our representative government. Oh, occasionally the government smacks a corporation with a fine or a fee AFTER the many wrongs that they've committed but for the most part elected officials work for the money.

Nader has been fighting big business for 37 years and is responsible for pushing through congress many laws including, but not limited to, the Freedom of Information Act.

We need to have an alternative to the republican/democrat duoploly. With the support that Nader has today, he has the best chance of any of the alternate candidates to achieve the minimum 5% populist vote that will make the Green party a recognized party and earn federal funding in the 2004 election.

Harry Browne and the Libertarians are the way to go. Government should be about national defense and public protection and that's that.

In my opinion, Ralph Nader would be the ideal candidate to waste a vote on. Even if you don't agree with anything he has to say, he is most likely going to recieve the most votes of any and candidate other than Gore or Bush. Enough votes for a third party will hopefully do two things: raise awarness that there are alternatives to the major two parties, and hopefully make the Democrats and Republicans nervous enough that in the future they'll listen more to the people than to the corpies with money.

Neither Gore nor Bush will get my vote. This registered Democrat is going with Nader. I am very concerned about what kind of place America will be for my kids, and I don't think I want it to be the sort of place where men like Gore or Bush can even get NOMINATED, never mind elected.

I'd go for Ralph Nader of all the possible candidate he's the one that freaks me out the least. Now I'm not actually living in America, so my angle is a little different, but Nader seems to be a lot less megalomaniacal than the other candidates. George Bush is esp. scary. Also I understand Nader is the outsider with the best chance of actually winning (at least he's the only "alternate" candidtate we've heard about in the media over here.)

I have several reasons I am voting for him, but to avoid a long email, I'll just mention two very important ones. I am voting for Nader because he sees the problems with these megacorp powers, and I think he will fight for the people (Gore and Bush are both Valenti-like corporate puppets). I am also casting my vote for him because of all third party candidates, I feel he has the best chance of getting that crucial 5% of the national vote so that the Green party will have federal funding for the next election campaign.

Candidate: Harry Browne
Why: Smaller government

I will be voting for Harry Browne in this upcoming election. I have been a Libertarian for quite some time, and maybe that has shaped the direction of my research for this election. I believe that our constitution does not call for a huge and bloated government like the one we have now.

One of the biggest appeals of Harry Browne is that he wants to abolish all the laws that our federal government does not have the power to make. This would include the DMCA.

Any vote for a third party is a vote of distrust for the two ruling parties. When they start losing enough votes to third parties they might start to pay attention to the desires of Americans and not Political Action Committees.

NO argument from me about your premise that a vote for either Gore or Bush is a vote for the status quo. Both of these guys owe their political souls to the largest corporations in the U.S. Seats at their thousand-dollar-a-plate fund raiser/dinners are filled with the very same people.

I'm voting for Ralph Nader. His record is a long string of accomplishments that put individual civil liberites and consumer rights at the top of the list of national priorities. One of his concerns is elections themselves. He wants to end our current insanity of selling the presidency to the highest bidder. His plan is to give all duly-qualified presidential cnadidates equal air time. Of course, he won't win this year. One of the reasons he's running, however, is to win five percent of the vote, which will qualify his party (Green) to receive federal funds in the next race. Another of his goals is to establish a solid national base of support made up of people who will serve as watchdogs, watching whoever does win this year's election, holding their feet to the fire, as the expression goes.

Well, this has been quite the moral dilema. Living in Minnesota, a supposed "swing state" it has been tough to avoid the "lesser of two evils" line of reasoning and vote Gore merely because Bush gives me nightmares. However, Gore is also an evil man, and I have decided that I could not feel like a good person having voted for him..

Now.. one less vote for Gore means a slightly higher chance of a Bush victory. A Bush victory could be disasterous - I'm guessing the kind of supreme court justices that would repeal Roe V Wade would probably not understand DeCSS. So.. what does that mean? Perhaps its time for an American revolution. It is my belief that if Dubya is elected, we may see a revolution along the lines of those that swept Europe in the 19th century. What makes america immune to a coup? Only time will tell I suppose...

Here's my vote, and my reason...

Ralph Nader - "Government Of, By, And For The People ... Not Monied Interests."

I will vote for GW Bush because I think that Gore has trouble telling the truth and he has been painted with the same brush as Clinton. The country needs a change and lets reduce big government once and for all.

I am a registered Libertarian and I will be voting for Harry Browne this year because he is the "ONLY" candidate that wants to get the government out of our lives. Big Government has gotten the government into our daily lives, and the only way to stop that is by electing candidates that will support smaller government.

You can't go East by heading West, so if you want the government out of your life you must not vote for those making government bigger. That only leaves one candidate, and that is Harry Browne.

I'm definitely voting Ralph Nader, and I believe the hacker community has excellent reasons to support him:

Nader is the most outspoken critic of the increasing power of corporations; he firmly advocates reforms to hold them accountable for their outrageous behavior. (Nader has in fact battled massive corporate entities in court, most notably the US auto industry--whom he forced to adapt long-needed safety measures in cars.)

Nader vehemently opposes the two-party duopoly. He demands reforms against all corporate political donations--which are obviously paid back by Republicrats with laws such as the DMCA. Nader being amongst the most uncompromising consumer advocates, he would no doubt fight such outrageous legislature (that so readily passed through the Republicrat congress.)

Finally, Nader really scares the big parties. They were afraid enough of him SPEAKING to America to shut him out of the debates, twice, even as spectator with a ticket! Why? Because Ralph could bring their comfortable sleepover with corporations (at the expense of our rights) to an end.

Nader advocates adding .sucks, .union, and various other domain extensions, which would make it impossible (and illegal) for companies to silence their critics--sound familiar? ;-)

i think nader is the best pick (though still not perfect). right on the front page, it says "put the interests of workers, consumers, and the environment above those of multinational corporations."

nader, as most people know, has been an advocate of rights of the consumer instead of huge corporations for decades. he also favors campaign finance reform, which would change the way that campaigns are funded, disallowing huge bribes (or "donations") which then lead to things like the DMCA getting passed, legislation that probably would never have even been considered without heavy corporate lobbying.

nader is also supported by jello biafra (who was also nominated to the green party ticket) who spoke at the HOPE conference and has been an activist against censorship for almost as long as i've been alive. biafra himself was sued for putting a poster a record album by his band that was deemed obscene by certain people in power (including the PMRC).

it is my opinion that neither the reform party nor the libertarians would be very beneficial to the hacker community, as they believe a "free" market to be more important than anything. the freer the market, the more powerful the corporations within that market. which will only lead to bills even more draconian than the DMCA with which to "protect" their profits. they are also opposed to campaign finance reform.

i can't say much for the other parties mentioned, but nader is certainly the best recognized third party candidate (besides maybe buchanan, who truly is psychotic) and the best chance for creating an actual third party that can get into presidential debates so that more voices can be heard.

I want to vote Gore even though he isnt the greatest candidate. I have considered voting for Nader, but i believe it is a waste of a vote. I look on the elections as the choice of two evils. The evilest and worst choice being Bush. When i look at him i think man, he is an idiot. He relates everything to Texas, and who cares about Texas? I do not. I am also concerned about the choices Bush will make over such problems as the Israel and Palestine. I think he lacks the personality and will to make a difference in such a place. Bush is just an absolute idiot, we do not want someone in charge who is totaly dominated by his advisors. I can see why it looked like Al Gore wanted to beat him up during the third debate. The man will give the US a bad rap. He will be the laughing stock of governements around the world. The question in my mind is "Do i want an idiot for a President? " My answer is NO. I know i have not addressed free speech/computer related issues, but everyone knows the alternative candidates will not win, so we must choose out of the two who have the best chance, and decide which one do we want.

I think it should be obvious to all who are intersted in privacy that Harry Browne, the libertarian candidate for President is the only choice.

This man would fight to remove all of the invasive techniques used by the current governments to monitor your activities.

He would also, hopefully, enact more severe penalties for those that are apprehended for malicious invasions.

I am a 16 year old and know most of everything about politics. I have made my choice of Harry Browne the Libertarian candidate. He preaches responsibility and small government.

The Libertarian Party has been a long-time supporter of online freedom (see http://www.lp.org/issues/internet.html).

Big intrusive government is the problem and the Libertarians want to reduce it.

Choosing who I am going to vote for this year has been incredibly hard. I absolutely despise the thought of bush's corporation friendly, anti-choice, bigotted sexual orientation views,and upper class orientated platform. So then the obvious choice would be Al Gore, right? Wrong. Although Al Gore seems to be the antithesis of everything Bush is, he is cleary not. Al Gore wants to continue wasting huge amounts of money on a military that is, except for peacekeeping in non-nuclear countries, effectively useless. He has not acknowledged or made any statements about the clinton administration's continual efforts to squelch free speech on the net (I.E. CDA,and continuous FBI efforts to undermine privacy). So now we come to the green party. I must say that at first I dismissed Ralph Nader as another lunatic third party candidate that we so often see running for the communist and socialist parties, nevermind that I hadn't even read anything about his platform. But as the election comes down to the wire, many friends urged me to take look at what he had to say. So I did, and all I can say to my friends is "thank god you don't rely on the mass media to spoon feed you like so many other Americans, including myself do at times." Ralph Nader is the embodyment of everything that was once and is good in America. He promotes non-discrimination for gender, race, and sexual orientation. He wants to get tough on big business, reduce goverment military spending by 50%, legalize industrial hemp, ensure complete privacy in the online arena, repeal the death penalty, help the nation become much more environment friendly, and supports the right to choose. And that is just a short list. So how is it that if Nader is such a good candidate you havn't heard of him? Election two-party politics is why. The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), a commission run by the democrats and republicans, refused to allow Nader to debate, in fact they didn't even allow him to watch the debates when he had a ticket! "Big deal" you say why should they let some third party candidate in on the debates? Well it just so happens that Nader could capture 5% of the popular vote and get matching federal funds for the next election, in this election. Don't you feel that a candidate who is about to capture millions of votes should be let into the debates?! Oh and you'll also notice that nader is going to capture these votes with practically no mainstream media attention. If you go to the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, or CNN online you'll notice that the only articles involving Nader are those that have the gore campaign blasting him on some issue or another. Why is this? Well unfortunately, the powers-that-be decided giving Nader coverage could jeopardize Mr. Gore's chances of being elected, since most of Nader's supporters usually vote democrat. Don't you feel it's a sad day so called idealistic and responsible reporters decide it's in your best interest to not know about a viable candidate? Well let me tell you, I am mad as hell and I'm not going to take it. When election day comes I'm going to march down to election poles and vote Nader, with the hope that enough people can also see through the stagnation of america's current two-party system,do likewise, and give Mr. Nader his 5% so that next election he can have his matching federal funds, and give the bigwigs a run for their money!

I would vote for Ralph Nader because he seems least corrupted and a better leader. He's been down here in Santa Cruz, Cali and he seems pretty cool, i mean, none of the other candidates have come down here.

the 200 vote is of vital importance in establishing a legitimate third party. we need alternatives to the right wing republicans and the right wing democrats. we need Ralph Nader in the presidential office! he's against the WTO, he supports a living wage for all americans, he dosen't take shit from corporate amerikkka. he is THE alternative choice for the 2000 election. i'm voting for him because if i don't do it, the two-party system which has taken control of american politics will never be overthrown.

1. He's wary of legislation against imaginary threats that really just minimize personal freedoms (e.g., his opposition to the War on Drugs).

2. He doesn't side with big business, who, fearing loss of info and income, pressure the government to outlaw hacking. (He's openly and repeatedly criticized Bill Gates, even referring to him as a thief. I think that outdoes even Izaac's admission that "Microsoft sucks"!)

3. In a related issue, he opposes the current neoliberal worship of "free trade", which has done much to help criminalize hacking.

4. He seems to keep a skeptical view of technology as something worth critically examining (e.g., cars).

5. Finally, you only need to listen to him for a minute to tell that he's an intelligent guy, unlike so many other candidates to whom a speech is the repetition of sound-bites crafted specifically to marshal support in the polls.

My choice is Ralph Nader.

Without dethrowning big business from our government, we cannot hope to prevent legislation like the DMCA. Ralph says he'll do that, amoung other things.

Also, he would pull the US out of the WTO - which would further limit business' power to buy legislation.

What the president of the Motion Picture Association of America says about taking away your constitutional rights:

"I'm rather jubilant now. What Judge Kaplan did was blow away every one of these brittle and fragile rebuttals. He threw out fair use; he threw out reverse engineering; he threw out linking."

- Jack Valenti, president of the Motion Picture Association of America.

The fundamental problem with our government is that corporations have too much power. If you have enough money you can buy legislation, much like what the MPAA has done with the DMCA. Disney has successfully extended the length of copyright protection to 95 years after the author's death or longer (the exact figure escapes me, but it is for all intents and purposes unlimited since it will get extended again). The copyright on Mickey Mouse was set to expire in a couple of years, thus the legislation. Copyrights originally were meant to last for 7 years.

But I digress. The bottom line is that citizens do not have a fair say in the way our government operates. Ralph Nader is the best candidate to stand up for the rights of citizens. Pat Buchanan is basically a fascist and the Libertarian Party advocates getting rid of public education and many regulations that protect us from corporate power. I do not know about the other parties you list.

Ralph Nader has been an advocate for consumer and citizen rights for his entire life. It would be difficult to argue that any single person has been a more consistent advocate for people and against corporate power. Although I do not know whether or not Nader has voiced any opinion on the DMCA, his stand in support of low powered radio stations against the FCC and corporate broadcasters demonstrates his priorities.

If you want freedom, Harry Browne is the man to vote for. The libertarians core beliefs are smaller government, period. This means less government programs taking away your money to give it to the undeserving, Less government agents kicking down your door to steal your dvd players, and finally, less American citizens being sent to death traps in foreign waters. He, and the libertarian party (www.lp.org feel free to add that under his name too) are the only clear choice for total freedom. Nader is a socialist (that means no personal wealth) and Buchanan does not even truly know his party's platform. There's my two cents, which i hope to be able to keep some day:)

While other candidates have to incessantly condition their beliefs in freedom with "but", "except for", "only when", etc., Harry Browne is the only candidate (and the LP is the only party) that believes 100% in the rights enumerated by the Constitution and that government should be limited to those tasks so ordered by the Constitution.

The LP & Harry Browne do not put conditions on Rights. And believe that people are far more capable than our government gives them credit for.

Hello everyone, I'd like to explain my reasoning in deciding to vote for Ralph Nader this year. First of all, I'd probably vote for Ralph even if I wasn't so concerned about the freedom of information (I live in a community where nearly every car has a Green Party sticker and everybody knows who Michael Moore is), but I was also impressed by Nader's stand against the Microsoft monopoly during the anti-trust hearings. I'm a hard-core windows user and agreed with Microsoft at the time, but whether or not Nader was wrong about that issue, his attitude was right--he opposed Microsoft when it appeared it was getting too big to be legal. And given Microsoft's attitude after getting hacked, we might need someone like Nader to keep corporations like Microsoft from getting too much power. I don't think Nader's campaign, as some people have said, has anything to do with his ego. There are plenty of ways to do indulge your vanity without spending money on a presidential campaign. And he was in a pretty good position to do that even before entering the race. Oh, yes, and as for that "a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush" crap, that didn't fool me in the Bush/Perot years and it's not gonna fool me now. Unless you expect me to believe that my one vote, when added to everyone else's, is going to be exactly the right amount to take away votes from Gore without actually giving enough to Nader to win.

I've been doing lots of reading, and Harry Browne (Libertarian party) is the only candidate that I would want in office. I know that my vote won't put him there, but its still my opinion. He is strongly against censorship, invasion of privacy, and making stupid laws that benifit only the rich. Of cource, Nader has these same strengths. What puts Browne over the top is that he wants to put the complete power of the nation back to the people. He wants the government to stop spending billions of our dollars to enforce their thousands of regulations on the people every year. If our current government trend continues: I would have to walk a regulated speed to my favorite fast food place, order a government regulated nutritionally valued meal, packed in government approved containers, pay a government approved price, and eat it in a government approved mannor. Things should not be this way. I should be able to buy whatever I want and do whatever I want with it, as long as I don't infringe on the basic rights of others. Right now I could go buy a BigMac and wear it on my head if I want. But who knows, next year congress could pass the BMCA (Big Mac Copyright Act), that says you can't use a BigMac in ways it was not intended for, as written in the BMCA. This all sounds rediculous, but it is exactly the same thing they are doing now. The corporations rely on the fact that the general public doesn't understand technology, they use this ignorance to pass laws that would otherwise be as obviously stupid as the BMCA. We need people in power that have interests other than money. People that are against regulating everything we do in life. The president alone can't do this. We need to elect similar congressmen as well. I believe Browne is sometimes a bit extreme, but that is OK with me. And extreme in one direction in power will in some ways balance out the hundres of others.

Ralph Nader may be the most ignored and yet most qualified candidate out there. After they excluded him from the debates, and the media giving him less than no coverage, It makes me laugh watching the Democrats apealing to Ralph to step down from the race now that he has nearly 10% support in some states. And seeing the "evil" Republicans Donate $100,000 to support Ralph's campaign in order to take votes away from Gore!

Two days ago I went to my local APO Post Office and retrieved my mail. Upon sorting through my mail, I found the piece of mail from my county clerks office that I had been waiting for nearly three weeks to receive. My absentee ballot had arrived.

Being in the military overseas allowed me the opportunity to cast my vote a little early. There was no doubt in my mind about who I wanted my vote to represent. I had been converted to a "Naider Raider".

There is several different reasons why I chose Mr. Naider. The biggest reason is his sincere honesty and willingness to give his stance on all the issues. A quick check of his website gives all of his views on the major issues. The second reason is his record. Mr. Nader has been involved with helping people and participating in the political scene since the sixties. The work he did to protect consumers from the auto industry is just one example. The third reason is a simple statement he made on Larry King Live that I agree with. Even though I don't have the exact quote, it was in regards to looking at the two candidates and noticing that there is no real difference in many of the issues. That for real change, your vote should go to him. The fourth reason is, I agree with most of the stances that he takes. Even though I won't say I support 100% of his views, I agree with a good 90%.

I choose Browne because he supports smaller government. He wants to pull the federal gov. out of things like Welfare and Social Security, and I support this. He also thinks the government has no place in the personal affairs of lives, such as gay marrriage and abortion. While stating that he disagrees with abortion he doens't see why the gov. should dictate the morals of the country. Also while listening to a speach he gave over the internet he outright said that he disagrees with the control of the internet, amd control of digital music. He stated that it represses the freedom of speach, and the freedom of freedom. What good is "freedom" if you can't do anything with it?

I think that with them (the Libertarian Party) at the Federal level, we could finally make some inroads to reversing years of Republican influence (Big Business interests) and Democratic influence (Big Government interests).

I'm not a die-hard Libertarian or a die-hard anything, actually. For me it's a recent revelation that the Libertarian agenda clicks very well with the way I want things to be.

My vote goes for Harry Browne, the only candidate who will extract the painful talons of government from our backs and allow people to be people. Individual entities. Most importantly, the excess power of our law enforcment will be stripped, with citizens allowed to defend themselves against predators. Information barriers too would be weakened under Harry Browne, making obfuscated legal "protections" like DCMA and ridiculous "process" patents invalid. Harry Browne will serve to restore government to its original and ONLY position, to protect and serve its citzenry.

When a politician receives 5% of the popular vote he/she is able to receive federal funding, Nader seem to be holding on to the number three spot according to the polls, I feel like my vote for Nader is a challenge to the two-party system. And although I know that Nader will not win (this election anyways) and although I don't agree with all his policies, My vote has a much stronger chance of changing things for the future then voting for Bush or Gore does.

the problem with corporations owning our next president is pretty blatant. if a corp. owns our next president, we'll never have free speech. everything will come from the corporations best interest. if you vote for gore or bush, you might as well elect the mpaa into office.

The Libertarian "slogan" is 'Less government in you life, more money in your pocket'. I've seen their plans for when they make it into office. I tell ya.... it looks pretty darn good.

The Constitution Party believes the government was formed with the mandate to protect our borders and our citizens, who have freedom to life and liberty. Other than that, get out of our lives. Sounds good to me.

As the election looms, I stongly encourage readers of 2600 to vote for Harry Browne of the Libertarian Party. His platform is most beneficial to hackers and all Americans for one simple reason - personal freedon and responsibility.

The Libertarian Party's core belief is that the federal government's role is clearly defined by the Constitution. Anything not mentioned in the Constitution is not the federal government's business. Therefore, the only crimes that can be prosecuted by the feds would be treason, piracy (in the swashbuckling sense, not the MPAA sense) and counterfeiting.

A Libertarian government would end the insane war on drugs. According to the FBI's own records, 704,812 Americans were arrested last year on marijuana-related charges, while only 635,990 people were arrested for the crimes of murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. The war on drugs is one of the main reasons our privacy is regularly violated.

Hacking would not be a federal crime, unless a hacker acutally materially altered financial data (electronic counterfeiting). (i.e. Examining the security of you bank's on-line systems would not be a federal crime; only altering account balances for gain would be a crime.)

Gore, Bush, Nader, Buchannan, and Hagelin all have proposed more government intrusion into your lives. The Constitution Party wants to restrict the federal government to its original powers, but still wants to be able to fight the drug war. Nearly every reader of 2600 has directly or indirectly seen how giving more power to government nearly invariably leads to more abuses of citizens. A Libertarian candidate appears on every ballot in the United States. I encourage every reader of 2600 to defend his freedom by voting Libertarian this year.

Our country deserves a choice among candidates that have more variation than Coke and Pepsi. I _still_ have yet to hear any meaningful difference between Gore and Bush. I know that some will contend that a Libertarian vote is a wasted vote, But I know that for the first time since I began voting, I will not feel like I need to wash the filth off of me when I leave the voting booth.

the libertarian party has me very convinced. they're who im voting for. Less government is the only solution, and as far as i can see, only the libertarians and the constitution party offer that... aside from smaller government, we must realise that throughout history, good change has always happened in large bounds, not small improvements... what harry browne offers might seem quite radical, but if it works, as it seems it might, what a great world it would be.

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