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Monday, June 13, 2011

John Hospers, RIP

Our chapter on political parties discusses the Libertarian Party. In an obituary of one of its candidates, one may find lessons about third parties and the electoral college. Jesse Walker writes at Reason:
John Hospers, the Libertarian Party's first presidential candidate, has died at age 93. He was both the least and most successful of the party's nominees: His 1972 campaign received fewer popular votes than any of its successors (not surprisingly, since he was on the ballot in only two states), but it also was the only campaign to get a vote in the Electoral College, thanks to a libertarian-leaning elector who couldn't bring himself to cast a ballot for Nixon. (Hospers told the tale of his presidential run in an entertaining memoir for Liberty [pdf].)