Five-time presidential candidate and political activist Ralph Nader will speak at Corwin Pavilion this Sunday.
Beginning at 3 p.m., Nader will discuss his political platform for the upcoming election, addressing issues such as national health insurance and renewable energies, and advocating for a quick withdrawal of troops from Iraq. Joined by running mate Matt Gonzalez, the Peace and Freedom party candidates will call upon Barack Obama and John McCain to open the presidential debate to other third party candidates.
The pair will take audience questions following Nader’s speech.
Nader ran as the Green Party candidate in the 1996 and 2000 presidential elections and as an Independent in the 2004 election. When he ran in 2000, he gained 2.74 percent of the popular vote, compared to Al Gore’s 48.38 percent and George W. Bush’s 47.87 percent. Nader was later criticized for taking away votes that may have gone to Democratic candidate Gore and giving the presidency to Bush.
Nader explains in the documentary, An Unreasonable Man, according to the Public Broadcasting Station, “When people say, ‘Why’d you do this in 2000?’ and so on, I’d say, ‘I’m a 20-year veteran of pursuing the folly of the least worst between the two parties.’ Because when you do that, you end up allowing them to both get worse every four years.”
In addition to running as a candidate for president, Nader is an attorney, author, lecturer and political activist, and has been named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential Americans in the twentieth century.
Nader began his career as a public advocate with an article titled “The Safe Car You Can’t Buy,” followed by the book Unsafe at Any Speed. His work exposed the defects of certain cars made in the United States, condemning the automobile industry’s safety practices. Nader’s research and lobbying helped lead congress to pass the 1966 National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act.
“Today, Nader mainly lectures on the growing imperialism of multinational corporations and on the dangerous convergence of corporate and government power,” the PBS Web site says.
“In my opinion, he is the only real candidate representing the people of America and not the corporate interests of America,” Bill Smolenske, spokesman for the campaign in the Santa Barbara area, said.
Nader will be on the ballot in 45 states for the upcoming 2008 presidential election.