I've been a bit on the outside of the big party debates, as I'm actually a registered Green and have been for about 15 years. I registered Green back when they were first trying to get on the ballot and I've seen no reason to change since then. Whenever I go to my polling place to vote and they check my name on the rolls, the mention of "Green" always tosses everyone for a little loop ("Green? Hey, a Green. Where's the Green voter forms? They're the green ones.")
I live in an extremely gerrymandered district (as are just about all districts in California), so my vote for things like US Representative and
State Senate/Representative is just about as meaningless as it gets. However, I still always vote. There are the statewide and national offices and the statewide and local propositions (don't get me started on those). Besides, my philosophy is: If you don't vote, you can't gripe!
An interesting thing happened today at the middle school, where I help coach the Math Contest Club. The kids were asking me if I voted for Clinton or Obama. I told them they had to wait until we were done with the contest we were taking, but while they worked I had an interesting thought. They were asking me if I thought a woman or a black man was a better choice for President. That's certainly a conversation *I* never had the chance to have when I was in middle school, and I don't even think kids had 8 years ago. For me, that is the most marvelous part of this very intriguing election year.
Later, I told them I was a registered Green and started in on my rant about big money politics and gerrymandering and they lost attention and asked me what the contest answers were. Oh well...