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Want to support a third party? Here are your options

Published: Thursday, Jan. 16 2014 11:58 p.m. MST

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snowyphile
Jemez Springs, NM

Voting accomplishes next to nothing when one has a federal government like ours. Of course, one can try to stave off lamebrains, but it's too much to hope for for Congress to do our bidding. Switzerland demonstrates the feasibility of democracy. Their parliamentarians serve their constituents and only their constituents. They have referenda several times a year. Switzerland goes about things judiciously, while the US is effectively DUI, doing donuts, and its citizens will pay -- unless they take the wheel.

Lillith70
SLC, UT

To vote third party is to make sure that Hillary Clinton gets elected in 2016. A third party candidate would lack party machine and infrastructure--support in the trying times,

Voting "for the man" is rather ignorant since how can we know "the man" without knowing party platforms and goals and past performance?

The Ross Perot effect of the election with Bill Clinton gave him the election with 49% of the vote. During that administration a first lady, a Marxist with also sealed college theses tried to implement universal health Care and failed due to a GOP Congress even with liberal partisan press.

Want third party (ies)? Get the dem and GOP parties to make the elections if any candidate has less than 50% be a runoff with the top 2 candidates. In a runoff, GHWB would have defeated war protestor and Russian visitor, Bill Clinton, handily.

Ross Perot now wishes he hadn't run. Stars in their eyes voters may or may not realize their error since Newt Gingriches contract with America young, eager Freshmen managed to keep Bill and Hill fiscally responsible.

Becareful what you wish for, you may get it. IMO a President Romney would have had us on road to recovery.

J-TX
Allen, TX

I could get behind the Whig, Constitution, Reform or Libertarian Party. But if they got too much power, they would be corrupted just like the current D's and R's.

But I sure would like to VOTE OUT ALL INCUMBENTS and start over.....

J-TX
Allen, TX

Lillith - I voted for Perot for the same reasons I voted for Romney. Economic knowledge.

At least with Clinton we got a balanced budget for 5 years, something that is crucial if the US is to survive the next 25 years economically.

You can tell me I wasted my vote. But you are wrong. I voted for the best candidate. Too bad the rest of America is too stupid to do likewise.

The Kardashian generation is always looking for a charismatic, sound bite spewing mannequin. Then, after the election, all reverts to inaction - just perpetuating the rich guy on the hill syndrome.....

bandersen
Saint George, UT

stupid, stupid, stupid! How about every one forgetting about any party, waking up and kneeling in prayer,reading the Constitution, and getting a life?

Cool Cat Cosmo
Payson, UT

Until we change our voting threshold of 50% +1 (as in, as long as you get one more vote than 50%, your party wins, and all the others get diddly squat), third parties will never flourish nor be a real answer to our problems. It's not the players that are the problem with the game...it's the rules.

If the United States wanted to truly follow a Democratic model, they would allow parties to get representatives after passing a much smaller threshold (like say 5 or 10% of the vote). Here's an example of how it would work:

Party A, B, C, D, and E all run for election (let's say it's for our State Legislature...and to simplify, we'll say that there are 100 seats being voted for). After an election, here are the results:

A: 10%
B: 10%
C: 15%
D: 60%
E: 5%

If the threshold were 5%, then ALL said parties would get that amount of representatives....if it were higher (let's say 15%), then Party A's, B's and E's votes (having not passed the threshold) would be equally redistributed to C and D...thus allowing parties that may be more extreme (but closer to people's true feelings) to thrive, instead of two "general" parties.

Cool Cat Cosmo
Payson, UT

(cont.)

So why would a lower threshold be better? Instead of only truly electing two "lukewarm" parties, any group in any given election that can get over that threshold will get SOME representation in government. If that were the case, apathy in regards to government would decrease, and people would know that their vote meant much more than it currently does (right now, the only votes that really make a difference are in areas where the two major parties are about 50-50...otherwise, in essence your vote IS thrown away, and only symbolic (but in terms of actual influence, null).

For example, this is how Conservatives feel in the California Presidential Election, and Liberals feel in the Utah Presidential Election (the majority in these states always votes one way, so opposing votes don't matter...since 100% of that state's votes go to the winner). Yet if the threshold were lowered, it would be much easier to get their voices heard. This would also increase trust in government, because we'd feel more responsible for what is going on.

Also, to get anything passed (via majority), multiple parties would have to work together, thus fostering a culture of teamwork, rather than one of "one-upmanship" between the two major parties.

grip
Meridian, ID

Did I miss something? Where is the Tea Party? The republican party had best find them or they are looking at another defeat - the Republicans, that is. I usually vote Republican, but I find nothing in the Tea Party to offend me.

J-TX
Allen, TX

grip; The "Tea Party" is a subset of the Republican Party, counting on their dollars and strength to get them heard. If it were an independent party, it would be in the same boat as the Libertarian party - on the outside of the machine, looking in.

Until there are reforms limiting PACs, and campaign finance reform, there will never be a significant 3rd party, because the big money machines of the D's and R's are too firmly entrenched. But who would have to pass these reforms? The D's and R's in Congress, and they never will vote to cut money available for their re-election, so it is a self-perpetuating SNAFU.

vance
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Lets face it. There are really only two parties in Washington, and they have both thrown our Country and Constitution into the mud and continue to trample on it. How much worse could we be with a a third party than the voice of every TRUE American saying "Sorry guys, you've both screwed up and we citizens are taking our Country back. Who ever is Controlling our present two parties, Courts, and our Congress is following a different Constitution than we respect and our ancestors have given their lives for. WE MUST BE UNITED AND TAKE A STAND.

benjjamin
Beaverton, OR

Don't buy into the lie that we need political parties. Democrat, republican and the 31 others mentioned here are all unnecessary. In fact, George Washington warned us to not adopt a political party system. Read George Washington's Farewell Address and then tell me if you still consider yourself a "democrat" "republican" or "other".

We don't need a 3rd party. We need ZERO parties. Let every man vote without regard for the candidates alleged party. Let the man's/woman's qualifications and agenda speak for itself.

MoJules
Florissant, MO

How about the Non-Corrupt party, with Hillary and Christie as the prospective candidates, wouldn't it be nice to have a 3rd choice of someone that isn't all about themselves and corrupting the system. They are one in the same minus two differences, one is male, one is female, one has an R by their name and the other has a D.

Chase
Saint George, UT

How about term limits (for the BILLIONTH TIME!)?

If politicians' wealth is amassing while in office, that's a problem. How is that then public service? It's not. It's self-service.

t702
Las Vegas, NV

US 2 party system is flawed but still the best in the world. The real key is the president needs to be someone with leadership skills and experience, something lacking in the current leader

Shazandra
Bakersfield, CA

Very interesting that the radical '60's produced so many third parties with similar objectives. Then fast-forward to the 21st century rip-offs of either OWS ideals or Tea Party reactives. Not too much originality.

I wish a total reform of our current Buy-the-Presidency platforms, which waste millions and make a mockery of democratic ideals. Give me a party system that limits ALL contibutions beyond $1million entotal, gives all debate-format accessibility if they make the ballot, and elect our reps based on the issues, not their popularity or pocketbooks.

All else is power-mongering and pathos.

MemoFromA Demo
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

The way I see it, there are only two parties: The Establishment Party and the Non-establishment Party. Most elected Democrat and Republican elected officials lose their way and soon become members of the Establishment Party. There are only a few elected officials that aren't lulled into going along to get along. As a Non-establishment Democrat, I've got to hand it to Senator Mike Lee. The man's got a backbone and he's fearless in standing up to the Establishment Parties in Congress.

We often talk about the urgency of electing candidates who will go to Washington and get serious about fixing the broken system. But I'm surprised how many dizzy Establishment Republican citizens live in this State, -- people who talk the talk but won't stand behind a leader who's trying to restore sound government to this country. It may be that too many of us are running their lives and homes the same way our elected officials are running this country, -- into moral and fiscal ruin. They just don't know differently.

yarrlydarb
Ogden, UT

Yeah, that would work! We cannot manage with even three or four, and you ask how we'd do with 31?

I'll tell you; take a look at the political history of Latin America if you really want to know!

I know it. I Live it. I Love it.
Provo, UT

The only people who waste votes are those who either don't, or only follow the mainstream because they don't bother to investigate where they place their support.

Standing up for the truth doesn't depend on whether others do also. Tactically using a vote to influence more mainstream candidates is something I can accept, but those who do then tell us others that we've wasted our support... they simply may not understand what voting integrity means to the rest of us. I understand that too, but I don't welcome any criticism about it.

ShaunMcC
La Verkin, UT

By my count, there are 10 Socialist parties, 3 Fascist parties, 7 one issue or no clear issue parties and 11 parties that focus on retaining, restoring or defending our individual liberties and unalienable rights. In addition, there are two parties that have as their main goal the collection and retention of power at the expense of the American People and their liberties. (That would be the Rs and Ds). I agree with George Washington that the party system leads to corruption and a loss of freedom. Down with parties and up with the character and knowledge of the individual candidate and principles of truth and freedom. I honor those few elected officials who stand for what they believe in, in spite of the party they belong to. They deserve our support because their respective parties will do whatever they can to drive them out of office since they won't tow the "party line". We need a freedom coalition to offer broad based support to those who actually have integrity.

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

Third Parties can be extremely dangerous to themselves and others. The Green Party's Ralph Nader took enough votes away from Gore to give GW Bush the win. And that means the Green Party can be blamed for the immense damage inflicted upon this nation under the GW Bush administration . . . A nation mired in two wars, the alienation of key allies, a doubling of the national debt, and a devastating Great Recession amongst other lesser known fiascoes.

And who knows how much wise environmental legislation was quashed indirectly by Nader and his Greeenies?

In Presidential elections, third parties more often than not work against their own interests.

bluecollar
Kearns, UT

I'll remain unaffiliated. I will continue to oppose extreme conservatism and the fascist-leaning agenda of Contemporary American Conservatives.

HotGlobe
SAN RAFAEL, CA

Republican party has to come to a fork in the road of presidential politics. They can continue losing with moderate Republicans who swing right for the primaries "I am a severe conservative," then left for the general election (never mentioning conservatism again), or they can abandon the right wing and chase the numbers. There aren't going to enough Republicans to win in 2016 or 2020, no matter what they do, so they might as well see these as rebuilding years. Like a baseball team selling off old, but popular stars, they are going to have to rethink the entire team and invest in the future. Anti-gay rights, trivializing rape, electric fences to keep out Mexicans, nuke Iran, business over environment, creationism over science...these are the once-popular stars of the platform that bring in fewer customers every year and will have to be abandoned. The right wing, of course, will be furious, probably enough so that they will start their own party. Either way, the Democrats can win with Al Sharpton for president and Al Franken for VP. Al Pacino will be attorney-general, Al Gore will be secty. of state, and Alcatraz will be the new White House.

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