Last week a beautiful thing happened in Virginia. All the Republican Presidential candidates, except for Ron Paul and Mitt Romney, got to taste their own medicine…the same medicine the GOP, along with the Democrats, have been giving 3rd parties for decades. I’ve said many times that we’re all Americans first before we register for a political party. So, I’m not taking a side other than the American side. I’ve talked about the difficulty of getting on the ballot if you are not GOP or DEM in a previous article about “Americans Elect”. For decades, the 3rd parties’ cries of foul play have fallen on deaf ears.
The 3rd parties are named that way for a reason…they are not one of the 2 main parties – Republican or Democrat. Most of the rules in existence are in place for these 3rd Parties because they are a nuisance. Many times, the weaker of the 2 main parties wins because the 3rd Party siphons votes away from the stronger party.
For example, if a Republican candidate would have received 52% of the votes in a particular election compared to 48% for the Democrat candidate, then the Republican would win that election. Conversely, if there were a lot of 3rd Party, right-wing candidates running during that same election, then it is possible that the Republican candidate would only get 47% of the votes, while the Democrat candidate receives 48% and 3rd Party candidates receive the remaining 5% of the votes. In this second scenario, the Democrat candidate would win simply because the votes that would have normally gone to the Republican candidate are now fractured and split among multiple parties.
If some Republicans did not do what was necessary to get their name on the ballot in Virginia, then they got what they deserved. Easy ballot access would muddy the waters with way too many candidates on each ballot. The ballot process in Virginia narrows down the candidates to showcase only the strong candidates with a lot of support. More states should follow Virginia’s lead.
The established parties of today are the Democrats and Republicans. There are numerous obstacles to navigate in order to get on the ballot. If you are not one of those two parties, then the process can be likened to an uphill battle…in the snow…without any shoes…while pushing a car. I know, that was a little much. I could have just said it is absolutely F*****G ridiculous, but anybody could have easily said that, and besides, I like to have fun. I decided to say both…so there! I just want you to understand how serious an issue this is. We live in the land of the free, correct? Our political process seems like land of the free unless you threaten the two party process. Both the DEM and GOP parties have agreed to these rules. They hate competition. They hate it so much that they also make it difficult for 3rd parties to compete with regard to campaign funding and to get invited to televised debates.
So here we go…in Virginia…December 23, 2011. Ron Paul and Mitt Romney are the ONLY candidates to submit 10,000 signatures which includes 400 from each of Virginia’s 11 congressional districts. That means these two are on the Republican primary ballot all by themselves. You also have Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich (who lives in Virginia…OUCH!) complaining about taking legal action and write-in ballot votes, which, by the way, Virginia does not allow on their primary ballots. Are you starting to see why all of these 3rd parties have been complaining for decades about the overall ballot process in this country? I think this is good for America. Maybe this will open a few closed minds and make them realize that it is in Lady Liberty’s best interest for the American people to have the ability to choose from a wide selection of candidates. If a candidate truly has no support, then let the voting reflect that support. I really don’t see the issue with making it easy to qualify to get on the ballot. It is a win-win situation for all of us.
Unless…of course…you don’t like to play fair!