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Ask Reddit: Why are there no third parties in the USA? - Adventures in Engineering — LiveJournal
The wanderings of a modern ronin.

Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2007-09-24 10:50
  Subject:   Ask Reddit: Why are there no third parties in the USA?
Public
  Mood:*YOU* are dumb as shit
  Music:Consolidated - Brutal Equation
  Tags:  politics, reddit, usa not worth saving

There have been many of them throughout our history. But, they rarely gain traction because of our ridiculous winner take all politics, the structure of the Electoral College and restricted ballot access in most states. The duopoly jealously guards access to ballots and even to media opportunities and debates. So third parties like the Greens, Libertarians, Reform, and US Constitution parties never really stand a chance.

Occasionally, 3rd party candidates like Ross Perot or Ralph Nader do manage to shake things up just enough to force the duopoly to address issues that they otherwise wouldn't touch. But, even that is severely hampered by what amounts to an iron fisted control of US politics by a political machine who's chief purpose is to consolidate power.




The [two main parties] starve [third parties] by making it very hard to get on the ballot. If you are a republican or democratic candidate, you might have to get 5000 signatures in a given state to remain on the ballot. If you are a third party, you would need to get something like 50,000 signatures to get on the ballot. This varies by state but these numbers are typical.

It takes a lot of money and effort to get on the ballot.

The other way they starve third parties is by excluding them from the debate.

p.s. Occassionaly, a democrat or republican won't bother to even get the 5000 or so signatures they are required to. When law suits brought by third parties try to then keep them off the ballot, the judiciary usually gives them a pass on the logic that "we can't deny the people their choice, now can we?"

p.p.s What this has to do with funding is that third parties wind up spending most of what they raise toward getting enough signatures to get on the ballot.




How do they do this? Do they just refuse to have debates with third parties?

Thanks a lot for answering my questions! No matter how many episodes of the West Wing I watch, I still find many elements of this system boggling.



http://reddit.com/info/2sxl6/comments


What? Arresting third-party candidates who dare to attempt to participate in debates? THAT NEVER HAPPENS!


What a bunch of sorry-ass, stupid, duped, deluded shitheads you are, America. You can't even fucking impeach a president who lied you into a horrible, evil war. And now you think you can restructure your whole damn government from the bottom up! HA! You dumb, pathetic, brainless morons! Your utter cluelessness would make me sob like a little girl if I wasn't so busy laughing my ass off at your unbelievable, insane levels of naivete!

YOUR GOVERNMENT WILL NEVER YIELD A SINGLE IOTA OF POWER! THEY LIKE THINGS THE WAY THEY ARE! WHY DO YOU ASK, CITIZEN?
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Coinneach Fitzpatrick
  User: scarybaldguy
  Date: 2007-09-24 17:28 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Your utter cluelessness would make me sob like a little girl if I wasn't so busy laughing my ass off at your unbelievable, insane levels of naivete!

It would be funnier if the stupidity of the horse-brained masses had no negative impact on those of us with a clue.
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2007-09-24 19:35 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
True dat. But there's always voting with one's feet...
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  User: nickhalfasleep
  Date: 2007-09-24 21:13 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
I've got bread and circuses! What more could I want?
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A Queen Of The Shadow Realm
  User: mistress_wench
  Date: 2007-09-24 23:11 (UTC)
  Subject:   lulz, watch me fail at politics..
Yeah something like that here too, Labour and Liberal, the other parties wouldn't have a chance at winning the top spot. But unlike your place, it's compulsory to vote here..
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2007-09-25 01:25 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Same in Australia. Unbelievable. Talk about the system not even trying to pretend it's free. "Participation in government is mandatory, citizen! Even if they're all horrible choices, we'll force you to vote for one of these losers!!"
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osmium_ocelot
  User: osmium_ocelot
  Date: 2007-09-25 01:51 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Which is abhorrent, BUT I would be inclined to not mind that kind of forced participation if there was a "no confidence" vote. In other words, if there was a box that I could mark off that meant "I have no confidence in any of these asshats to do a good job"; AND if enough votes came back "no confidence" then the political machine would have to produce a viable candidate.

Pipe dream, I know.
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A Queen Of The Shadow Realm
  User: mistress_wench
  Date: 2007-09-25 03:12 (UTC)
  Subject:   Is not all bad, I suppose.. ;)
At least this guy's halfway human:
http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hfMUtxxDnszgwGfdyMd8pnSeSdCQ
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2007-09-25 06:08 (UTC)
  Subject:   Re: Is not all bad, I suppose.. ;)
I'm a lot less interested in where he spends his free time and a lot more interested in what his stands on the issues are... which eivdently makes me different than at least 3/4 of the voting population.
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A Queen Of The Shadow Realm
  User: mistress_wench
  Date: 2007-09-25 06:26 (UTC)
  Subject:   Re: Is not all bad, I suppose.. ;)
Well..to me it seems the parties play off of each other, kind of like good cop/bad cop and it gets tiring. Apart form the policies, I think I like to know that Rudd was human and went to a strip club, rather than a seemingly inhuman leader who has sent thousands of people off to die for oil The Good of the Country (tm) The War on Terr0rz.
Eh, you can tell I'm not used to this kind of talk. I am also jealous because I've never been to a strip club. Maybe.
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Ashfae
  User: ashfae
  Date: 2007-09-25 19:45 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Because our electoral processes are out of date. And suck.

*hearts the UK electoral system*
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