Gary Johnson and the 2-party stranglehold on presidential debatesSubmitted by SFTS on Fri, 10/05/2012 - 12:43
October 4, 2012
By: Lane Filler
We are a two-party system -- not by law, but because the Democrats and the Republicans have seized the mechanisms of government. They use their control to maintain power, and other parties can't compete. This causes a bunch of self-perpetuating, corrosive behaviors, like government-funded primaries for these major parties, which are really nothing but private organizations. Withholding the money for a Republican primary out of a libertarian's paycheck makes as much sense as taxing Jews to pay for KKK dance parties (now that's an idea for a reality show).
Another, more pressing way the Republicans and Democrats control the process came about in the late 1980s when the two major parties created the "nonpartisan" Commission on Presidential Debates, and crowded out the League of Women Voters, which had run the general election debates up until then.
In 1988, the League withdrew, saying in a statement that "the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter." The League was right. The debates have largely been unfair and prepackaged since then, and the Commission on Presidential Debates is currently run by a former head of the Republican National Committee and a former White House press secretary (under Bill Clinton). And no one from any other party need apply.
We now have an estimated 90 million "unlikely voters." These are citizens eligible to cast a ballot, who likely won't bother.
They say their vote won't matter, that there's nothing worth voting for. Interestingly, about 20 percent say they would vote for a third-party candidate if they did bother to cast a ballot, and 53 percent say third-parties are needed.