In the recent 2012 Presidential election, there are many people who think that it was President Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney. That's it. Two choices. Pick one or the other.
Other people running for President included former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson for the Libertarian Party, Physician Jill Stein of the Green Party and former Mayor of Salt Lake City Rocky Anderson for the Justice Party.
I've voted for third party nominees before. One of the questions I get is "Why would you waste your vote [on a third party candidate who is definitely going to lose]?"
My answer: I'm not "wasting" my vote if I'm voting for who I want to win. It's my choice, not someone else's.
In this past election I've heard a lot of "I don't really like either candidate but I have to vote for one of them."
My answer: Why? Why do you have to vote for a Republican or a Democrat if you don't like either?
Mainly because many people don't even realize that there are other candidates. We are bombarded in all media that it's Democrat or Republican, choose one. Most people, in general, are dependent sheep who are resistant to change, believe the media as if it were gospel, are too lazy to do any research ("Oh, I'm so busy I just don't have time!") or are bound by some unwritten familial rule that they must always vote Republican or Democrat. ("My family has voted Republican/Democrat for generations!") Even if they don't like the candidate!! How ridiculous is that?!
My proof? All we heard about the previous Congress is that they were do-nothing and useless and unable to agree on anything. So what do the people do? Re-elect 98% of that useless body of do-nothings! Why? Because those were the faces that were front and center on every tv channel in their respective states.
I would love to do a poll to find out why people vote the way they vote. The resulting book of stupidity would be amusing, if nothing else. Maybe a little sad, as well.
Now, with that being said, I'm NOT saying that you should never vote Republican or Democrat. What I'm saying is that there are other choices if you don't like either candidate. To me, voting for a candidate you don't like is "wasting" a vote.
I was surprised to find that Rocky Anderson was not on the ballot in every state so I decided to do some research. How exactly do you get on the Presidential ballot?
According to ask Yahoo.com, third party and independent candidates have to get voter signatures (in some states as many as 750,000!), pay steep filing fees and follow many complicated procedures to get on the ballot. Republicans and Democrats are automatically put on the ballot because they are the recognized "major" parties. You can also read the Wikipedia article regarding ballot access here. It has some interesting stuff.
Then I asked myself why you hardly ever see third party or independent candidates at Presidential debates. So I did more research and according to Wikipedia, the debates used to be sponsored by The League of Women Voters but in 1987 withdrew their sponsorship because the major parties (Republicans and Democrats) wanted to control just about every aspect of how the debates were run. When the LWV withdrew guess who stepped in to run the debates? Yep, the Republican and Democratic Parties assumed control of organizing the debates through the Commission on Presidential Debate (CPD), or , if you prefer, the Commission on Public Deception. You can read an insider account of the debate process by Ralph Nader here.
So, why did I vote for Rocky Anderson? Well, I didn't trust Mitt Romney as far as I could throw him! I figure when a guy is the Governor of a state (like Mitt was in Massachusetts) and doesn't even win that state in the election, you know he can't be any good. Obama won Mass. with 60.8% of the vote to Romney's 37.6%.
Obama, in my mind, didn't really bring the "change" that he ranted about in his first campaign so I didn't want to vote for him again.
I agree with MOST of what Rocky Anderson and the Justice Party say they want to bring to government. Especially ending the incessant bribery, oops, I mean lobbying that has become a way of the political system. Enough to give him a shot.
You want to bring change? Real change? Then stay away from the major parties. They just want to keep the same old wheel turning.
Rocky Anderson on the Issues