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The Maroon

In my opinion: Ditch the two major parties — register Libertarian


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Back in October, I wrote an editorial urging the Loyola community to check out Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson. The successful entrepreneur turned two-term governor of New Mexico garnered nearly 10 percent of the vote in his home state and 3.3 percent nationally, the most a third party presidential candidate has received since independent Ross Perot 20 years earlier.

OK, Johnson still didn’t win and never had a chance—what’s your point, Ricardo?

I’m so glad you asked.

In 2008, the Libertarian candidate got 523,715 votes or 0.40 percent of the popular vote. In 2012, Gary Johnson’s first run for the presidency saw 1,275,971 votes or one percent of the popular vote. And this past election cycle, 4,488,931 American voters thought a Libertarian was a better choice than the Democrat under F.B.I. investigation and the Republican who was a reality TV star Cheeto.

One of the main reasons Johnson didn’t have a fair chance was because he, along with Green Party candidate Jill Stein, was excluded from the nationally televised presidential debates. The official reason is that he and Stein didn’t have the polling numbers to be admitted.

But the bar gets raised higher and higher. Third party candidates are virtually always excluded.

The debate commission calls itself non-partisan and yet the way it operates benefits the two major parties to the detriment of the American people who deserve to hear another voice—one that might actually reflect what they think and feel.

Many voters are afraid to vote for a third party candidate because of what’s called “the spoiler effect.” They fear that by voting for a less popular candidate who actually represents a majority of their views, they are taking away votes from a more popular candidate who doesn’t represent a lot of what they want but is better than another major party candidate who is the polar opposite.

Ralph Nader, who ran as a Green in 2000, is often criticized as stealing the election from Al Gore and enabling George H.W. Bush to win, despite evidence to the contrary.

The takeaway message: research the philosophy of libertarianism, see if you agree and when you’re ready to fight the two-party system and promote policies of freedom, register to vote as a Libertarian.

Our national platform states that Libertarians stand for the political freedom of everyone, including our ideological opponents.

For more information, visit the College Libertarians at Loyola University New Orleans Facebook page.

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3 Comments

3 Responses to “In my opinion: Ditch the two major parties — register Libertarian”

  1. June on February 10th, 2017 1:38 pm

    There is a simple solution to the “spoiler effect” We need to change our electoral system from simple plurality (also known as first-past-the-post, winner-takes-all) to one which used Ranked Choice Voting. Under RCV you can cast a first choice vote for the candidate you like best without fear because if that candidate is eliminated in any round of counting your vote transfers to your next choice.

    Many local jurisdictions are already using RCV, particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area. Maine has just voted to start using RCV in state elections as of 2018. For more information on RCV please visit http://www.fairvote.org

    [Reply]

    Andrew Reply:

    I agree wholeheartedly. In my opinion, switching from FPTP voting to RCV should be Americans’ #1 issue right now. There’s no reason why this type of voting can’t be taught in schools, and I no in fact that some teachers are teaching it. Use it for any type of voting with more than two options. I believe the best course of action is to promote it among the elections we can easily affect first to make it more of a normalcy. Only then will it become widely and blatantly apparent to the majority of people who are aware of RCV, and that’s when they will have to change it or risk outing their own corrupt and flawed election method. The only time it doesn’t matter is when a candidate wins with an absolute majority (50% or more), but in elections with several candidates, this is almost never the case.

    I say RCV OR BUST! We really need to push this issue. Especially now with the recent news. https://ivn.us/2017/02/01/breaking-federal-judge-rules-presidential-debate-commission/
    But yes, register Libertarian! Vote Libertarian up and down, local, state, and federal. Look at the issues that unite Liberatarians, and then look at issues that they disagree with each other on. It is a true party of representation, and I am proud to be LP!

    Even if someone isn’t a Libertarian, we can all agree on the serious corruption among the DP and RP. Everyone should be willing to identify themselves philosophically with the proper political party to represent their views, especially if they are waving the donkey or elephant flags. Third parties are legitimate options to be taken seriously. They will play a major role in the 2020 election and they continue to grow. The LP is the fastest growing political party in America. We may well reach the 5% threshold in 2020. If we get representation in the next nationally televised presidential debate, our numbers could skyrocket. 😀

    Anyway, enough ranting. Spread the word and stay educated. 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrew Reply:

    With that said, even though I’m a proud Libertarian, I wish we didn’t use the party system to begin with and candidates just ran for office on their own merit.

    [Reply]

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Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola
In my opinion: Ditch the two major parties — register Libertarian