Third parties linger in shadow

With all the conflicting views in the United States, people are usually faced with just two main candidates in the spotlight to choose from.

Some might be interested to find that the goals of the Reform or Green parties may be more similar to their own than that of either the Democrat or Republican parties.

FSU junior communications major Bridgette Dowdell, 22, feels that the current system needs to change. “There should be more emphasis on all of the candidates to expand the voting options,” she said. “The system now denies the people of their rights.”

According to the Reform Party’s official Web site, the party seeks to eliminate the Electoral College process to elect the President, and replace it with a direct vote from the people.

On the Green Party Web site, one of the ten key values of the party is to increase the public’s participation in every aspect of the government.

Although third party candidates are included on the ballot, history has shown that voting for them has been considered a lost cause.

It has also been said before that voting for these candidates is a “waste of a vote” because the independent vote usually takes away from the Democratic candidate’s votes.

Democrats even attempted to exclude Reform party candidate, Ralph Nader, from the ballot this year.

Voting is stressed in many areas of American culture right now, and sides must be chosen despite differences with the party candidate that you will vote for.

The next presidency of the United States has been said to lie in the hands of the nation’s youth and hip-hop icons like P. Diddy and Russell Simmons are doing all they can to ensure the nation’s youngest voters are heard.

Although these bipartisan movements don’t endorse any of the candidates, they heavily promote the act of voting.

FSU junior Itita Alexander feels, bipartisan movements like MTV’s “Rock the Vote” and P. Diddy’s “Vote or Die” are useful.

“Bi-partisan movements like “Vote of Die” are effective because they appeal to subcultures like the hip-hop community,” Alexander said. “This ultimately changes voting results because of the difference in voter turnout.”

Either way it goes, bipartisan movement or not, third party candidates remain a backdrop in the U.S. political system.

A third party candidate has never been elected for President, and it doesn’t look like this year’s election will be any different.

Contact Jared McArthur