Monday, July 28, 2008

The Third Party Candidates for President

Well here we are again: 100 days (and nights) until the election for president of the United States, a position held by either the Republican or Democratic party since 1860, when what was to become the Grand Old Party (GOP) of today completed the eclipse of the Whig as a main-stream party.

But there are a number of third or minority issue or independent parties.
Some are perennials – Libertarian, Green, Independent, Conservative, and Socialist. Among these are names that people would recognize: Former U.S. Representatives Cynthia McKinney (Green) and Bob Barr (Libertarian), Ralph Nader (Independent), and perhaps less well-known, Chuck Baldwin (Conservative), and Brian Moore (Socialist).

Then there are the parties that rise from time to time – sometimes for a long time – and field a nominal candidate for president and vice-president. These this year are: Prohibition Party, Reform Party, Socialist Workers Party, and Party of Socialism and Liberation.

Beyond these are two more categories: candidates who have met at least one state’s requirements to be listed on the ballot come November election day – one source lists five names – and a large amorphous group who have “announced” their candidacy but have not met any state’s threshold for being listed on the ballot.

The most colorful third party undoubtedly was Teddy Roosevelt’s Bull Moose Party. William Howard Taft, the sitting president, lost to Democrat Woodrow Wilson because Bull Moose split the Republican vote.

This year’s winner of the “colorful” award is – I kid you not – The Boston Tea Party whose presidential candidate, Charles Jay, hails not from Boston or even Massachusetts but from Florida – an area that wasn’t even part of the original English settlements.

Go figure.


Anonymous Don Cordell said...

You can add one more name to the list of Candidates Don Cordell, running as an Independent.

1:43 PM  

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