On Voter Turnout and Independent Politics: the Only Wasted Vote is a Vote for a Democrat or a Republican

At Political Perspectives, Stephen Lahanas announces his intention to run for US Senate in Ohio as an Independent, writing:
This nation has a problem. That problem is focused on our political process - that problem transcends partisan politics and affects all aspects of our daily lives. The problem we're facing is the loss of credibility in a system that seems to most of us as if it has been bought and sold to the highest bidder . . . The problems in our country today are not due to one party or the other per se (despite what most pundits like to exclaim), but rather are due to the two-party system itself as it exists in its current form . . . I want to act as an Honest Broker for Ohio and work towards bringing structural reforms to our political system. I want to ensure that Conflicts of Interest and Revolving Doors no longer drive policy at the national level. I want to restore credibility to the United States Congress.

Running as an Independent is an uphill battle - in Ohio, it requires 5,000 signatures to get on the ballot. Passing that hurdle will not be easy as I am not independently wealthy, I'm merely an Independent . . . I'm glad that both the Republican and Democratic party are equally vested in the future of Ohio and I believe that both parties are supporting excellent candidates for this open seat. In any other time, I'd be happy to support one or the other of these folks. But I'm not so much running against them as I am running against what our system has become and despite their excellent qualifications, there is little they can do to reform a system from the inside out.
In other independent candidate news, Rich Hand is running for governor of Colorado. He asks, "why would anyone continue to vote for the major party candidates?":
So why would anyone continue to vote for either party’s candidates? That is the million dollar question but I have a couple of ideas. First, the media ignores every other candidate in almost every race. They often opine about the need for better candidates but they ignore any attempt by good citizens to get involved in the electoral process. They are complete hypocrites and are in total collusion with both parties.

Second, the myth that only the major party candidates have a “real” chance of getting elected is an outright lie. If people had a better opportunity to see other candidates this myth would quickly fall apart.

Third, is the notion that if you elect a non-party candidate to office the two parties will keep them from getting anything done. Again, I believe that is a complete myth. A truly effective leader would go right past the legislature dominated by the two parties and make their case with the people. The truly patriotic individuals would come around and join the bandwagon of true constitutional reform.

And my final point here is one that I believe with my heart and soul; the parties have corrupted good individuals to believe politics is an industry, and we should promote career politicians. Nothing could be more corrosive to our country than a political class that by design will always be the enemy of freedom and our constitution.
One might object to Hand's framing of this issue, when he asks why people continue to vote for Democrats and Republicans. The reality, of course, is that not many people do vote for Republicans and Democrats. The corrosive effect of the Democratic-Republican two-party state is clearly apparent in consistently low voter turnout: even in presidential election years, over 40% of registered voters choose not to vote rather than vote for Republicans or Democrats; in mid-term election years, turnout drops to roughly 35-40%, with a large majority of voters apparently convinced that their vote makes no difference within the duopoly system of government. These are the people that third party and independent candidates like Hand and Lahanas must reach out to and activate against the stooges of the two-party state. The only wasted vote is a vote for a Democrat or a Republican.


Clay Barham said...

What is our mission in 2010? It should be to teach ourselves why America’s political tradition worked and what will happen if we change it. Obama wants us to change. He wants us to become like the Old World America left in the 18th century. He wants us to forget what the libertarian 19th century Democrats provided that gave us so much prosperity when compared to the stagnation of the Old World. He wants the American society well-oiled and ordered so the few elite can rule the many, for our own good, of course. America’s individual freedom has never been tried elsewhere, though partially approached in some more modern nations. Yet, 80% of the world’s people are struggling to exist, many starving, all under one dictatorship or another. Not so in America, unless deciding to be struggling and unhappy. We need to teach ourselves the difference so we can make the best decision of whether America will fall in line, get on its knees and be ruled by the few, or renew its pledge to individual freedom. That’s our task! Find help on claysamerica.com.

d.eris said...

Clay, thanks for the comment. But, imo, Obama is nothing but a symptom of the political problem facing the people of the United States, just as George Bush was before him, etc. Of course Democrats and Republicans want "American society well-oiled and ordered so the few elite can rule the many." The reason the major parties want this is very simple: they represent the interests of the ruling elite and the political class. The only mission worth putting into effect in 2010 is one that breaks open the two party state. It's actually very simple: cease voting for Republicans and Democrats, support third party and independent candidates for office.