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Third Party Candidates 2012

By Maddie Stachniak and Alex Ray in Student News

As the election is only one day away, we believe it is important to realize that there are, in fact, candidates other than Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Many do not know who some of these candidates are, much less what they do or what they stand for. So, here’s a list of the top six third party candidates:

Gary Johnson (Libertarian): The Libertarian party is known as the largest third party in recent elections and consistently take a small percentage of voters away from the Democrats and Republicans. The Libertarian party believes in extremely minimal government, with their motto “Minimum Government, Maximum Freedom.” On the political spectrum, the Libertarians are significantly farther right than the Republicans, looking at the government as only a guide to one’s future. Their website, www.lp.org, says that the “government's only role is to help individuals defend themselves from force and fraud.” “Live and let live is the Libertarian way,” says www.lp.org. While, for the most part, they share the conservative perspective that the government shouldn’t be entrenched in private business affairs, they also believe that the government should stay clear of personal affairs, being pro-choice and for gay marriage. Jill Stein (Green Party):

The Green Party, founded in the early ‘90s, focuses on environmentalism, participatory democracy, diversity, non-violence, equality  and global responsibility. This year, Jill Stein is running for presidency along with her running mate Cheri Honkala.

Stein is pro-choice as well as pro gay marriage. She will enact “tuition-free education from kindergarten through college,” according to her website, jillstein.org.

Stein also believes in accessible health care as well as environmentalism and energy sustainability. In addition, she  wants to “immediately legalize medical use of marijuana and move to permit general legal sales under suitable regulatory framework.” Jill Stein is one of the more liberal candidates this election and is at about 2% of the vote.

Stewart Alexander (Socialist Party USA):

The Socialist party is in favor of Democratic Socialism. They believe that a decentralized economic democracy is the only real way to achieve a stable economy. Naturally, the Socialist party believes that the nation needs to be directly regulated by the government.

SPUSA (Socialist Party USA) is a rather cloudy party, still in its infancy, although it has many key points that are unanimously agreed upon within the party. Among these are the idea that “production of society is used for the benefit of all humanity, not the private profit of a few,” (socialistparty-usa.net) and that the middle class is the key to a strong economy.

Along with those ideas, the Socialist party is against all forms of discrimination “including but not limited to racism, sexism and homophobia.”

Virgil Goode (Constitution Party):

The Constitution party is exactly how it sounds, as it endorses a strict view of the Constitution. With its goal to be to limit the powers of the government to what was originally intended, they are classified to be right-wing. As stated by constitutionparty.com, “It is our goal to limit the federal government to its delegated, enumerated, Constitutional functions.”

You can actually draw many similarities between the Republican and Constitution parties as both are strictly pro-life, against gay marriage “as divinely instituted” (constitutionparty.com), and the right to own property.

However, the Constitution party’s main objective is for the constitution to be “interpreted according to the actual intent of the founding fathers,” according to constitutionparty.com. As per their interpretation, this means a government focused on states rights, with the federal government’s only job is to protect Americans and stay out of foreign alliances.

Rocky Anderson (Justice Party):

Interestingly enough, Rocky Anderson is actually the founder of the Justice Party, the very party  under which he is running. Anderson founded the party in 2011 so he could run on the Presidential ticket. He is on the ballot in fifteen states and has write-in status in fifteen others. Anderson, is a proponent of ending the wars in the Middle East, immigration reform, LGBT equality, ending the war on drugs and environmentalism. Originally a Democrat, he was the Mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah for two terms, starting in 1999. He became well known for his green policies; he reduced the city’s carbon footprint by 31% in three years. He also founded High Road for Human Rights in 2007, and organization that advocates not only for human rights, but also reform of US government in regards to equality for all. Kathyern Lane (Independent): Kathyern Lane, though she lacks any political experience, has entered the race claiming to be “The Peoples’ President”. She is a wife and mother of three and has worked many jobs from a truck driver to a medical assistant. Lane is more conservative, leaning to the right of the political spectrum on most issues. She believes that repealing Obamacare will create more jobs as well as that cutting welfare will motivate the impoverished and discourage them from taking handouts. She also believes that our southern border should be secured to keep “the drug cartels and terrorists out of the United States”, according to the description of her platform on her website, klanethepeoplespresident.com. Though she lacks experience, Lane claims to be the candidate that is for the people, as she is one of them.

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