Voters Adhere To Ideals With Third Party Candidates

This story was written by Allison Suesse, Iowa State Daily


Based on previous elections, third party candidates have a lower chance of winning an election but they still remain determined to promote change and have their opinions heard.

Most third party candidates will get less than one to two percent of the vote, said James Hutter, Iowa State University associate professor of political science. They know theres no chance to win.

Without much hope of winning an election, the question arises as to why third party candidates still choose to participate in the costly and lengthy process they experience.

It has to do with raising money and raising attention for their own group, Hutter said. They want recognition within their own group.

Third party candidates have issues they want to raise awareness of, Hutter said, especially for this election, which is a pivotal time in the countrys history.

David Olson, president of the ISU Libertarians and junior in economics, disagrees with the two mainstream political powers on many issues, especially the economic bailout bill.

Olson said the Democratic and Republican candidates have views that are very out of touch with what the American people think and he plans to vote for Libertarian candidate Bob Barr from Georgia.

Neither of the other two candidates have expressed anything real, Olson said.

Libertarianism is appealing to Olson because there is overall more freedom, he said. People can do what they want as long as it doesnt infringe on any other individuals.

Other third presidential party candidates on the ballot in Iowa this year are Chuck Baldwin, for the Constitution party, Cynthia McKinney for the Green party, Gloria La Riva for the Party for Socialism and Liberation, Ralph Nader for the Peace and Freedom party, Brian Moore for the Socialist Party USA and James Harris for the Socialist Workers party.

Typically, these candidates raise money independently of any corporate interaction.

Eric Cooper, associate professor of psychology and candidate for the Iowa House of Representatives District 46, said he funds his campaign for House of Representatives himself.

Cooper has run as a third party candidate for House of Representatives for the past five elections. When asked what would happen if he won the election, Cooper laughed and said, Id become the highest ranked Libertarian in the U.S.

Cooper said he is running because he believes if a third party candidate can get 10 percent of the vote on a regular basis, then in a few elections the Republican and Democratic candidates will take notice of the other party and begin to adopt some of their issues.

Although Cooper has been running for a position in the House of Representatives for 10 years, he said he has yet to see any tangible change in the government veering toward Libertarian ideals.

I want to give people the opportunity to vote for a smaller government, Cooper said.

Cooper mentioned some of his platform issues are privatizing education and legalizing marijuana.

While Cooper mentioned in the election he might only win three to 15 percent of the vote, he will still have supporters such as Olson who are dissatisfied with the two-party system.

The only way to create change is to voice what we believe in, Olson said.
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