Third Parties

August 31, 2010

I noticed today via a Capitol Watch Blog Post that Ken Krayeske has been nominated to run against my Congressman John Larson by the Green Party. The blog post depicts a candidate that is realistic about his chances (suggesting that while he might not win he hopes to raise the requisite $15,000 to participate in League of Women Voters Debates). Krayeske joins Tom Marsh, a candidate for Governor, and John Mertens, a candidate for senate, in a club of candidates that probably do not have a chance to win but will be on the ballot in November.<p>What role can these third party candidates play in these races? Krayeske seems to take a two pronged approach. First suggesting that he wants to build the Green Party. I think that this is a good approach to take because I do not believe people identify with parties as strongly as the people and the personalities behind the party. Without strong leaders and candidates running on the party line and bringing the party message to the people I do not believe a party can flourish. Secondly he looks to make pointed criticisms of the incumbent. Here he can bring to light issues people have but that have not yet been publicly voiced. Here we see that elections are good for holding the incumbent’s feet to the fire and making sure that citizens get the best representation possible.</p><p>Ultimately the thing that surprises me the most is that in spite of the general cynicism that most people seem to have towards politics and the current people in power, third parties have not taken off. Even the big “Tea Party” movement seems to associate itself with the Republican Party instead of forming its own entity. It makes me seriously question whether a third party might ever become viable on a statewide level.</p>

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