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Author Topic: Could a Third-Party Candidate Become President?  (Read 814 times)
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Crux
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« on: September 24, 2008, 02:30:33 PM »

I was thinking about this earlier today after growing moderately tired of the incessant political bickering between two sides so entrenched it seems they couldn't agree on the color of the sky. Is it even possible in this day and age for a third-party candidate (or no-party candidate for that matter) to win a presidential election?

My feeling is 'no'. And really it comes down to the negativity and 'us vs them' mentalities that have infused american politics. If there was a true libertarian candidate, the republicans would spend the whole campaign pointing to how 'left' his or her social policies were. And the democrats would point to how 'right' their fiscal policies were. And in the end, I think being attacked on both sides would simply be too much. But then I couldn't think of a combination that *would* win an election against either entrenched party for that very same reason - whatever miniscule portion of their policies that clashed with the hardline democrat or republican party lines would result in fear-mongering from both sides.

But what do I know? So I ask - is it possible for someone who is neither Republican nor Democrat to win a presidential election in the United States of America? And if not is it a sad commentary on the state of american politics?
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Blackadar
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« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2008, 03:04:19 PM »

It'd be *extremely* difficult.  One of my biggest beefs in politics today is that the scale is so heavily weighted for the existing parties in the areas of ballot access and general funding, it's beyond unfair..it's un-American.
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« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2008, 04:26:16 PM »

Short of a cataclysm, no. The system was set up by the major parties to perpetuate itself.

An extremely charismatic candidate with infinitely deep pockets in a time of crisis might have a remote shot at it. I'm not holding my breath. We might be facing an economic cataclysm right now, yet there is no alternative to Tweedledee and Tweedledum.
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kronovan
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« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2008, 05:31:17 PM »

It's never even really come close in Canada where we have 4 significant political parties but only 1 of 2 (Liberals or Conservatives) has ever won. It's marginally better here because we get to vote for Tweedledee, Tweedledum and Tweedledummer.   Roll Eyes  Of course being a Canadian living oustide of the province of Quebec I don't even get a chance to vote for the 4th party's leader; Le Tweedledum. BTW we get to vote for the 3rd time in the past 5 years on October 4th, due to the inability of our system to guarantee a clear winner.

The lengthy build up to the selection of presidential candidates and the final election in the US, IMHO appears to be all about money and marketing. With marketing and momentum being so critical I can't see how any 3rd party could really have a chance. A complete collapse of the US economy too an extent greater than the great depression would probably have to occur.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2008, 05:33:10 PM by kronovan » Logged
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