James S. Wisconsin

Allow Third Party Candidates Debate

Minor political parties add information, context and represent diverse viewpoints and should be allowed to participate in the Presidential debates.

Dear mr.President/Mrs.President

I am writing this before the election, hence i am unable to properly address this letter, however I am quite sure the heading will be sufficient. I wish to start this letter with a simple question, let’s say you are at an ice cream shop, and you want a strawberry flavored ice cream, however the owner of the store says they have only two flavors, Vanilla, and Chocolate. You ask him if he will ever have starberry, he says yes, under one condition, 15% of the customers have to specifically ask for it. You then (after doing some quick research) point out that 10% of the customers want it, which is less than 15% clearly, but it still a good chunk of people. He shakes his head and basically tells you to be happy with your two options, you then realize something, there is advertising everywhere for vanilla and chocolate ice cream, but none for strawberry. You point out that, if there is no advertising, no one will know about starberry then no one will ask to stock it. You also point out that there are a lot of people who get vanilla/chocolate, even though they don't really like it, you point out that most feel it’s their only option. He only shrugs, and tells you to deal with it, that the two choices are fine. Now would you put up with that in real life? Now I think it is quite clear what I am trying to say.

The two party system is awful. Now I realize that there are more than two parties, and that it is possible for a third party to get elected, but it is never gonna happen with our current system. Let’s focus on the Libertarian party, the strawberry ice cream of the world. In order to get on the televised debates, you need at least 15% of the vote. That is absurd. I understand the spirit of this policy. It is to prevent any old crazy quack from getting to a debate. However I think 15% is a extrem. When it comes down to it, the Dems and the Repubs get massive funding, huge advertising campaigns, and are constantly shoved in our faces. Libertarians don’t get that kind of funding, so they can’t afford to reach that many people. However there are clearly supporters, Gary johnson got votes, 1% according to the national polls. I think that proves he is not some quack. Also keep in mind that noiw in 2016 he is polling at 10% according to http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/05/us/politics/gary-johnson-libertarian-third-party.html

10% of the national likes him. That is a lot of people.

So here is what I am suggesting, change the policy. Make it 5%. This a small, however you have to realize how big the USA is. If 5% of the population thinks that a candidate deserves to win, he should at least be allowed to participate in the debates. There is also another flaw in this 15% thing, third parties do not get the same funding as the mainstream parties, so they can’t afford these mega ad campaigns, so that means they get less exposure, which means that less people will know about them. I have met a few people who didn't even know about the 3rd parties, and you know what? Their beliefs were most inline with the 3rd parties. At the moment voting for a 3rd party candidate is basically seen as throwing your vote away. This is because the 3rd parties aren't seeing as mainstream, and you know why? Because they are not in the debates. If we give them an actual platform, they would be seen as a less fringe option. Back in 2012, I saw a lot of republicans who agreed far more with Gary Johnson then Mitt Romney, but of course they didn't vote for him, because they saw it as throwing their vote away.

This shouldn't be the case, we need to escape this two party system, we need to treat 3rd parties as a viable option. Now doing this is surprisingly easy. You just have to end this awful 15% policy. There are ways to do this, all you have to do, is to amend (for lack of a better word) the law. This wouldn't be some arduous task, this wouldn't require some massive court case. It would require only you. You could propose a bill that would change this policy. Please bring democracy back to this country. Some people might be fooled, but i'm not. America is an autocracy. In short 3rd parties are kept out to keep the status quo, the two party system exists because, these rich corporations and political think tanks, do whatever it takes to skew the results, to keep their puppets in power. http://www.democracynow.org/2016/9/19/two_party_tyranny_ralph_nader_on

Let libertarians in the debate. Let the eagle spread its wings. 

Wauwatosa West High School

Wauwatosa West American Public Policy

All juniors are enrolled in a required civics and public policy course called American Public Policy. The capstone project is the Issue Investigation - students identify an issue that can be solved by the creation, modification, elimination of a public policy. Student letters are their first research step in the Issue Investigation process.

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