Campaign 2014: Third Political Party Needed

Honor is not the exclusive property of any political party. – Herbert Hoover

Gallup released a new poll this morning about the need for a third political party.

According to Gallup, “A majority of U.S. adults, 58%, say a third U.S. political party is needed because the Republican and Democratic parties ‘do such a poor job’ representing the American people.”

Gallup also reported, “Americans’ current desire for a third party is consistent with their generally negative views of both the Republican and Democratic parties, with only about four in 10 viewing each positively. Americans’ views toward the two major parties have been tepid for much of the last decade.”

I’m not all that excited about the need for a third political party, but I do believe that it should be easier for independent candidates to get on the ballot.

There are a lot of hoops to jump through for someone in Montana to run as an independent – and the higher the office, the more signatures it takes to get on the ballot.

For example, in 2014 a candidate will need to gather signatures – a lot of “certified” signatures. The candidate will need the signatures of “5% or more of the total votes cast for the successful candidate for the same office at the last general election.”

In 2014, if you were not running as a Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate, you would need to gather 17,415 certified signatures to get on the ballot. For state representative, you would need 129 certified signatures.

I think independent candidates should be treated the same as a Republicans, Democrats, and Libertarians in Montana.

I doubt the Montana legislature will work to change the requirements anytime soon because they are Democrats and Republicans. It will probably take a ballot initiative passed by the citizens of Montana to change it – and even that will be difficult to do.

 

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