No room for smaller political parties

By Adam Trimby

In America, the presidential election is a two horse race. On one side are the Democrats and on the other are the Republicans, leaving no space for the smaller political parties also challenging for presidency.

The Green, Libertarians, Justice and Constitutional parties are all still in play for this election but how much is the media actually covering them?

Browsing all major news websites, it is clear that the two dominant political parties take up most of the media space.

In a survey commissioned by the Pew Research Centre, 57 percent of the participants agreed there should be a third major political party added to the mix. Yet, the media seem to lean towards the two major parties, showing very little coverage of any competitors.

Rocky Anderson, presidential candidate for the Justice Party said to “I, as well as any other candidate, may have been able to swing votes in my favour had I been allowed to challenge Obama and Romney on national television”.

The problem is that the Democratic and Republican parties own the debate commission, so the debates and their coverage is focused only on the two big players.

According to Jill Stein, presidential candidate for the green party, minor parties spend 80% of their campaign efforts collecting hundreds of thousands of signatures just to get on the ballot, which puts them way behind the two major parties in the weeks leading up to the election.

A Gallup poll from June 2012 reports that 39 percent of Americans describe themselves as independent, with the Republicans and the Democrats receiving 30 percent of the remnant votes each. This implies that the American public would like to look towards other candidates and parties.

Our North American Political Editor, Steven Buckley, looks at the role of minor candidates in Presidential politics.



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