Friday, May 30, 2008

Third parties vie for 2008 glory

by Travis Schulze As the Democratic race draws to a close, you might, like myself, be left feeling underwhelmed with your two choices for the next leader of our country. You should know they are not our only choices. Here are some other candidates for president of the United States. The Constitution Party will be represented in 2008 by Dr. Chuck Baldwin. His campaign centers on a return to the Constitution. He calls for an immediate withdrawal of the U.S. from Iraq, all foreign military bases, the U.N., NATO and most international organizations. He wants extremely strict immigration laws, an end to trade with China and the elimination of the income tax, without a move to a consumption tax. The Libertarian Party chose former Republican Rep. Bob Barr as its candidate for president. Barr also calls for more strict interpretation of the Constitution and supports "America First" policy similar to Baldwin, except he focuses much more on the degradation of civil liberties. Frank McEnulty will represent the New American Independent Party in November. McEnulty, unlike most other third party candidates is not a candidate of extremes, but instead represents a moderate viewpoint on each issue, somewhere between the positions of the Republican and Democratic parties. He also calls for election reform. There are three socialist candidates this year. The Party for Socialism and Liberation will be represented by Gloria La Riva, the Socialist Party USA's candidate is Brian Moore and the Socialist Workers Party's nominee is Roger Colero. Although these three groups differ on how revolutionary change should come about, their candidates are running on similar platforms. They all call for an end to the Iraq War, while supporting strict environmental laws, freer immigration laws, reparations for slavery and full employment with a minimum wage of $15 per hour. The Green Party has not yet picked a candidate. Green Party candidates of the past have presented a "eco-social analysis and vision" for the U.S. The Green platform includes calls for a more sustainable economy, more environmental laws, higher federal budgets, demilitarization, social justice and gender equity. Greens also support the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney. The most famous of the third party candidates is most certainly Ralph Nader, who is running as an independent this year. He generally follows Green Party platform and among his "12 political issues that matter" he includes calls for the adoption of a single payer national health insurance, a cut of the military budget, a reversal of U.S. policy in the Middle Eastand an end to corporate personhood. The goal of Gene Amondson, the Prohibition Party's pick for president, is exactly what you think: a return to the prohibition of alcohol in the U.S. He supports the Iraq War and calls for stricter marriage and divorce laws, more religion in schools, less public welfare and stricter immigration laws. Lastly, the National Socialist Party (Nazi) has a candidate in John Taylor Bowles. Billing himself as the "white people's candidate" he calls for an end to immigration, foreclosures and the outsourcing of American jobs. He supports free national health care and more environmental protection laws. Vote well.

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