Give Me A Way Out

I can remember visiting my grandparents in Parlin, New Jersey for several holidays and occasions each year.  My grandpa and I would sit and watch a television show called, “The Uncle Floyd Show” which was a New Jersey institution in the form of a low-budget comedy-variety program.  The show bounced around, year after year, from low frequency channel to low budget cable channel so many times that my grandpa would tease me and say that “Uncle Floyd” was on “Channel 52 and a Half”.  Inevitably, we would talk up some baseball stories, mainly focusing on who should and shouldn’t be in the Baseball Hall of Fame.  We wouldn’t get into stats too often, but I would question him about the merits of certain ballplayers, like Steve Garvey, for instance, who I thought should be in Hall and who my grandpa thought should not.  Our selections to the Hall were based on straight up and down votes.  Either he’s allowed induction into the Hall or he’s not.

Voting for someone into the Baseball Hall of Fame is not the same as voting for the next President of the United States yet many polling companies typically give the respondent two candidates to choose from.  Either you vote for the Democrat or you vote for the Republican.  There is little middle ground.  In the United States, voters are more likely to consider themselves, Independent, than Democrat or Republican.  Furthermore, there are extremes to both the left and to the right of our two major parties.  You have your Greens, Socialists and the newly formed Justice Party to the left of the Democrats and the Libertarians and Constitution Party supporter to the right of the Republicans.  However, when asked to choose a Presidential preference, many voters are left with one or the other.  Is it going to be Barack Obama or Mitt Romney?  I know we get a chance to say, “I Don’t Know” or “Unsure” or “Other”, but I want my “other” choice to be a specific name.  When I buy a drink from the store, I have a choice of Coke, Pepsi, and other cola brands, such as RC.  The labels never read, “Other Cola”.

Why not list, Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, Virgil Goode, or Rocky Anderson as polling choices?  In Colorado, you could add the name of Roseanne Barr, who is also a third-party candidate for President in some states.  How about adding the Prohibition Party candidate to a poll in Louisiana, the only state where the party qualified this year?

Polls should list all candidates running for President, and for other offices, where applicable.  If it’s a nationwide poll, then all candidates who are running if enough states to qualify for the Electoral College should be listed.   State by state Presidential polls should include all qualified candidates from that state in the survey.  Polls for Gubernatorial, Senate, and House races should also not leave third party or Independent candidates off of their questionnaires.  It is the honest way to go to promote electoral choice in the United States.  Polling companies that offer multiple survey choices only inform the voter more about who is running for a particular office.  There is no harm in doing so.

My grandpa passed away a few years ago.  I miss those baseball discussions with him.  Looking back, it seems that our final decisions on who should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame were pretty rigid.  Making a choice for President in a poll, however, should not have to be as rigid.

What are your thoughts?  Leave a comment below.


8 responses to “Give Me A Way Out

  1. It’s all about money and the big political machines. A third party candiate could not raise the mega bucks it takes to run against the two major candiates and the media writes them off as inconsequential. Perhaps if the third party candiates made a name for themselves in their own states or regions they would be more recognizable and be able to mount a campaign run for President.

  2. I agree with you. There is a problem when it is highly difficult for third party candidates to get on the ballot while the two major parties are included automatically (I believe its automatic). It seems to me that the Democrats and Republicans have built the political version of a duopoly. I think America should consider moving to a parliamentary system where people have more choices when it comes time to choose their leaders.

  3. Ashley Klutcharch

    I agree with this statement, because everyone that is running for president should have an equal opportunity.

  4. I think we should stop focusing on how hard it is for third party candidates to get elected and just embrace the system for what it is. When it comes down to it, it’s about winning and getting the better person who has the most realistic chance in office. And if it comes down to picking the lesser of two evils when it comes to candidates, so be it. We should rally behind either Romney or Obama and not let our votes get “lost”, if you will.

  5. WOW! I had never really thought about like that. I agree with you that making other candidates known is only fair! I think the main reason they only compare Romney and Obama is because it will come down to those two. Those are your MVPs if you wanna use sports lingo. But, running for president is the “big league” it”silver spoon” is up to each candidate to make his name a household name. I think it is fair. Anyone can run, granted you meet a few requirements. That is what Obama did. He had little political experience, didn’t come from a “silver spoon”, but yet managed to run for and win the presidency. So with that being said, it is up to the canidate to make himself/herself a factor.

  6. This is just another example of how public opinion is swayed by the dollar.
    Basically, if these alternative candidates had money to advertise and publicize, then they would be more likley known and included in public polls.

  7. Third party candidates need to be included. We are taking away creative ideas and fresh views each time we just allow only two choices. It’s upsetting to see how much could potentially change with others becoming more involved and it just does not happen. The republican and democrat parties need to make way for change because Americans are unhappy with how things have turned out. There is too much distrust in the government. It is time there were new voices.

  8. I’m not saying to let your opinion be swayed by the dollar, and I’m not encouraging against fresh faces or new valid ideas at all. It’s just that when it comes to elections, especially in an unstable time like this, practicality has to take precedence over certain ideals. It just seems like if people who share similar ideologies are divided between 2 candidates, it wouldn’t be helpful to either one of the candidates; it would be helpful to the other side.

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