There are good reasons why mainstream America has not
heard of these third party candidates. They are not
permitted to enter the debates (which, ironically, seem
less like a debate and more like two children quibbling
over who gets to "pick first" in a game of
school-yard baseball) They are not talked about in
mainstream media, because nobody has heard of them (see
point 1). And, they don't have commercials on TV because
they can't get enough money raised to buy any substantial
amount of television time (which leads to points 1 and 2)
What it eventually comes down to, then, is the fact that it
takes money to run a campaign. Lots of money. According
GWB has spent over $121 million, with nearly $56 million
to fall back on, in case a rent check or credit card
bill comes due. Gore is nearly as bad, spending nearly
$61 million with over $65 million left. He apparently
has a lot of credit cards he needs to pay off. And
exactly where is this money coming from? Neither has
used any of their own money for their campaigns.
That's right; Bush, the billionaire, oil-pump-hugging,
candidate hasn't spend a dime of his own money. And
Al Gore, the internet-inventing, wife-kissing,
environmentalist doesn't want to give up a penny of
his Vice Presidential paycheck of $89,125 to getting
re-elected. I suppose I can see why; it's just a drop
in the bucket.
So, since there's millions of dollars floating in their
collective war chests, where does it all come from? You
got it; corporations. Not the usual corporations that we
techies complain about. Micro$oft is nowhere to be found
on their list of top contributors. However, on both
lists can be found "Ernst & Young" who contributed $178,699 for
Bush and $131,875 for Gore. So, what does this tell us?
This tells us that, no matter who gets elected (I'm not
naive enough to believe anybody but a Republicrat is
going to win the election) Ernst & Young is going to have
themselves a nice seat in the Lincoln Bedroom, right next
to Monica Lewinski.
So, what can we expect out of the next administration?
You got it; more laws passed that help out investment
firms and financial institutions. What else can we expect?
No campaign finance reform. No matter how much they may
preach it, there is no way they will work toward it. Any
finance reform would allow for the lesser candidates to
come in and steal the main party's vote (note: intentionally
written as a single main party; there is only one choice.
They only differ on abortion opinions, which has no
relevance to running the country)
We are not living in a democracy. We are not
living in a representative democracy. Hell, we're barely
living in a republic. Unfortunately, it's a Corporate
Republic. The corporations hold all the power because they
hold all the money. Laws are passed (DMCA, anyone?) that
help corporations hold their power while simultaneously
suppressing the voices, rights, and power of the lowly
citizens. And why are these laws passed? That's right...
The corporations have very well-paid lobbyists who douse
lawmakers with gifts before, during, and after elections,
ensuring a kind vote when that piece of legislation which
would improve the quality of air/water/life on earth but
would mean an extra $0.04 per widget on the corporations'
end. And that's something the corporations cannot stand.
After all, increased production costs means reduced
profits, and they may not be able to afford the
they've had their eye on. And, in the mean time, they
will continue to pay workers "minimum" wage,
which barely covers living costs, and take in 9-digit
salaries, all the while complaining about losing 5% of it to taxes.
So, a solution, you ask? What's the cure-all? Simple.
If you plan to vote this year, vote for a third-party
candidate and send the signal that you're tired of mindless
debates between equally mindless candidates. If you do not plan to vote this year, vote
for a third-party candidate. In the grand scheme of things,
it will take 10 minutes out of your life. Even less if you
grab an absentee ballot. But this, while not the only way
to express your opinions, is one of the easiest. Imagine
an election result where the major candidates get 33%
each, and the third parties summed get the other 33%. Can
you imagine the press coverage then? And with press coverage comes attention... which brings money and public interest...
We can change it. We have the ability. But do we have the desire?