Vox.Com Publishes Theresa Amato Article on Discriminatory Laws and Practices that Insulate Democratic and Republican Parties from Competition

Theresa Amato, who was Ralph Nader’s campaign manager in 2000 and 2004, has this article in Vox.com about how U.S. election laws and practices insulate the Republican and Democratic Parties from competition.


Vox.Com Publishes Theresa Amato Article on Discriminatory Laws and Practices that Insulate Democratic and Republican Parties from Competition — 3 Comments

  1. Nice job! 2016, of course, is already experiencing these problems. Republicans are in the midst of kicking Libertarians off ballots throughout the states. Ohio and New Hampshire offer two illustrations.

  2. Top 2 largely eliminates the ballot access issues.

    The current system of publicly-funded, segregated partisan primaries reinforces the monopoly:

    (1) To be permitted to have a publicly-funded primary, a party must demonstrate a high level of support. Elections are expensive. Spending of public funds on a private purpose can only be justified/rationalized if we elevate them to a matter of state concern. The Democratic and Republican parties in effect are quasi-governmental agencies.

    (2) Voters must identify with a party in order to vote in a partisan primary.

    Clerk: Are you a Republican?
    Voter: No.
    Clerk: Are you a Democrat?
    Voter: No.
    Clerk: You can’t vote.
    Voter: Well, I’m a little of both, sometimes Democrat, sometimes Republican, maybe a bit of Libertarian or Green.
    Clerk: Fish or fowl, floor wax or mouth wash, make up your mind.
    At this point the voter has two options: (1) accept that he is a political deviant and not vote; (2) or choose a party.

    (3) The coerced party identification at the primary leads voters to more strongly identify with a party.
    If you have to say that you are a Republican or Democrat in order to vote in the primary, then you are more likely to think of yourself as a Republican or Democrat in the general election.

    (4) Ballot access barriers for independent candidates are high. Independent candidates are treated as ad hoc single-candidate, single-election parties. Will you sign this petition so that the Ralph-Nader-2004-Presidential Party qualifies for the general election ballot?

    (5) Parties must focus on getting on the ballot, or staying on the ballot, rather than supporting candidates or building the party. Amato’s article cites Richard Winger with regard to the 1916 congressional election, which saw candidates from 5 parties elected. Those parties were real parties, not pseudo-parties like Americans Elect, Independent Party, American Independent Party, or Women’s Equality Party.

  3. When will Amato type folks hire a lawyer with ANY brain cells who can detect that —

    1. Every election is NEW.

    2. Separate is NOT equal — Brown v. Bd of Ed 1954

    3. EQUAL ballot access tests for ALL candidates for the same office in the same area.
    P.R. and NONPARTISAN App.V.

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