Artificial Independents

A Newsweek poll from last week found that 57% do not think the two-party system does a good job of addressing the issues that are important and presumably the same 57% would like to see a third major political party. I agree that there is plenty of room for improvement in our current system, and I think adding a third party, which would prevent both Democrats and Republicans from having a majority, would be better. What frustrates me more, though, is that despite the previous numbers, only only 31% of those polled considered themselves Independent or had no party affiliation, with a fraction of a percent choosing a third party.

Of course, it doesn't help that there is no viable third party candidate to get behind. Many have speculated that billionaire NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg may run as an independent, but I'm not so sure now. A TIME article, Why Bloomberg May Not Want to Run, suggests that he does not plan to run, but encourages speculation to get the national attention to promote a few of his key issues. Plus, he is too short to win.

George Will further argues that Bloomberg can not win. I agree with Will that a third party would need a key issue or a focused agenda to rally around. However, Will fails in Economics when he states that "The two major parties are sensitive market mechanisms: What makes Bloomberg think they are failing to supply something the public strongly demands?" The two main parties are in collusion to maintain their oligopoly over politics.

It seems clear to me that most people recognize that our current system is flawed, and should be changed. It also seems clear to me that no one else is going to step up and get it done.


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