Understanding the mysterious ‘third party’

Ben Wimmer

Most people are familiar with the Democratic and Republican Parties but when it comes to the third party, many people are not sure what it is or what it represents.

The Democratic and Republican Parties are the two dominant parties in the United States. The third party is an alternative to the two major political parties in America. When a person registers to vote, they register to be affiliated with either the Democratic or Republican Parties or they register as an Independent, which means they choose not to be affiliated with either of the major political parties.

In every election there are various candidates that are considered “third party candidates,” and there are actually several different parties that run on that ticket. Some candidates may or may not appear on ballots come election day depending on which state a person is voting in. The Democratic and Republican nominees receive ballot status automatically in all fifty states. The third party candidates, however, must obtain about 750,000 valid signatures to achieve ballot status in all fifty states.

Some Third Parties running in the upcoming election include: The Concerns of People Party, The Constitution Party, The Green Party, The Libertarian Party, The Personal Choice Party, The Prohibition Party, The Reform Party (whose candidate is third party frequent, Ralph Nader,) The Socialist Workers Party and The Workers World Party.

These different parties focus on various main issues that differentiate them from the Democratic and Republican parties. These issues range from prohibition to the preservation of civil liberties to Socialism to the legalization of medicinal marijuana.

While the Republicans and Democrats may dominate the election results, the Third Party offers a legitamate choice for those disenchanted with the options at hand.