Wednesday 24 October 2012 - 11:48

Shunned US third-party presidential candidates hold debate

Story Code : 206321
A sign directing voters to a polling place is seen during the first day of early voting in Washington, DC on October 22, 2012.
A sign directing voters to a polling place is seen during the first day of early voting in Washington, DC on October 22, 2012.
The candidates from the Libertarian Party, Green Party, Constitution Party, and Justice Party participated in the Monday night debate at a major Chicago Hotel, expressing contempt for a number of issues, including the strong influence of money on the US elections and politics, massive military expenditure and foreign wars, as well as extreme executive power that allows indefinite detention of suspects in the so-called “war on terror.”

The debate was held after the Democrats and the Republicans held three presidential and one vice-presidential debates for their nominees, incumbent President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney, and their respective running mates Vice President Joe Biden and Paul Ryan.

    Third-party candidates are not allowed to challenge Obama and Romney on the issues in the nationally-televised debates or any other public forum.

On defense policy, Green Party candidate Jill Stein insisted that she would prohibit all US assassination drone strikes overseas, while the Libertarian Party candidate, Gary Johnson declared his willingness to slash the US military spending by 43 percent (to 2003 levels).

The conservative Constitution Party candidate and former State of Virginia Congressman, Virgil Goode also weighed in on the issue, adding, “The United States should stop trying to be the overseer of the world. That would save us billions and billions of dollars.”

Liberal Justice Party candidate and former mayor of Salt Lake City, Rocky Anderson further described the National Defense Authorization Act, which allows indefinite detention of even US citizens suspected of terrorism, “the very definition of tyranny.”

Johnson, who formerly served as the governor of New Mexico, further pointed out the manipulative use of corporate money in the US politics, stressing that the candidates for any political office need to wear NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing)-style jackets to show off all their corporate sponsors.

Goode, meanwhile, offered certain suggestions for resolving the US economic troubles, saying that he would instantly balance the federal budget through major cuts rather than tax hikes. He also asserted that he would stop all green card admissions of immigrants to the country until the nation’s unemployment rate drops to below five percent.

“We need jobs in America for US citizens first,” he said.

Dismissing claims by mainstream US election experts that a vote for one of the four third-party candidates is wasted since it would only take away from one of the sure victors, Obama or Romney, Libertarian candidate Johnson said, “Wasting your vote is voting for somebody you don’t believe in. I am asking everyone watching this nationwide to waste your vote on me…and then I’m the next president of the United States.”

The debate was sponsored by the non-partisan and tax-exempt nonprofit American public policy advocacy organization, the Free and Equal Elections Foundation and streamed online with former CNN talk-show host, Larry King as the moderator.