Majority of Americans Still Want Third Major Party

A Gallop poll shows that fifty-two percent of Americans want a third party — a continuing majority from earlier polls showing as much as 58% who oppose the monopoly of power by the two leading parties. The question is how we can call ourselves a democracy when the two parties are able, through ballot barriers and other means, to prevent a major third party from emerging in the United States. I previously wrote about these barriers and the need for a third party.

For civil libertarians and others, this coming election is a painful example of the crushing monopoly exercised by the Democrats and Republicans. It is impossible for many civil libertarians to vote for Obama given his horrendous record in blocking the torture investigations, continuing military tribunals, re-asserting the right to assassinate American citizens and other policies. The White House, however, is continuing the same cynical calculus used previously by Democratic candidates that civil libertarians and liberals have no where to go. Currently the leading voice against torture, foreign wars and secret prisons is Ron Paul on the Republican side, not Barack Obama.

This poll is an embarrassment in showing that, despite widespread and long-standing unhappiness with both parties, citizens will again be forced to chose between what they view as the lesser of two evils.

Even in the Democratic primary, voters will have no choice as engineered by the Democratic National Committee under the control of the White House. The result is no choice for many voters. We are living through a political crisis in this country and we need fundamental political reform. We have become a nation of lemmings who continue to follow the formula blue state/red state politics imposed by two controlling party machines. Worse yet, we have become a nation of chumps who insist on dozens of different types of bleach to chose from (despite the fact that bleach is chemically identical) but accept that their government will only practically be chosen from one of two parties.

Jonathan Turley

124 thoughts on “Majority of Americans Still Want Third Major Party”

  1. Just read this today and started shaking my head sadly. What Americans “say” they want and what they will put action and money into to get are often sorely opposed. Every year, we read about increasingly negative views on Congress, yet by and large, those same folks stay in power. That is why we are stuck with just about the worst Republican field I’ve ever witness… and an equally inept Democratic party. Because all they want is to play to the base that says, “I’d vote for ANYBODY except (fill in the blank). This idiocy presupposes that the only choice will always be between Republicans and Democrats. Such sloppy thingking, fueled by laziness ensures that we will not have a viable third party. Americans are just satisfied with throwing out the guy they dislike. And, remember the wonderful gentleman interviewed on national news who said, “No, I’m not prejudice; I just can’t vote for one of them.” Mirror, anyone?

  2. @Smith: When the government is always a majority, corruption and bribery are easily done.

    The problem isn’t the two party system, the problem is the corruption. When Congress votes overwhelmingly to protect corporations and banks and wealthy individuals from prosecution for fraud and abuse, when Congress overwhelmingly protects the President from impeachment for disregarding the Constitution, it won’t make a difference how many parties there are, they can ALL be bought and paid for with enough MONEY, one way or another.

    You are focused on the wrong dynamic: Seven parties can just as easily come to a unanimous agreement to be bought off as can two parties. Right now about 95% of House and Senate members belong to the only party that matters: The Corporatist party.

  3. A two party system is no different than a one party system. When the government is always a majority, corruption and bribery are easily done. Real democracies have multiple parties and allow for multiple points of view to be heard.

    When the government is a minority with different parties holding different views, lobbyists and other such criminals cannot take multiple stances on an issue and bribe multiple parties. Under minority governments, laws are passed through consensus instead of money passed under the table.

    Go ask people in Canada, England, Switzerland, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and others how well minority governments work. They’ll all tell you that minority governments tend to be more productive and less corrupt than majorities.

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