“Where is the party of liberty in Oklahoma?” recently asked Shane Smith in an excellent article on the Red Dirt Report. Definitely give it a read and ponder the questions posed therein. I’m going to approach the question from a different direction. Another way of looking at this is: why do the two parties have special electoral privilege? Third parties like the Libertarian Party are fighting to get on ballots and thus also get the same tax subsidized benefits (ala private party elections called primaries). I’ve wondered for a long time, “Why do ostensibly private institutions such as the Democrat and Republican Party have the bill for their nominee selection process footed by the tax payer?” I’m left wondering why we do not look at removing tax subsidized party privilege from the field altogether? How much tax money is spent by the government on behalf of the parties? Here in the 2nd Congressional District we only narrowly missed having a Special Election due to the death of the Democrat nominee due to statutes on the books that favor political parties that have ballot access. Interestingly enough, if it had been an Independent candidate that had died, the possibility of a Special Election was not even a consideration.
On the upside I think that with money being less and less tied to party structures we are starting to enter a time where “independent” candidates could start becoming more viable.
Perhaps “Third Parties” should stop wasting time on ballot access when the candidates can be on the ballot already. Could it be more productive to spend that effort and money marketing the candidates and exposing the government granted party privilege instead?