Third Parties Pros And Cons

Decent Essays
During this reading, I was intrigued by the Presidential Public Funding Program. Established by the federal government, it provides treasury funds to match donations of up to $251 dollars during the nomination campaign; for the general election, it offers up a $91.2 million lump-sum payment to be used as the sole funds for the campaign. Nevertheless, there is a catch: a presidential candidate for either the Democratic or Republican Party is eligible for these subsidies if and only if they raise at least $5,000 in total from contributions of $250 or less in at least 20 states. For third party candidates, the requirements are relatively more stringent; they are required to have at least 5% of the vote, and to make matters more difficult, they…show more content…
The fact that they are forced to subscribe to set of rules that are far more difficult relative to their own circumstances than those of the more popular political parties is quite telling; it exemplifies the notion that the Democratic and Republican parties work to keep third parties like the Libertarian and Green Parties down, for fear that they might upset the delicate political ecosystem that has been formed since that fateful election between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams in 1800. Such regulation evokes elements of the same rules that kept Gary Johnson out of the debate in the 2016 election. While a number of Americans believed he should be able to participate, as he was on the ballot in all 50 states, the Commission on Presidential Debates (an organization run strictly by members of the Democratic and Republican parties) saw it differently; they required a minimum 15% vote to get on the stage. In effect, they were placing him in a Catch-22 not unlike the one the Presidential Public Funding program does for third party candidates; they require a strong base of political support to earn what they are providing (funds or media coverage), but the candidates are unable to achieve those minimum levels without receiving what they’re reaching for. Truthfully, the rules of the funding program and debates exemplify something to be aware of; the Democratic and Republican Parties are at least somewhat responsible for the middling success of the third party
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