Are you sick to death of an accomplish-nothing Congress? Tired of politicians making excuses, blaming the other party and bragging that they won’t do anything? Or maybe you have had it with our Washington State Legislature unable to pass a budget without spending your money for extra long sessions.
We expect this type of behavior in sports teams, where one is supposed to win and the other lose. But at least in sports, there are referees to make them stick to the rules. So, how can we make Congress and the state Legislature stop acting like they are playing a game where one team will win and the other lose?
When people insist on a two-party system, they are also pushing for deadlocks, unless they live in a single-party majority state. Because more than one point of view exists in this state, we need to figure out a way to break these ties.
If we had a large enough number of elected politicians who don’t belong to either team, that would be enough to stop these deadlocks.
This means that you, the voter, will have to do some careful strategizing and thinking before you vote. Look for candidates running as independents or from a third party. Make sure they are people you would support if they were running from your favorite party.
Because of Washington’s top-two primary, independent or third-party candidates need support in the primary, or they will not appear on the final ballot. Instead, you might be treated to a choice of two candidates from a single party.
The two-party system lovers will always tell you that no third-party candidate should run because they can’t win. What they don’t mention is that there are plenty of laws to help make that true. Just because a candidate is not invited to a debate or interviewed in
The Seattle Times does not mean you can’t find out what they stand for. Read the voter guide, check the candidate’s web page, and see if their opponents have copied it. If so, it must be pretty good.
If you tend to lean left, look for candidates from the Progressive, Green or one of the Socialist parties. If you lean right, look for candidates from the Libertarian, Constitution or Christian Liberty Party. And don’t forget the independents.
One more very important thing you can do: If you like an independent or third-party candidate, send money. I don’t know of any third party in Washington that takes corporate money, so your contribution will make a big difference. Wouldn’t it be great to get back to governing instead of deadlocking?
Now that the primary is over, let’s think about president of the United States. Some say, “You must vote for my two-party candidate, or the world will end.”
I have voted for plenty of third-party presidential candidates and the world is still running. It is your vote to spend as your conscience tells you. You do not have two choices for president, you have five: Darrell Castle, Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Find out what each one stands for and vote for the one you actually like instead of choosing out of fear. It is time to declare our independence from the two-party tyranny.
If you want to know more, you are invited to the Progressive Party State Convention, Sept. 24, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Phinney Neighborhood Center at 6532 Phinney Ave. N. in Room 6. The keynote speaker is Gentry Lange on voting machines and Christina Tobin, founder of Free and Equal. During the last hour, we will meet with representatives from other third parties to discuss our common needs. For more information, please call 206.467.1370.
Linde Knighton is the state chair of the Progressive Party.