Sunday, August 10, 2008

Lawyers love the (only) two-party system

What is it about lawyers, anyway?

The North Carolina Bar Association refused to allow Libertarian Mike Munger into its gubernatorial debate.

The Virginia Bar Association refused to allow Libertarian William Redpath and the Green Party's Gail Parker into its senatorial debate on July 19:

Kimberly Kovac, communications coordinator for the lawyers' organization, said the association considers polling information, coverage from the media and a level of financial support before deciding whether to invite a candidate. Neither Redpath nor Parker met the criteria, she said.

Predictable, if despicable.

Even the Roanoke [VA] Times chided the Dempublicans for their exclusionary tactics:

Based on the news coverage, you might think Republican Jim Gilmore and Democrat Mark Warner are the only options to represent Virginia in the U.S. Senate. You'd be wrong.

In fact, the Libertarian and Green parties both have fielded candidates. Shame on the Virginia Bar Association for not inviting them to the debate.

Sure, Libertarian William Redpath and Green Gail Parker are long-shots to win, but they can never compete if the political infrastructure doesn't give them a chance. Early on in the campaign, months before November, they deserve the same opportunity to share their messages and try to build public support. Then, later debates certainly could exclude them if they are polling poorly.

Some would argue they are fringe candidates, and maybe they are. Parker's fixation on rail hardly makes her well-rounded . Yet third parties will always have trouble attracting viable candidates as long as the big two cut them out of the process. It's a chicken and egg situation.

Unfortunately, the Ds and Rs aren't about to give up their strangleholds on power even if it has led to bipolar, toxic politics. Voters can still take a look at all of their options for November.

Biploar, toxic politics.

I don't think I can improve on that.

No comments: