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Why challenge the two-party system? Somebody has to do it

The Dover-Sherborn Press interviews Joe Kennedy:

Libertarian candidate Joseph Lewis Kennedy — no relation to the famed political clan —says he offers a fiscally conservative, socially accepting alternative to the two major party candidates vying for the state’s vacant Senate seat.

“Somebody has do it. If I didn’t do it, we’d be stuck with a government that would increase spending. Both candidates are pro-spending, both candidates are pro-health care in some kind of government-run (form),” said Kennedy during a meeting with GateHouse editors on Thursday.

At the conclusion of the interview, reporter John Hilliard considers Kennedy’s prospects in the race and writes:

It’s unclear what level of support Massachusetts voters have for a Libertarian senatorial candidate.  In 2002, Libertarian Michael Cloud collected 369,807 votes against Sen. John Kerry, but Libertarians didn’t mount a campaign against Sen. Ted Kennedy four years later. The last Libertarian candidate to run for senate — Robert J. Underwood of Springfield — earned 93,713 votes in 2008 against Sen. John Kerry. By comparison, Republican challenger Jeff Beatty collected 926,044 votes that year.


  1. Jerry Coon Jerry Coon December 21, 2009

    What has caused the duoplay to stagnate? People of the same virtues and control of power. Both parties are the same consolidating their power and imitating the look of two seperate belief systems. The Founding Fathers framed a constitution that had to embody the people or face a failure. The people then were more embolden to take action than they are now. Now, we are but puppets dancing to the tunes of our masters. The time has come to be bold and make reasonable changes in the people we elect.

  2. Ken Block Ken Block December 21, 2009

    The current incarnation of the 2 party system IS the problem.

    Just look at the time, energy and money spent by independent candidates and 3rd parties in court seeking to level the uneven playing field by filing suit against bad laws passed by members of the 2-party system to keep new parties out.

    For our effort in Rhode Island, we had to strike down portions of Rhode Island’s ballot access laws as unconstitutional. We rightly won that fight, but lost half of the election cycle getting it done and then qualifying for the ballot via signature petition (34,000 signatures collected and 23,584 verified in just over 2 months).

    Rhode Island’s public campaign finance law seriously discriminates against new parties, denying public funding to the new party while providing tax payer dollars to the Democratic and Republican State Committees. Just take a look at the wretched public campaign finance law that CT is being sued over now.

    RI campaign finance law does not allow an individual to invest more than $10,000 annually to help the new party get its feet underneath it.

    Lastly for us in Rhode Island, State law mandates that for the Moderate Party to keep our party status post-2010 election, we have to recruit and run a candidate for governor who wins at least 5% of the vote….a very tall order for a new political organization which started from zero on Aug. 18, 2009.

    The playbook is the same across the country – deny the new political party the time and money necessary to put a solid financial and support infrastructure underneath it, then require the party to meet a very tough (and expensive) benchmark in a statewide race (in some states a national race) to retain status as a party. In short, snuff the new organization before it is properly standing on its own.

    Building a lasting, new political party takes time, colossal amounts of money and a significant grass roots effort. Most importantantly, it takes a level playing field which very few states afford new political parties.

    The Moderate Party of RI will be spending much more time in court contesting the discriminatory and unfair laws that stand between us and success.

    Ken Block
    Chairman, Moderate Party of RI

  3. Adrian Adrian December 21, 2009

    A two-party system is not the problem. A two-party system was a very vibrant and successful one in the 1800’s, despite the fact that the founders did not anticipate their formation.

    We have to look at what’s caused the current duopoly to stagnate.

  4. Jerry Coon Jerry Coon December 20, 2009

    The two party system must be challenged. It presents a great divide among people which causes political ground to bear barely edible legislation. We must elect new pathfinders that can continue guiding the people towards independence vs dependence. If we truly want possibilities with new options, then we have to liberate ourselves from the two party system. Only, they must then reveal themselves to be champions of the people and unite them.

  5. Brad Brad December 20, 2009


  6. jason jason December 20, 2009

    Bah, Obama is a centrist to the core. He’s a Clintonite. Lies to the left, makes fun of the right, and goes middle of the road the whole way. Republicans should be cheering, one of their own is in the White House.

  7. In the 19th Century we needed to confront U. S. Grant.

    In the 20th Century John F Kennedy was the ‘Clown In Charge’ that needed a head on centrist rebuttal.

    In the 21st Century when Obama [my Yokohoma Momma] starts to talk about ‘change’ I get down on my hands and knees and begin tossing the sofa cushions!

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