Student-Columnists Blast the Two-Party State, Call for Third Party and Independent Alternatives


Over the last few weeks, in opinion pieces for college and university newspapers across the country, students have stepped up their criticism of the reigning two-party state and duopoly system of government. AJ Warne writes for the Daily Athenaeum, out of West Virginia University, and argues that the “rise of a third (or fourth) party will better the political landscape.” An excerpt:

The United States is taking leaps and bounds toward a more effective and self-regulating political system even if it is going unnoticed. The bipartisan system that has constipated the political processes of this country for the greater part of its existence is beginning to change a little each year, but this year more than any other in the past.

The changes taking place in the United States are very important and should force voters in every state to look beyond the party of their parents and the normative party lines seemingly etched in stone from generations before. The abandonment of a strict left or right political system will instigate political creativity, foster better political cooperation and ultimately benefit the American people. For the past several elections, candidates who are not typical of one party or another have started popping up all over the map. . . . .

It is asinine to believe the political beliefs of an entire nation can be lumped into two aged categories. The advent of parties that do not follow the conventional left or right of center dichotomy will lead to systemic changes and benefits that will be reaped by the entire nation. This will make policymaking more difficult, but more good will come from the increased labor to bear the same policy fruit.

In another piece, from Brittany Forell, writing at the Standard Online out of Missouri State University, the author reminds her fellow students that “voters have a third option on election day.” Excerpt:

Keep reading…

30 thoughts on “Student-Columnists Blast the Two-Party State, Call for Third Party and Independent Alternatives

  1. Cody Quirk


    If you want to stop the two-party system, then just join with the other existing third parties in place, Ok?!

  2. paulie Post author

    Lake, click on the link if you care and do your own research, not that that has much to do with anything.

    Poli-Tea’s article is a sampling of student opinions about moving beyond the duopoly. I reproduced part of it here. The rest is at

    I don’t see how your comment relates to this article, but since you decide to go there…what is the difference between that attitude and that of those people who say we should just go Democrat or Republican?

  3. Cody Quirk

    I don’t see how your comment relates to this article, but since you decide to go there…what is the difference between that attitude and that of those people who say we should just go Democrat or Republican?

    = That’s just like asking what’s the difference between a philosophical libertarian and a anarchist.

  4. Cody Quirk

    Hey, I also want to have a multi-party system in our government and would like to see the Green Party get in as well as a alternate party of the Left side of the spectrum.

    I work to do both of the two things you mentioned.

  5. Robert Milnes

    paulie, here is an excellent opportunity to help young people who you blindly venerate to course correct& channel their energy.
    There are already third parties & since they always pick a losing-nonfusion-ticket, an Independent ticket could unite & win.
    This is PLAS. Which you scoff at.
    You are a misleader & self righteous loser.

  6. Robert Milnes

    I continue to be amazed at you & Tom failing to understand PLAS. After repeatedly explaining it. After repeated examples.
    I guess I’ll have to proceed without you(plural).

  7. Single Winner Districts = Neanderthal Attractor

    #2 Cody, what political party do you self proclaim? Currently I’m registered Free and Equal Party, and I proclaim to be with the Free Parliamentary Party. Under the rules implemented in by the ruling coalition (biggest majority) in The USA Parliament, Inc., one may register with the state as they wish, and proclaim to be something else. People have their resons, so give them the freedom to be what they wish.

    You ask people not to start new parties, but people want to be individuals, and to test market new ideas. A party name (or independent) is a way to attract a vote, when the voter is in the voting booth.

    Many existing parties consist of control freaks who don’t want you to be original and compete with them on the ballot. Hence they drive away people who want to be different and also want to be individuals.

  8. Cody Quirk

    #2 Cody, what political party do you self proclaim?

    = Obviously you haven’t been here long- I’m with the Independent American Party (the Nevada affiliate of the Constitution Party), and we just elected 4 people to partisan offices on Tuesday.

  9. Cody Quirk

    You ask people not to start new parties, but people want to be individuals, and to test market new ideas. A party name (or independent) is a way to attract a vote, when the voter is in the voting booth.

    = Yet if we keep starting new parties and keep splitting the vote and dividing the movement to end the two-party system, then we will accomplish NOTHING! We will win nothing if we have all these political groups that are too small to make any difference and people keep breaking off of them to make matters worse.

    Maybe having 60 or so political parties may work in the Philippines, but it won’t work here.

  10. NewFederalist

    “#7 Robert, what is PLAS? I click on your name, and the link is broken, you know.”

    Uh oh… here it comes…

  11. Alaska Constitution Party

    In general, I agree with Cody. However, as in the case of the Alaska (AIP), when a party has become corrupted or otherwise publicly imploded, sometimes the only viable option is to start another party.

  12. paulie Post author

    no, say the whole thing including the suit.
    This thread, which had so much potential, has so far been a demonstration of what happens in…

  13. NewFederalist

    Jack O’Clubs? Jack of clubs? Oh,oh I know… I know (puts hand in the air and waves energetically) Jack off club! Whew! That was easy. Let’s do another!

  14. paulie Post author

    How about we try to get this thread on track instead?

    Here’s the rest of the article from poli-tea:

    Here it is. Election Day. What will it be, Springfield? Carnahan or Blunt? For me, I say neither. We have been told countless times to accept that we live in a two-party system. “Vote for a Democrat or a Republican – otherwise, you are throwing your vote away,” my father used to say. Our country has a political history of valleys and peaks in a cyclical pattern. . . .

    The cycle goes back and forth: Democrat, Republican, Democrat, Republican. Each time we decide the status quo is no longer working, we move one party out of Washington and bring the old one back in. In recent years, we decided President George W. Bush had destroyed the glory of our country with his Republican ways, and in came the Democratic savior, Barack Obama. As the current president’s approval rating sinks down into the sewers, Americans are leaning back toward Republicans. In only two years, we have forgiven all of the transgressions of the Republican party. Out with the old and in with the… old. Must I repeat that exhausted description of insanity? We do the same thing over and over again and expect different results.  There is another option. Minor or “third” parties have a long history in American politics . . .

    Finally, in an opinion piece for The New Hampshire, out of the University of New Hampshire, Nick Murray argues against the old cliche that voting third party is “throwing your vote away.” Excerpt:

    When we see two candidates, one Democrat and one Republican, we feel as though we must pick one of the two. Why? Is it because putting a vote towards any other candidate won’t count for the top two vote getters? Why does it matter? Will one vote sway an entire election? Not likely. Don’t be duped into thinking that voting for anybody other than the Democrat or Republican is a “waste” of a vote. Your vote is your voice in the political process. As citizens of a functioning democracy, we have the unique ability to vote, something not many in the world can say. Make sure your vote is yours. . . .

    Voting may be our only way to combat the oppressive two-party system. . . . . Casting a vote for a third-party candidate and even not casting a vote at all sends a message to the establishment that we are tired with the prevailing system. It is not, as some claim, “throwing a vote away.” Today, New Hampshire voters have alternative choices rather than the stale establishment candidates in contests for Governor and Senate. In Libertarian candidates John Babiarz and Ken Blevens, voters in the “Live Free or Die” state are allowed an outlet to voice their disgust with the prevailing political system. . . .

    Americans will press the button for “change” for the third time in three elections today. We tried to send the message to Washington in ‘06 and ‘08, and we have yet to find leaders who will put the people before their party or themselves. It seems like we’ll keep choosing “the other guy” until we get the change we’re looking for. Unfortunately, this change will not come from either party as we know it today.

    Update:  Today, writing at The North Wind, out of Northern Michigan University, Ryan Haskell argues that “America is not a two-party system.”  Excerpt:

    There is no constitutional or logical reason that we should be so restricted by the two parties. We need to break from the falsely created two party system. The solution is to get rid of the party system all together.

    Why is the two-party system such a bad one? The simple answer is that it restricts our choices . . . . The major parties’ influence over our system shuts out all other choices and leaves us with a limited field of options from which to choose our representatives. If you don’t fit neatly into the Republican or Democratic camp, you are out of luck. It creates a false choice between two solutions when there is in all reality a multitude of possible solutions. We should be free to choose from a wide range of representatives and those we choose should be loyal to their constituents and their own conscience and not to an unelected party leadership looking for the best way to gain political points. So what can be done about it? . . .

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