The past several weeks have been nothing but politics on radio and TV broadcasts because of the Democratic and Republican conventions and political ads attacking opposing parties. One would think that the two parties would give the voters a bit of a breather in between the conventions and all the buzz and hype to soak up what the candidates stand for. Though most people now clearly know who the candidates are and their long awaited running mates, what about the other parties that have places on the presidential ticket? You know, like the Libertarian Party and the Constitution Party. Not familiar with those two? How about the Green Party or the Independent Party? Usually, when people think about "the third party," they think of the Green and Independent parties, but they know fairly little about them and even less about the Libertarian and Constitution parties.
Running for the Independent Party are Ralph Nadar for president and Matt Gonzalez for vice-president. Yes, Nadar is running again, this time on an Independent ticket instead of Green. The Independent Party can be summed up in a few words: Vote for who and what you like with or without a party backing you.
Some things Nadar and Gonzalez are running for are single payer health care and energy conservation focused on solar not nuclear power. They are also for getting more workers rights, like better pay and more benefits. Part of the workers rights is getting health benefits for temporary and part-time workers, according to www.votenadar.org.
This election year has definitely been a melting pot of candidates with a woman and an African American running for president and now Gov. Sarah Palin for a vice-presidential hopeful. What would the American people think of a black woman presidential candidate and a Latina woman for a running mate? That is exactly what the Green Party has done for this election.
Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente are the Green Party's pick for the White House. If you don't know, the Green Party is something of a branch of the Democratic Party with an emphasis on human rights.
According to the Green Party's Web site (www.votetruth08.com), McKinney was elected the first black congresswoman in Georgia in 1992. The McKinney campaign is all for universal health care and helping those who are suffering and in need.
The lesser known parties, the Libertarian and Constitution parties, seem to be extremes of opposite ends of the spectrum. You probably thought the Republican and Democrat parties were extreme enough.
However, the two "third parties" seem to have the same idea. Both of their Web sites (www.lp.org and www.constitutionparty.com) claim their goal is to revert America back to the way the Founding Fathers wanted it to be. But each party has very different ideas as to how the Founding Fathers wanted America to be.
According to the Libertarian Web site, those who founded the party in 1971 wanted "the same as that of America's founders -- a world where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own ways, a world of peace, harmony, opportunity and abundance."
The Constitutional Party, however, has a different idea of what the Founders of America really wanted. According to their Web site, "The Constitution Party strongly champions the principles of government laid down by our Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, principles which have been abandoned by our political establishment. Unlike other political organizations, we do not believe these principles are outdated. We recognize that the Constitution of the United States of America is the supreme law of the land and must be enforced."
The Libertarian Party is, well, liberal in the most political sense. Libertarians are very open-minded people. They believe that the U.S. can function properly with little government involvement. According to the Libertarian Party's Web site, "Each individual has the right to control his or her own body, action, speech and property. Government's only role is to help individuals defend themselves from force and fraud."
Libertarians are for gay and lesbian rights and the right to personal privacy. They also believe that a person should have the right to express himself in any way he pleases. Libertarians are also against any type of restrictions on the Internet including pornographic Web sites. The Libertarian Party has chosen Bob Barr for president and Wayne Allyn Root as vice-president.
Barr represented the 7th District of Georgia in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2002 and Root is founder and chairman of a small business, according to www.bobbarr2008.com.
Where the Libertarian Party is liberal the Constitution Party is conservative. According to their Web site, the Founding Fathers had a more biblical and Puritan perspective. The Web site states, "The Constitution Party is the only party which is completely pro-life, pro-gun, pro-American sovereignty and independence, and in favor of a strong national defense. It is also the only party that is anti-globalist, anti-free trade, anti-deindustrialization and anti-unchecked immigration. We also oppose special rights for homosexuals, the constantly increasing expansion of unlawful police laws and both foreign aid and military interventionism."
Chuck Baldwin is the Constitution Party's presidential hopeful and Darrell Castle is his running mate. Baldwin is founder and minister of Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, Fla. Castle is a bankruptcy and personal injury attorney.
According to the Arkansas Secretary of State's Web site, all of the mentioned candidates will be on the November ballot including Gloria La Riva and Eugene Puryear for the Socialism and Liberation Party.
So, just in case Barack Obama and John McCain don't float your boat as a good future president, you can keep these others in mind.