Following the rules was the reason Americans Elect announced the end of the process to nominate an Independent Presidential Candidate
Americans Elect had hoped to break the domination of the Two-Party System, and one of their rules was rather dubious: it gave the AE board the right to refuse the candidate selected by the public if they deemed him/her to be unelectable, and they would make the selection. Why didn't they just make the rule that any such undesirable candidates would be rejected from the start? That rule, along with whom the primary funders of the effort were (Wall St. profiteers), caused conspiracy rumors such as:
I had high hopes for AE, and in my previous post had touted the effort as a vehicle for an independent/third-party unity movement, with Gary Johnson as the candidate. The big question is, how did not one candidate qualify to be on the preliminary ballot, when the group claims to have more than 4 million supporters? I had been following AE on Facebook (466,649 Likes), and saw numerous complaints that persons weren't able to confirm their identity as being a registered voter, and therefore could not select a candidate.
Did millions of people sign-up and answer the various questions and then feel AE just wasn't for them or did they do further research and didn't like what they found? Was there not one candidate they found remotely appealing?
Candidates could declare themselves to run for the AE nomination, and there was also the option for voters to draft a candidate.
Those who declared themselves and supporter totals included:
Among those drafted by voters and supporter totals included:
*Ron Paul was at the top with 9498 supporters, but a number of states would not allow him to be on the ballot since he was in the primaries; Obama had 1912 supporters.
Media and politically aware citizen-wise, AE generated both positive and negative opinions as well as receiving informative coverage which included cable news appearances by AE reps. If part of the problem was the identity verification issue, AE really screwed up, but there was another area they failed in, and that was engaging the supporters. I don't recall ever seeing on the AE Facebook page any type of engagement by the page administrators, which includes just answering legitimate questions and addressing issues & concerns (Big Fail). Will AE do a Ross Perot and say something like due to the demand from supporters it will break the rules and run a primary (after fixing any identity verification issues)?
In my previous post I didn't fully go into the issue of why I thought Gary Johnson would have a better chance of going all the way as the AE candidate versus being the Libertarian candidate (I was also concerned the AE candidate, if not Johnson would attract a sizable number of independents).
I sense many voters view third parties as being part of the radical-fringe with no hope of success. However, I don't think you're wasting your vote supporting third-party candidates, and the people who blame Ralph Nader for Bush winning the 2000 election are a bunch of cry babies (I voted Libertarian). I saw AE as a possibility for not only Independents but also persons from third parties to come together to make history with Johnson as the candidate. While Johnson is running to win as a Libertarian, he is also saying that if he can get a high enough percentage of the vote, the Libertarian Party will receive federal funding support in the next election.
A major problem with third parties is that they're the Rodney Dangerfields of politics; they don't get any respect. After getting virtually shutout of the Republican debates, will Johnson poll high enough to qualify to be in the Presidential debates? Will he get his fair share of media attention and be considered a legitimate candidate with a chance of winning? I see the tipping point for an independent/third-party candidate to break through as being when they poll near 30% with close to 10% being undecided, as the election nears.
AE still holds promise as a concept that could bring about a third-party alliance, while also attracting independents. I previously gave the example of a unity campaign by Kevin Zeese, who in the 2006 U.S. Senate race in Maryland, was nominated by three parties: the Maryland Green Party, the Libertarian Party of Maryland, and the Populist Party of Maryland.
What is needed is a third-party summit to come up with a platform that involves both support for common issues, and compromise on others. When you look at the candidates running for a third party nomination, Gary Johnson is clearly the most qualified and most electable candidate among the pack.
The various factions who wish to see a legitimate contender taking a shot at ending the two-party domination, need to embrace Unity. The question is: Can people rally around a third-party candidate, or will it take an independent candidate to garner their support?
"Why is a third-party candidate called a 'spoiler' when the nominees of the Republican and Democratic parties, that have given us a spoiled political system (corrupted by the highest bidder) are never referred to in such a pejorative way?
Candidates from smaller parties are not second-class citizens. After all, either of the major party candidates 'takes away' far more votes from the other than any third party candidate does."