Consider third-party candidates

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When the presidential election turns from voting “for” the candidate you like to casting your vote “against” the candidate you don’t like, it may be time to consider voting for someone else.

Is this a “wasted vote?”

In the words of Gary Johnson, former New Mexico governor and the Libertarian Party choice for president, “Wasting your vote is voting for somebody that you don’t believe in.”

Johnson and other third-party candidates faced one another Oct. 23 in a C-SPAN debate co-hosted by Larry King and Christina Tobin, co-moderator of the debate and founder of the Free and Equal Elections Foundation, the Chicago nonprofit sponsoring the debate.

“It’s pure American democracy at work,” Tobin said before the debate. “This debate is really about the fact that all elections should be free and equal. Right now they are not.

“From foreign policy, to the economy, to taboo subjects like our diminishing civil liberties and the drug war, Americans deserve a real debate, real solutions and real electoral options.”

The debate included the following candidates. These four are on the New Mexico ballot. They are not the only third-party candidates in the country, but they are the ones who have been placed on the ballots of more states than any others.

Virgil Goode, former congressman from Virginia who is running with the Constitution Party, says he wants to see the budget balanced sooner than five years in the future. He wants to secure the borders and end illegal immigration. He has called for a moratorium for green card admissions into the country while unemployment is so high. He said he is not taking any PAC donations and is limiting individual donations to $200 per person.

“It is time for grassroots America to have standing in our government,” he says in a statement on his website.

Dr. Jill Stein, Green Party candidate, talks about addressing the climate crisis head on by pushing for a 100 percent renewable carbon neutral economy, with full employment. She says the Green New Deal she is proposing would create 25 million jobs in sustainable energy, agriculture, transportation and manufacturing infrastructure, as well as in social services and public education.

“When we show that we take the climate crisis seriously enough to vote for the Green option, the power of democracy will be unleashed, and our political system will finally respond to this growing threat,” Stein said.

Candidate Rocky Anderson is with the Justice Party. In New Mexico he appears on the ballot as New Mexico Independent Party. The former Salt Lake City mayor says resolving huge issues involves combining numerous elements of policy. According to his website, it is the underlying principle of Anderson’s campaign that “the country needs to be run for all Americans, not just the wealthy elites.” The reduction in income and wealth disparity is the goal of his policy platform. Some of the key issues for which Anderson would advocate include strengthening labor laws, tax incentives for local manufacturers, progressive taxation and promoting fair trade.

Two-term former New Mexico Gov. Johnson has been an outspoken advocate for efficient government, balanced budgets, rational drug policy reform, protection of civil liberties, comprehensive tax reform and personal freedom. His website says as governor, Johnson was known for his common sense business approach to governing. It says he eliminated New Mexico’s budget deficit, cut the rate of growth in state government in half and privatized half of the state prisons.

“The libertarian candidate for president is the only candidate that’s going to be talking about slashing welfare spending and warfare spending in the same sentence,” Johnson said during his acceptance speech in May at the Libertarian National Convention.

These men and woman have as much right to run as candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. There is no reason to choose one of those above the other if you don’t really like either one. The American process is to vote for the person you think will do the job best. We would like to encourage you to do so.