Colorado ballot boasts 16 presidential candidates

Did you realize there are 16 people running for president this year? Or maybe it would be more precise to say there are 16 presidential candidates on the Colorado ballot this year. I’m not sure why the bit players even bother. There must be fees and procedures for getting on the ballot in each state, right? How (and why) does someone with no chance of winning justify the expense and hassle of getting onto the ballot? Beats me.

Anyway, I got my mail-in ballot today and the presidential candidates and their parties are:

  • John McCain – Republican
  • Barack Obama – Democrat
  • Chuck Baldwin – Constitution
  • Bob Barr – Libertarian
  • Cynthia McKinney – Green
  • Jonathan E. Allen – HeartQuake ’08
  • Gene C. Amondson – Prohibition
  • James Harris – Socialist Workers
  • Charles Jay – Boston Tea
  • Alan Keyes – America’s Independent
  • Gloria La Riva – Socialism and Liberation
  • Bradford Lyttle – U.S. Pacifist
  • Frank Edward McEnulty – Unaffiliated
  • Brian Moore – Socialist USA
  • Ralph Nader – Unaffiliated
  • Thomas Robert Stevens – Objectivist

HeartQuake ’08? Boston Tea Party? I got curious, and a bit of very superficial research turned up the following information about some of the parties listed:

HeartQuake ’08 has managed to get on four state ballots — Colorado, Texas, Arizona, and Georgia. (Is this an honor?) On his website, the candidate calls himself a “non-partisan independent.” Whatever. It isn’t clear what he/the party stands for.

The Socialist Workers Party (SWP) is a communist party that once supported Trotskyism in the U.S.

The Boston Tea Party (catchy, huh?) is an American libertarian political party founded in 2006 by people who were unhappy with the direction the United States Libertarian Party was taking.

America’s Independent Party was organized in August 2008. It’s apparently something other than the  Independence Party of America, the Independent American Party, and whatever people mean when they just say they are independents. I’ll leave it to you to sort out the differences.

The Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) supports the government of Cuba, the Chinese Revolution, and the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela. It is outspoken in condemning the state of Israel and its role in the Middle East. (This is an American political party?)

The U.S. Pacifist Party isn’t even in Wikipedia and seems to be a virtual one-man operation run by the candidate himself, a pacifist in the traditional anti-military sense of the word.

The Socialist Party USA appears to be the Socialist Party in the U.S. (If they stick around long enough, Congress may invite them in to help plan the great bailout/rescue of ’08.)

The Objectivist Party was organized on February 2, 2008, Ayn Rand’s birthday, by the candidate. The Objectivist Party seeks to promote Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism in the political realm. (I read Rand in college, but I’ll be damned if I remember what her political philosophy was.)

Project Vote Smart has a great site organizing all the candidates by state, by bio, etc. I suppose I could go through it state by state to see if Colorado has the longest list of presidential wannabes, but I’m too lazy. I am wondering, though, if this state doesn’t need to tighten up its ballot eligibility rules just a tad.

[Update: Sure enough, according to at least one source, Colorado’s ballot has a record number of presidential candidates for any U.S. general election.]

It says something about America that virtually anyone can get on a presidential ballot. What, I’m not sure, but it definitely says something.

10 thoughts on “Colorado ballot boasts 16 presidential candidates

  1. Hey there, nice blog. I realize the need to devote time to researching these other parties. The domination by the Democrats and Republicans has to end. I am not sure 16 parties are the answer, but there has to be a valid third party in that group.
    Thanks for stopping by.

    If the all the minor parties and independents joined forces, they might add up to a viable third party. But I’m guessing voters look to the “Big Two” because everyone wants their vote to count and hopes to back a winner. I don’t know how you get around the problem of establishing a viable party without voters, or getting votes without having a viable party.

  2. The Socialist Party USA appears to be the Socialist Party in the U.S. (If they stick around long enough, Congress may invite them in to help plan the great bailout/rescue of ‘08.)


    I am agetting a little peeved at this point – I am a bloody socialist, a REAL one – and now, now, NOW we have some crappy guy called George Bush screwing around with socialism in the USA and spoiling the whole sodding thing for us REAL socialists!

    Tell him the feck off cos socialism is ours, not his – he should get his own capitalist arse back where it was – and he needs to get out and support John McCain!
    LOL! You don’t think McCain is buried deep enough already? You want Bush to get out there and bury him even deeper?

    Hey, dude, this is the US of A. If we want want to do socialism, we can do socialism. And we can probably do it better than anyone else! You just watch. (Meantime, I may have to postpone my move to Canada. My retirement funds have sorta tanked.)

  3. Ms Pyde! ( This is how your name will have to be) – in Canada you get a pension from the government even if you haven’t paid a dime in!

    Now that is socialism. – The Americans can’t do socialism!!!!!!!!

    Unless you’re a bank.
    Apparently we can’t do banks, either. 🙁

  4. I am confused. I thought Obama was in the socialist party which was founded by George Bush in 2008. I’m thinking the rules in Colorado might be loose enough, that I’ll put my own name down next year. I have no faith in McCain or Obama. The problem is that 14 other choices are a bit much to sort through.
    Hey, you might as well hop on board next time around. The more, the merrier. It appears that just about anyone who wants to can get on the ballot in Colorado. In the meantime, you can form your own party. Good luck. 🙂

  5. I questioned the same thing … why in the world are there 16 candidates and why would they run, especially in this election? I was informed that if a party can obtain a certain percentage of votes, it “legitimizes” (I use this term very loosely here) them and makes them eligible for government funding for their campaigns.
    So most of these “unknowns” are just hoping to get enough votes this time around to qualify for govt funding next time around? I’ll bet there are a couple in there who are just on expensive ego trips and harbor no illusions about ever being real contenders.

... and that's my two cents