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.