Editorial: Presidential choices

October 5, 2012
By

Democratic incumbent President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are getting most of the attention in the presidential race. But they are not the only ones on the ballot in most states.

Green Party candidate Jill Stein is pitching her “Green New Deal” to create jobs and halt climate change. Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson is calling for smaller, less intrusive government and more individual freedom. Both of them have significant differences with both Obama and Romney on such issues as legalizing marijuana, ending the PATRIOT Act, and the practice of bailing out giant corporations.

But in this two-party country—and essentially one-party state—such alternative ideas struggle to be heard.

America remains the world’s bastion of democracy, yet everywhere we have inspired or installed it, it looks little like the deliberately restrictive American version. Everywhere else, democracy is multiparty and usually parliamentary, ensuring a much broader range of direct representation.

In our system, one party can take Mission Hill and the rest of Massachusetts for granted, so that our presidential decision quite literally won’t matter. This, despite the fact that independent voters are the majority in the state.

The Greens and the Libertarians will not be taking over the White House next year. But they are serious parties with serious ideas. They certainly don’t take Mission Hill for granted. They are worth your consideration this fall.

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