They've been called radicals, wishful thinkers and spoilers. None of
them have been allowed to meet their main-party rivals face-to-face on
network television, and one of them -- Ralph Nader -- was even prevented
by police from attending the presidential debates in Boston -- even
though he had a ticket.
The five "third-party" candidates in the 2000 presidential election
have determined to set the world of politics on its head, and
WorldNetDaily is prepared to tell their stories.
Ralph Nader and
Howard Phillips are each profiled in a week-long series beginning Monday, Oct. 9. Through exclusive interviews and a look at third-party politics, WND explores the world of "anti-establishment" candidacy.
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Candidates discuss the challenges of running a campaign without media influence and the dynamics of being "outsiders." They also address accusations of being "spoilers" -- ballot choices that attract votes from Republican or Democrat candidates, potentially "robbing" victory from the major-party nominee who might otherwise have gained the "spoiler's" votes and won.
"If you don't vote for what you believe, you'll never get what you want," reasons Constitution Party candidate Howard Phillips, who says he does not consider himself to be a spoiler.
Likewise, Reform Party nominee Patrick Buchanan tells WND, "Fifty percent of the American people have walked away from this two-party monopoly in Washington, and there are now five, six other national parties, very small. So I don't think that simply because we offer the American people a different choice than the Republicans and Democrats are offering, we are therefore somehow poaching on land that belongs to the Republicans and Democrats."
While their policy differences may vary greatly -- from Harry Browne's Libertarian philosophy of "live and let live" to the Green Party's premise of "decentralization" of economic power espoused by Ralph Nader -- all the third-party candidates want one thing: to be heard.
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One of the primary ways presidential contenders get their message to voters is through televised debates, the most popular of which are governed by the Commission on Presidential Debates. However, the commission's stringent requirement that nominees obtain an average of 15 percent of the voters' support, as evidenced by five pre-determined polls, has effectively kept all of the third-party candidates out of the debates. Bias against the "anti-establishment" contestants on the part of the commission, which is run by delegates from the Republican and Democrat parties, may even have led to the expulsion of Nader from the first presidential debate Tuesday night.
Nader, who had obtained a ticket to the event, attempted to watch the debate from a television viewing area near the studio where the debate between Bush and Gore took place. But the Green Party nominee was escorted off of the premises by police. Nader is fighting a legal battle against corporate sponsorship of the debate commission. Yesterday, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to an expedited review of his lawsuit, which a lower court rejected last month.
WND's profile series comes on the heels of the newssite's latest
presidential candidate survey, sent to all White House hopefuls that will be on most states' ballots -- namely, Gov. George W. Bush, Vice President Al Gore and the five third-party candidates. The 10-question survey consists of inquiries submitted by readers to WND's popular "Ask the Candidates" forum, which has been active since December. Candidates have until Oct. 27 to complete the survey, and their responses will be posted on WorldNetDaily shortly thereafter.