If you’re running as a Losertarian, however, or a representative of the Green weenies, or the Constipation Party, you’ll seldom face primary opposition (what sort of crazed narcissist actually wants such embarrassing nominations?) so you can qualify for the general election with a dozen primary votes or less. You get to play in the general election without going through one of the toughest ordeals of the election process. Why should we make it harder for a Republican or Democrat to qualify for the November sweepstakes than it is for weirdo fringies with zero chance of victory? ...Nothing makes it harder for a Republican to get on the ballot than for anyone else. The GOP as a party gets to nominate one candidate; them's the rules and they were written by Republicans and Democrats who have separate primaries in every state but Louisiana. If some poor Republican is scared of a primary fight, he may simply switch parties (cough, Paul Morrison) or start his own (cough, Lowell Weicker). Many, perhaps most, Republicans get on the ballot without a primary anyway. And this might come as a surprise to Medved, but most third parties don't have primaries: they nominate their candidates in convention like the GOP and Dems used to do. The only reason the GOP even has a primary is because they have decided to choose their candidates that way.
The egomaniacs who get their jollies by running oddball campaigns for high office have a right to their dreams and their obsessions, but the rest of us have a right to a sane political selection process that’s free (in its final, all important stages) from distortion, distraction and destruction by self-indulgent fools with no real support.
But hey, let's try a test: from now on, in the general election, let's allow both of the top vote-getting Republicans on the ballot. That's fair, they've earned it. How do you suppose that would turn out, Mike?
But the real issue is that these fringies should not be allowed on the ballot at all. For that Medved offers two reasons: third parties don't get enough votes, and third parties get too many votes.
Not getting enough votes is the reason Medved is able to dismiss them as fringe parties in the first place. They are fringe by definition since they do not represent the mainstream. They shouldn't be on the ballot because they have "no real support."
Medved also asserts that the third parties get too many votes; they are keeping his guys from winning by drawing away votes that should be his. Whether true or not (and in my case, it's not...I purposely did not vote in several races because I was offered two identical candidates I didn't like) it's actually an argument that says the ballot ought to be limited to the point that people who wouldn't otherwise will choose his guys.
A self-serving argument to be sure, and one that would apply just as well to Democrats. So why stop with fringe parties? Wouldn't it be far more efficient for the GOP Congress (while it still has the power) to simply pass a law that says that only the party that has the Presidency can be on the ballot and everyone else has to write-in? Just think how big the GOP majority would be then.
What he's really calling for is a national system like they have in Louisiana, where everyone meets in the primary and the two top vote-getters of whatever party square off in the general. Hey, I have no problem with that. After all, for more than two centuries Louisiana has represented the very pinnacle of democracy, known around the world for its incredible dearth of distortion, distraction, and destruction.
After all, if it's good enough for Kathleen Blanco, David Duke, Edwin Edwards, and Huey Long, it ought to be good enough for us.
(hat tip: Vox)