Third-Party Presidential Candidates’ Impact on the Election

The 2016 Election’s third party candidates may not be as notorious as Trump v. Clinton, but they still bring ideas to the table regarding political issues.

In every presidential election, there are some voters who choose between "the lesser of two evils." Also like every presidential election, this one has some lesser-known third party candidates for those seeking options.

Two former governors form the ticket for the Libertarian Party; a medical doctor for the Green Party.

Gary Johnson (once governor of New Mexico) and Bill Weld (former Massachusetts governor) represent the Libertarian Party. The two are regarded as successful governors of their respective states.

Johnson also was the Libertarian presidential candidate in 2012, when he drew some 1.2 million votes, nearly 1 percent of the popular vote. He's also the guy who, when asked last month what he thought about the situation in Aleppo, asked, "What's Aleppo?" (Aleppo was Syria's largest city but has been under nearly constant siege since the Syrian civil war started in 2012. As a result, it's the epicenter of the Syrian refugee crisis.)

In attempting to answer a question about GMO labeling, Johnson noted he has Celiac disease; so while his party is against most government regulation, "the government needs to label my food or I can't eat it. It's like poison. When it comes to the labeling of food, I think that's a legitimate government function." Presumably, he supports GMO labeling, too.

Generally, though, he sides with the Libertarian Party's philosophy of the less government the better. That's definitely the case on all environmental questions. He's against raising the minimum wage, and in fact favors eliminating all federal wage standards. On immigration issues, he seems to favor neither a more restrictive immigration policy nor providing any special help to immigrants. But he does say want to make it easier for immigrants to access temporary work visas, perhaps "because our economy relies on businesses hiring the highest skilled workers at the lowest cost."

Also for the second time in a row, Jill Stein is the Green Party's nominee. She chose as her running mate human rights scholar and activist Ajamu Baraka.

Key points of her platform:

  • Create millions of jobs by transitioning to 100 percent clean renewable energy by 2030, and investing in public transit, sustainable agriculture, and conservation.
  • Create living-wage jobs for every American.
  • Provide health case for all.
  • Abolish current student debt and guarantee tuition-free, world-class public education from pre-school through university.
  • Set a $15/hour federal minimum wage and make big corporations and the rich pay more taxes.

And generally "Protect Mother Earth."

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