In the present day world the United States of America politics are mainly represented by two political parties, their leaders and it is essential that whole world is well aware about the Democrats and the Republicans. But rarely could be heard about so called “third force” – political parties, which are becoming more and more popular among the US citizens. The ideas that the electing system at the US has become out of date are quite popular in political circles nowadays. They are not new and are closely connected with the “third force parties”. One of the most noticeable parties among the “third force” is Constitution Party of the United States: “The CP is the third largest political party in terms of voter registration. There are 367,000 registered Constitution Party voters. (This number does not take into account the many states which do not tally voter registrations by party. In addition, thousands of voters registered with other parties have chosen to vote for Constitution Party candidates at the national, state and local levels). One quarter of all voters nation-wide are registered as independent or as members of a ‘third party’. Over the last 10 years this has been the largest growing segment of voter registrations. Some states’ third party or independent registrations approach 1/3 of all registered voters” (Marry Starret, 2009). These data shows that Constitution Party of the United States appeared in quite a scrutinized times for American politics and ought to be viewed as independent force that is very important for present day United States as the one seeking for certain changes within political system of the United States.
Historical Background of the United Sates Constitution Party
First Constitution Party of the United States was called the U. S. Taxpayers Party and was formed in 1992. This date could be called turning point for the party. It founder, well known Howard Philips took part in the presidential election and was represented in 21 state, as well he became first candidate from Constitution Party of the United States ever participating in the president elections. During the period from 1995 till 1999 Constitution party of the U. S. was consolidating and promoting itself:
“Party recognized by Federal Election Commission as a national party bringing the number of recognized parties to 5. Ballot access achieved in 39 states for the 1996 elections, representing over 80% of the electoral college votes available” (Marry Starret, 2009). In 1999 the name of party was changed from the U. S. Taxpayers Party to Constitution Party at the National Convention. These changes were made for direct refletion of party idea of returning of the governmental forces to the limitations and provisions of the United Sates Constitution. In 200 and 2004 Constitution Party of the United Sates actively participated in the elections: “Trough the party was on fewer state ballots in 2004, the vote tally increased by 40% compared to the 2000 elections while other ‘alternative’ parties lost ground or barely matched their 2000 vote totals” (Marry Starret, 2009). In 2008 the Party was balloted in 37 States. It was really significant fact for the party as President Candidate from Constitution Party of the United Sates polled the highest percentage than any other representative of the Constitution Party. Chuck Baldwin as a president Candidate got the ticket in 27 states, and the total amount of votes was 199, 314
Constitution Party Platform
Participating on the national level as one of the strongest parties of the “third force” partiers Constitution Party, participating for the principles, invented in the Constitution of the United Sates, quite a a specific platform. The main three documents recognized by the Constitution party of the United Sates are: The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution of the United States and The Bill of Rights. Paying attention to many social, financial, energy and ecological problems, the party makes a stress in its platform on the following: “The Constitution Party is the only party which is completely:
- Pro-States’ Rights
- Pro-Second Amendment
- Pro-Constitutional, Limited Government
- Against- illegal immigration and open borders
- Against- U.S. policy being dictated by the United Nations
- Against- undeclared unconstitutional wars (such as Iraq and Afghanistan)
- Against- free trade and all international trade agreements such as NAFTA & GATT” (Marry Starret, 2009).
Traditionally, it is considered that the target group of Constitution Party is conservative businessmen of middle class. It would be very hard to define whether it is true or not but for the recent years the ideas of the Party were widely spread among the middle class as their ideas absolutely correspond to the needs of businessmen and conservative people. Suggesting a number of ideas Constitution Party makes a stress on the necessity of educational, congressional, election reforms, constitutional convention, co-operating of health care system and government that really need significant changes, religious freedom. The ideas of reformation provided by the Constitution Party of the United Sates correspond to the contemporary realities and the same time the three documents mentioned ahead mainly regulate the ideas represented by the activist group of the party.
The same time being the “third force” party, Constitution Party suggested a number of innovations applied by governmental forces and political parties in power, as a successor of many small political groups, which were not actually significant political force at different times. Among them the investigator of Party History Marry Starret mention: “A Woman’s Right to Vote -introduced in 1872 by the Prohibition Party; Abolition of Slavery-introduced by the Liberty Party (1840/1844); A Balanced Budget- focus of Independent/Reform Party (1992/1996) candidate Ross Perot who campaigned for fiscal restraint” (Marry Starret, 2009). It is very significant to mention that Constitution Party participated with many interesting ideas in their platform and it won’t be a secret that many political parties (in the whole world political practice) used the ideas of the others, to raise their ratings, using the ideas suggested by the “third force” parties.
The investigators of party activity came to the conclusion that the certain atmosphere supposed appearing of such a political figure as Constitution Party. The ideas that people feel no longer represented in the government anymore have appeared much earlier than the idea of Constitution Party of the United Sates appearing. But that is probably one of the most significant forces ion the United Sates that suggested further development of election system and promoting certain changes that are needed:
“The Constitution Party seeks the restoration of an electoral process which is controlled at the state and local level and is beyond manipulation by federal judges and bureaucrats. The federal government has unconstitutionally and unwisely preempted control in matters of district boundaries, electoral procedures, and campaign activities. The Voting Rights Act should be repealed. The Federal Election Campaign Act, including its 1974 amendments, and the Federal Election Commission should be abolished. Each citizen should have the right to seek public office in accordance with the qualifications set forth in federal and state constitutions. Additional restrictions and obligations governing candidate eligibility and campaign procedures burden unconstitutionally the fairness and accountability of our political system” (Constitution Party National Committee, 2010). The key factor that is raising polarity of Constitution party is without any doubts connected with election reform. It is essential that such a situation won’t be suitable for the Democrats and the Republicans as contemporary situation with election system perfectly suits them. But still the nation is dissatisfied with the results. The growing bureaucracy within the governmental structures also has a negative affect on the attitude of common Americans and their beliefs in structural perfectionism of the United Sates Political structure. “To encourage free and fair elections, all candidates must be treated equally. We call for an end to designated “Major Party” status that gives an unfair advantage to some candidates by providing ballot access and taxpayer dollars, while requiring others for the same office to gather petition signatures or meet other, more stringent criteria. We call for a repeal of all federal campaign finance laws (i.e. McCain-Feingold) due to their violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In order to avoid election fraud, we urge an end to electronic or mechanical voting processes and a return to the manual counting process overseen by, and accountable to, voters resident in each precinct where the votes are cast” (Constitution Party National Committee, 2010). Appealing to the number of fact that ought to be changed Constitution party is rapidly moving to the its aim and is becoming more and more popular among the middle class Americans.
Further Perspectives and Possibilities for the Constitution Party of the United Sates
The ideas provided by the Constitution Party provide co-operation of innovative methods (they are mainly connected with educational, health care and financial areas) and the old ones. Their electoral reform will be really a huge breakthrough as some kind of so called “deadlock” within the political structures and electoral system is observed in recent years.
Investigators observe two main ways for further development and perspectives of the party ideas. It will be essential to note that the key factor attracting people, who ager to vote for the Constitution Party is Election Reform. It differ this particular Party from many others and attract social attention. The two variants how these ideas could be performed are: 1. the ideas provided by the Constitution Party of the United States will be fulfilled by another political force in power, that will united the ideas provided by the Constitution Party with their main platform as it is quite a popular practice in the united states. Such facts were observed during long lasting political history of the United States. 2. Variant is that Constitution Party will become one of the leading parties in the United States. As the result of this significant shift the party will fulfill the promoted ideas and one of the most popular will be the key ideas they promoted in their platform.
Yes the conservative politics may cause a number of dissatisfied proclamations, but still if the Constitution Party would come in power it will be high time to realize what they have promised. The competition is starting right now, American financial system as one of the most significant and the biggest financial structures’ was seriously influenced by the financial crisis. There exist a number of opinions that financial system, as well as educational and health care systems of the United Sates, needs significant changes. That causes some kind of competition within the political world. The ideas suggested by the “third force” could be brilliant and prosperous but they have a lot to do to fulfill them and one of the most noticeable barriers is to become competitive to the Republicans and the Democrats. Now these two parties could be hardly compared to the Constitution Party of the United States and this comparison would not be positive for the CP as there is a lot of work to do. It is essential that some new tendencies should take some time for realization and it will not be a secret that some political innovations should also become understandable and acceptable by the majority. The ideas and certain feature of Constitution Party now are becoming more and more popular in the United States. But the majority, who are familiar to contemporary political and electoral system, do not want any significant changes as this will cause something new. New changes always need some time for accommodation and it is essential that people do not want any changes even they could play a good advantage for them. The time will show what is really necessary for the United Sates: new-old ideas of Constitution Party, based on the respected by the whole America documents strongly connected with Independence and Evolution of this country, or ideas provided by familiar the Democrats and the Republicans, who also could take some innovative steps in order to improve the lives of people. The good example would be soon coming reform of Health Care System of the United Sates, promoted by 44th President of the United Sates Barrack Obama.
In the end I would like to make a stress on the fact that it does not matter what will choose America the course suggested by the Democrats and Republicans or the innovative ideas provided by the “third force”. It still would be the free choice of the Americans, which they would make by themselves. Every political party suggests new perspectives and ideas, but none of them would work without National Agreement and the success of the political system is still depending from the social opinion and social critics. The reformative ideas of Constitution Party really have serious background, but the time will show whose ideas were more acceptable by the nation. Using three main source, which are saint for every American: The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution of the United States and The Bill of Rights, they promoted such ideas that could hardly leave citizens of the United Sates indifferent: “To encourage voter participation and citizen involvement in the governing process; Competition yields a Superior Product; i.e. better elected officials and better government. 95% of all incumbent candidates win re-election. In recent years, between 50 and 75 of incumbent Congressmen in the U.S. did not face an opponent on the November ballot, allowing them to be reelected without even campaigning. Voter choice is even more limited in state legislative races. 35 to 40% of the 6900 seats in state houses across the US (over 2500 seats) typically have no competition. To address issues ignored by the two parties in power” (Mary Starret, 2009). Would it be possible to attract social majority with such promotion or not, would it be effective we would see in nearest future.
Marry Starret (2009). Media Information. The Constitution Party. Retrieved 6th of January 2010 from the Constitution Party Official
Constitution Party National Committee (2010) Constitution Party National Platform. Retrieved 6th of January 2010 from the Constitution Party Official