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An Introduction to Third Party Politics

Updated on June 15, 2016

Coke or Pepsi

Some people prefer Coke while others prefer Pepsi. They taste similar although a bit different. Fans of each will tell you why their brand is better. However, no matter how you look at it, they are both colas. If you don’t like cola, you need to find an alternative.

Third parties are a viable alternative

The same is true with our two major political parties. There are similarities and there are differences. If you want change, you need to vote differently.

Third parties are a viable alternative. Many are issue-oriented; their goal is to bring notice to an issue and make it a part of the state’s or country’s conversation. Hopefully, the mainstream party whose views most align with the third party will adopt that issue into their platform. One such party is the Objectionist Party whose goal is to incorporate the Objectionist philosophy of Ayn Rand into politics.

Ayn Rand


Tom Snyder interviews Ayn Rand

Third parties at the state level

Some third parties are only involved at the state level. An example of this type of third party is the Hawaii Independence Party. Another example, and the name states its issue clearly, is the New York’s Rent Is Too Damn High Party. You can read more about different third parties on Wikipedia and from SparkNotes. Note: I wrote the Coke and Pepsi analogy before I found the SparkNotes article. I like their analogy and am happy that my analogy is more than just an opening for this article.

Film - third party, political alternatives in the age of duopoly

ThirdPartyPolitics is an interesting site that provides information about the film that the website’s creators made, titled, third party, political alternatives in the age of duopoly. It also provides informative links to third parties and third party related issues. You can also learn about the filmakers, Michael Burns, John Winslow, Brian Oelberg, and Greg Ansin.


Gallup poll - our two major parties are not doing their job

A Gallop poll from September 24, 2014 states that 58% of the U.S. adults believe a third party is necessary because our two major parties are not doing their job.


This view is held by independents (71%), Democrats (47%), and Republicans (46%).


Is a third party vote a wasted vote?

Many say that voting for a third party candidate is a wasted vote. I don’t believe so. In fact, I believe voting for the lesser of two evils is a wasted vote. If you want change, you need to change how you decide who to vote for.

Jill Stein, Green Party Presidential Candidate, on What is a Wasted Vote

Livestream: Is Voting Third Party a Wasted Vote?

Third parties in review

  • Many third parties are issue-oriented
  • There are state and national third parties
  • More than a majority of Americans polled believe the two major parties are not doing there job.
  • Voting for a third party is not a wasted vote.

Third Parties

Would you vote for a third party?

See results


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