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Rep. Jim Trakis Introduces Ohio HB 638: Allows Independents To Choose Partisan Label Before Election

Congratulations to Republican representative Jim Trakas for believing in democracy. He introduced House Bill 638 in Ohio on July 27, 2006 that would allow independent candidates to choose a partisan label before an election. No more “Other Party” label and praying to get 5% of the vote. Any name can be used as long as it doesn’t mimic the name of an existing party, and isn’t overly long.

The Republican Party itself is the most successful third party in history. Back when the Whigs were whipping the populists into a religious fervor while looting their pockets, much like today, small parties at the state level with names like The Abolition Party and The Free Soil Party pressed the great issue of the day – abolishing slavery. Out of that grew a larger third party coalition known as the Republicans.

With the Republican and Democratic Parties agreeing to span the political spectrum from A-B and engage in the most boring, stilted and irrelevant debates in modern history, it is more important than ever to hear new voices and political perspectives. In many ways, the mainstream corporate media mirrors the boring political non-debates of our day. The great moral issues call out for debate and redress: an illegal war in Iraq, a president who embraces torture, the spying on American citizens, the repression of minority and poor voters’ rights.

Let the Libertarians and Greens flourish and the Republicans and Democrats wither and hopefully, go the way of the Whigs.

2 replies
  1. justice
    justice says:

    Yes, as long as we are supposedly sending Democracy to Iraq, we might as well have some here at home!

  2. Josh Krekeler
    Josh Krekeler says:

    This is a good way for Greens, Libertarians, Constitutionalists, and any other small parties out there to build name recognition through a consistent ballot presence until they get to the point where they’re bringing in enough votes to qualify as an “official” party. This bill by Rep. Trakas is a welcome solution, and I hope all readers will lobby their local representatives to co-sponsor it and pass it.

    The other piece of the puzzle, of course, is media exposure. When people are wary of candidates they’ve never heard of, what they mean is that they’ve been conditioned to only trust those who are covered in the news. If every story about Blackwell’s campaign didn’t also mention Strickland, how many people outside his district would know who he is? This is a serious problem for grassroots candidates at all levels, and the media love upholding their end of the catch-22. We need a good way to address this with the gatekeepers in the press, TV, and radio without alienating them completely.

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