The libertarian party candidate Gary Johnson got a great boost for his presidential election campaign this week. The media started to shed light on his chances to be involved in the debates with Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
Back in 1992 the independent candidate Ross Perot was able to challenge the main candidates George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. He was actually leading many of the polls when he was on the roll. It is claimed that his participation and success in the elections 1992 and 1996 ensured Bill Clinton´s victory over the republican candidates.
The chances for Johnson to be able to succeed in a similar way as Perot seem to be very small. Commission on presidential debates requires that a candidate must secure at least 15% support in selected polls. Johnson has had around 5-6% in the key polls so far and it will be very difficult for him to meet the requirement. However his supporters have been very active in convincing that Johnson´s actual support should entitle him to be part of the debates. An electoral map data generated by ISideWith.com raised the emotions to the top showing that Johnson would be nominated to be the next president if voters cast ballots solely based on issues.
The development during this week have shown increasing support for Gary Johnson. In a Shadow Election application Johnson was able to have 75% of total votes cast in the service. The masses are not yet on the move for Johnson but there seems to be a rising movement supporting his right to be part of the presidential election debates.
For the polarized nature of bi-partisan election system getting a third party candidate to be part of the debates would be very healthy. In a developed democracy there are always more views than two opposing ones. A bi-partisan system encourages the two extremes to have a head battle against each other and for the whole nation it sets up a very polarized atmosphere. Thus having a third candidate in the election debates would be very healthy for the country. There are many citizens unsatisfied with having to choose between heads or tails. It demoralizes people´s feeling of democracy. By having more alternatives to choose from there would be some way for the citizens with the frustration against the bi-partisan system to show their opinion.
It is very important to give equal media coverage to other candidates since the traditional media still remains to have the biggest influence on voting decisions. By leveraging the play field for the presidential election candidates the discussion gets healthier because political issues are seldom black and white. Thus getting Gary Johnson to take part in to the presidential election debates would signify a new hope for real democracy in the USA. In an optimal situation there would be more but a third candidate would be a great start.
Having Barack Obama elected in 2008 was a great step for the US democracy where skin color was not anymore an obstacle in presidential debates. 2012 election could potentially be the next step where the party is not an obstacle either.