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Letters: Do candidates reflect public’s will?

A voter marks a ballot for the New

A voter marks a ballot for the New Hampshire primary inside a voting booth at a polling place Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Manchester, N.H. Credit: AP / David Goldman

Thank you for another fine view of our nasty political mess [“Who’s to blame for wretched election?” Opinion, Aug. 17].

I often wonder whether the candidates or the voting process truly reflect the people’s will. Consider that the primaries are for major party members, especially in states like New York. Even though Libertarian or Green party candidates might draw more votes than the likes of former Republican presidential candidates Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker, Rick Perry or Lindsey Graham, they are men and women without a political country, and are excluded from debates and broad media coverage.

The primaries and caucuses are a ragtag assortment of delegate mumbo-jumbo that look nothing like a popular vote. Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus warned, as Donald Trump rose in popularity, that the voters don’t select the nominee, the committee does.

Then there are the Democrats’ superdelegates, whose sway diminishes the popular vote. Reps. Nita Lowey (D-Westchester) and Greg Meeks (D-Queens) stated that even if Sen. Bernie Sanders won their districts, they would cast their superdelegate votes for Hillary Clinton, because she’s a friend.

Bob Rattner, Lynbrook


A recent op-ed argued for a vote for the Libertarian Party ticket [“Why I’m voting for Johnson-Weld,” Opinion, Aug. 16]. Surprisingly, both former Govs. Gary Johnson and William Weld were referred to as “moderate.” Really?

Their party platform calls for the elimination of Social Security and foreign aid, which would include Israel. The platform also calls for the repeal of the income tax and no restrictions on gun ownership. This is similar to what the tea party wants.

Columnist Cathy Young acknowledges that Johnson and Weld were moderate Republicans in the past. But this Libertarian platform portrays a radical, right-wing party.

Tony Smolenski, Little Neck


The Libertarian candidates are on the ballot for president and vice president in 40 states and are working to gain access in the remaining states as well as the District of Columbia.

Why must they meet a minimum 15 percent of support in some national polls to qualify for a place in the presidential debates? They have met the government requirement to be considered for election but must pass some additional authority’s requirement to be heard unfiltered and unfettered?

These two former governors should be allowed on the same stage as the others without jumping through further hoops. They and the American public deserve no less.

Robert Hargreaves, Coram