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Letters: Tough to buck the two-party system

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump in undated photos. Photo Credit: Getty Images / NurPhoto; AP / Evan Vucci

Michael Dobie’s column “Minor parties a major downer” [Opinion, Oct. 2] serves to maintain the inertia of a disconcerted electorate.

“You want a choice? Work for it,” he writes. These words ring hollow when confronted by the reality of present-day politics.

Constituents have little influence in the selection of candidates for primary races. Party leaders, political action committees and wealthy insiders are formidable obstructions to the selection of the most qualified candidates.

Write-in campaigns are stymied by state rules and restrictions. Some states ban write-ins, and such ballots are destroyed.

Minor-party candidates are traditionally considered a negative vote for one or the other major-party candidate. Voters refrain from marking Libertarian or Green party ballot lines in fear their vote may hurt the lesser of two evils in the final tally. Even a mandate for a candidate still has to run the Electoral College gauntlet.

Please Mr. Dobie, follow this column with one that gives a cogent, peaceful formula for selection of the alternative you tease us with in your eloquent opinion.

Edward Lyons, Oceanside


I am disappointed that Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein was not allowed to participate in the Hofstra University debate [“Protesters make points,” News, Sept. 27].

In a recent poll, 76 percent of Americans want to see minor-party candidates who are certified by a majority of state ballots debate with the Democratic and Republican candidates. Stein meets that criterion easily: She is on 43 state ballots plus that of Washington, D.C.

How can we justify limiting the debate stage to only two candidates, especially in this election cycle when only 9 percent of Americans voted for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump in the primaries?

The Commission on Presidential Debates does a disservice to the country by pretending only two choices exist. The commission deprives millions of crucial information and renders this country less democratic. This is the fraud the League of Women Voters refused to help perpetrate on the American people.

The media is complicit in maintaining the status quo. WikiLeaks revealed that the Democratic National Committee worked with Clinton’s campaign and to manipulate the media during the primary season. For example, at least one “journalist” allowed the DNC to read his story before publication, and the DNC suggested negative stories about Bernie Sanders.

Gabe Evans, Ridgewood


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