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In Search of a Candidate I Can Be Passionate About

By Marty Nemko

I’m looking for a candidate I can passionately believe in.

I’m scared of hubristic, religion-driven, corporate-beholden zealots like George Bush.

I’m even more scared of liberals like John Kerry who, in nonpartisan analysis, has the Senate’s most liberal voting record. At its essence, that means Kerry is the most willing to redistribute the wealth from those with the greatest potential to contribute to society to those with the least—a formula for accelerating our descent into third-world status. Of course, Ralph Nader would be even more liberal.

I’ve decided, for the first time, to vote for a third-party candidate, Michael Badnarik, the Libertarian, because it sends the clearest message that we need an alternative to the two-party system. I worry that too many poor people would be inadequately served under the libertarians and that the environment would be damaged because of libertarians’ disdain for regulation. But I like that the libertarians would never have invaded Iraq, support a woman’s right to choose, and would reduce our taxes, so we would voluntarily choose which services to fund rather than be forced to fund an enormous number of them, including many programs that have been proven ineffective(!) with no choice in the matter. And libertarians would have the private sector provide those services, which, because of competition, is more efficient than services provided by the government monopoly.

But I believe that what we really need is a new system of electing our government leaders.

Here’s one approach. All campaigns would be just three weeks long and publicly funded. Under our current system, most really good candidates are unwilling to run because it requires endless fundraising and post-election payback instead of decision-making based on what’s best for the citizenry.

Today’s mass media (Internet, TV, radio, and print) would allow the public adequate exposure to the candidates for far less money than currently spent

As an antidote to spinmeister-driven commercials and speeches (not to mention trumped-up irrelevant charges such as those concocted by Swift Boaters and Texans for “Truth,”) every registered voter would receive a one-pager produced by a non-partisan organization such as the League of Women Voters describing each candidate’s voting record and positions on the central issues.

I’m hoping that such a system would generate candidates who are both brilliant and able to devote that brilliance to serving the commonweal. Among such candidates, perhaps I’d find one I could be truly passionate about.

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