The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Third-party candidates

As the battle between Democrats and Republicans rages and the 2012 election approaches, often overlooked are the other presidential candidates running: the third-party candidates.

In addition to President Obama and Mitt Romney, Gary Johnson, Stewart Alexander and Stephen Rollins are also in the running.

Johnson is the Libertarian nominee, with a platform reportedly rooted in reduced government regulation and a balanced budget.

This policy is evident in his stance on various issues: he is against government-run health care and government regulation of energy development management, but advocates treating marijuana use the same as alcohol and tobacco use. Johnson also wishes to eliminate the Department of Education and instead give those funds to individual states to improve education in America.

Johnson promises to submit a balanced budget to Congress in 2013, with an emphasis on cutting spending and adding a consumption tax.

“Balance the federal budget now, not 15 years from now, not 20 years from now, but now,” he said to the International Business Times. “And throw out the entire federal tax system, replace it with a fair tax. … If that doesn’t create tens of millions of jobs in this country, I don’t know what does.”

Stewart Alexander is the candidate for the Socialist Party as well as the Peace and Freedom Party, with a platform emphasizing a socialist platform and benefits for the working class.

“My platform is committed to the transformation of capitalism through the creation of a democratic socialist society,” he told The Modern Left. “To create a better future for working people, my platform will offer a guide that will establish a new social and economic order in which democracy will allow the 99 percent to shape our own future.”

He plans an immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan, where the other party candidates propose withdrawal in months or years.

Universal healthcare and full employment are also paramount in Alexander’s policy, the latter to be achieved through increased taxes on the wealthy.  Obtained funds would be used to fund education and public projects.

Alexander maintains the pro-choice and pro-affirmative action stances, and he supports equal rights for homosexuals and non-citizens in social issues.

Rollins is an independent candidate, focusing on downsizing the government and domestic independence.

“I decided to enter this race as an Independent to raise more awareness to what is happening with our money as we continue seeing large numbers of unemployment,” he told the Digital Journal. “Our tax situation is getting out of hand where we’re now the largest corporate tax rate nation in the world and yet nobody seems to come up with the correct answers.”

He calls for placing penalties on companies that outsource jobs and wants to stop fuel speculation, increase energy independence, and put less money into foreign countries.

By downsizing the government, he believes he can both slow the debt and cut taxes significantly.

Rollins continued, “If you decrease the tax burden on the everyday worker (then) that everyday worker is gonna have more money and is going to go out to spend money into the local and national economy.”

With Election Day on Nov. 6 drawing nearer, better-educated voters are likely to make clearer choices for the country.

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