Thursday, November 08, 2007

Ron Paul's accomplishment

It will be fascinating to see just what becomes of the Ron Paul candidacy in the next few months. As Howard Kurtz at the WaPo put it, he's gotten the attention of the media in a currency the media can understand: money. (I know bloggers aren't supposed to direct readers away from their site for more than a click or two, but Howard's piece has links to responses from others, across what passes for a political spectrum these days. Worth checking out.) Some are already talking about him having the wherewithal to mount a reasonably viable third-party candidacy, and speculating on whether he would take more votes from the Republicans or Democrats. Way too early to speculate intelligently. Good stuff from Glenn Greenwald.

Unless it's done with one of the established parties, however, gaining ballot access will not be easy, even with money. I haven't paid close attention to ballot-access rules in a few years, but last time I looked they were pretty convoluted, and there were states in which it was virtually impossible to get on the ballot without starting a year or so in advance. I'd welcome more up-to-date information, and will probably make some efforts to get at it myself, or talk to people who know. At the least, gaining ballot access for a new entity will require a good deal of concerted effort that could detract from spreading the policy/phslosophy word.

Anyway, here's a link to the Register's editorial today on the Ron Paul phenomenon, noting particularly how much of an all-volunteer, bottom-up, spontaneous-order manifestation the fundraising day was. We sense a hunger for freedom and straight talking out there. I promised earlier I wouldn't say in advance that he has no chance and I won't now. He -- and the movement he's inspired -- has already accomplished more than I could have imagined, and I think we're still in the beginning stages.

1 comment:

Tam said...

It is very hard to get on the ballet as a third-party... The two major parties have made it very difficult (for obvious reasons), however, in some states the rules are being challenged in the courts.

If he ran on a combined Libertarian/Constitution ticket, he would have access (well the parties can be on the ballet for all states, but not Dr Paul due to "sore loser" laws). The Unity party also claims they can get access in all the states.

However, Dr. Paul has repeatedly said that he has no plans for a 3rd party run...