Third party voting is a waste

Why do third party candidates never get elected? Read below to discover why.


Evanthia Stirou

Art by: Evanthia Stirou. Depicts the two main parties and a meek third party.

Caroline Pope, Staff Writer

Voting for a third party candidate is throwing away your vote, but that’s only because the political climate in America has made it that way. Throughout American history, you can see party after party emerge from ideals and changes in society. For a little over 100 years, though, we’ve had the same two main parties: the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. Now, with the increased division between parties, many people are considering voting for third parties. The issue with using this alternative, though, is that your vote becomes essentially meaningless.
The reason voting for a third party is a waste is because there are two parties monopolizing American politics, and as a result, when there are third party candidates running for office, they often take away votes from the big two. The libertarian party steals votes from the republican party and the green party takes away from the democratic party. But should this be the case?
According to an article on the Yale News, “Party loyalty” (aka the death of democracy) is the catalyst of this problem. “[A] study, published in the American Political Science Review, found that only 3.5% of U.S. voters would cast ballots against their preferred candidates as punishment for undemocratic behavior…” People and politicians alike feel the need to follow everything their party does, so the public will vote for politicians that are on their side of the fence and politicians will vote for bills just because someone else in their party sponsored it.

Often, this practice forces people to compromise their morals and go against what they believe. It becomes a never ending cycle that eliminates original thoughts and ideas in American politics. The entire system becomes easily compromised because people do not want to “betray” their party. But they are not betraying their party, they are saying what they believe. Third parties, however, allow for a more truer democracy and political climate so every American can feel like they’re being properly represented in government.

If you believe what a less popular party believes, should you have to sacrifice your integrity just to be involved in American politics? It’s not right that Americans have to sacrifice their beliefs just to make a slight difference in politics. But some stay hopeful that newer generations will be able to change the political climate. Mr. Yaneli, a social studies teacher, says “I think millennials and Gen Z are more apt to be less beholden to traditional authority figures like the demacratic and republican parties are today.” The fact that our generation can change something that is set in place feels incredibly uplifting. I believe if we normalize third party voting, we can change how politics are done in America. And if it became normal to vote for third party candidates, we could allow for a more effective democracy. If you believe that your views align with a third party more than a mainstream party, you should be able to change and affect democracy in your image.