The Purpose of Political Parties

by Karl Tatgenhorst on November 18, 2012

Today I stepped up my involvement in the arena of things political, I attended the re-organization meeting for the Porter County Affiliate of the Indiana State Libertarian Party. The Porter County Affiliate is very small at the moment and that bothered me. One of the things that I really personally want to develop is a good member base/voter base. I mentioned that and was told by one more seasoned political player than myself that the most important thing we provide is ballot access (i.e…. the ability for a candidate to get on the ballot). This did not sit well with me, I felt that this flew in the face of my logic. I also had exactly NO experience to back my position up.

If a candidate wants to get his name on a county ballot, he must obtain hundreds of signatures to do so. Often this must come at an expense of time or money (most likely money) as the candidate should be preparing to deliver information on his positions. According to one source, the candidate can expect to spend about a dollar per signature acquired. This pulls about $500 out of the candidates personal funds for a position that most likely offers no stipend to the winner (and as this is an independent, most likely little chance of winning). Once those signatures are obtained, there is the matter of filing and meeting all deadlines to get on the ballot. As I look at it, this is a lot to get the chance to put your views to work for the people of your county and it leaves a lot to chance as an independent has nothing on the ballot to help someone guess if they are in line with your position.

An easier path to get on the ballot in Porter County (if you are Libertarian) would be to come and introduce yourself to us. We are an affiliate of the State Party, and if we feel that you represent our views then we can elect to put you on the ballot. After thinking all of that through, that’s the most important thing we can do for you. I will also be trying to build up a member base that can provide additional support for you, but we can put a candidate on the ballot and that’s a big deal. Ballot access is the most important thing which we have to offer to you.

About the author

Karl Tatgenhorst wrote 31 articles on this blog.

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