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Reader: Make a better third option

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The American Legion sponsors a statewide program where boys and girls, the summer before their senior year of high school, attend a one-week gathering to learn how government works. Due to cost, most towns only send two boys and two girls. Groups are assigned to be members of either of two fictional parties, in fictional towns, where they set up town governments and elect mayors, candidates for governor, lieutenant governor and three other state officials' offices.

Each party presents their platform and all participants vote to elect their officials.

I was lucky enough to be from a town with many civic organizations who funded the students' expenses. We sent 12 boys and six girls, who ended up asking why there were only two parties, as neither party presented plans that we supported. They replied: "That is the way the program is set up, to reflect the typical setup in every town." The American Legion officials then asked why we couldn't just go along with the program.

So, we started a third party. Though none of our candidates were elected, at least we were able to add to the conversations.

So I ask, maybe it is time for all the disgruntled Republicans and Democrats who don't like the way their parties are going and want a change in the whole philosophy of how to govern, to unite and start a strong third party? Perhaps combined they could offer better candidates, and not just blindly follow one party or the other's philosophy. Maybe the time is right for John Kasich and John Hickenlooper to lead the charge of disgruntled Americans, to take back the country from big corporate and individual donors. And get back to governing for the people.

This government has always needed compromise between different groups to create laws that help all Americans, and not just corporations and the well-to-do. Right now, we have the worst government money can buy. Nothing seems to get done.

With three parties, there will have to be compromising; and with compromise, stuff will get done. Who doesn't want to see Congress actually earn their paychecks?

Should we bring back the Whig party or the Federalists? Or maybe give it a new name: The Fed-up Party.

— Mark Stahl

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