If you're frustrated with one or both of the two major political parties and who isn't at this point there are choices, you know. In fact, there are far more choices than you probably know.
If you don't want to be a Democrat or a Republican, you can, of course, be a Green or a Libertarian or an American Independent. Here in Stanislaus County, there are more than 6,400 American Independents. I suspect some of them accidentally signed up with the party when they really wanted to be independent as in not affiliated with any party. They really wanted to be No Party Preference.
What if you just want to belong to a good party? That's an option, actually The Good Party. Or you want changes in government? Then the Reform Party of California might appeal.
Or maybe you look at the problems in Washington, D.C., and think the guys can't get it right, in which case you might be interested in the We Like Women Political Party. Seriously, it exists, although a perusal of its website suggests it isn't serious at all. The party is being promoted by a man, and his website states that "one of the main functions of government shall be to use neuroscientific conditioning techniques to make everyone like women better." I'm not creative enough to make this up.
The Good Party and the We Like Women Party are among eight parties trying to qualify to run candidates in the next state election in 2014. There are two ways to qualify by having enough people register (1 percent of the 10 million-plus votes cast in the last gubernatorial election) or by having enough people sign petitions (10 percent of the 10 million-plus). I have no idea how many people have signed petitions, but the latest numbers (see list at right) indicate only the Reform Party is getting much following here.
Perhaps the most intriguing newbie is the California Pirate Party. Its website indicates it wants "direct democracy and public participation made possible on an unprecedented scale through the Internet. In other words, this is not a traditional party controlled from the top. We have no all-encompassing ideology."
For people who have grown up on the Internet, this might make sense. Then the website goes on to describe a loose adherence to the ideas of philosopher Richard Rorty yes, I had to look him up stating, "Rorty's concept of pragmatism involves weighing the risk in our political actions and evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of those actions through the lens of contingency. Rorty's use of pragmatism is productive in the sense that it opposes representationalism and foundational thinking."
My last column listed people showing interest in November races. There are more:
Robert Stanford filed his intent to run for Modesto City Council District 4 the seat that Joe Muratore is vacating.
Juan M. Telles and Rickey McGill filed statements indicating interest in council District 2, Dave Geer's seat.
Josh Bernard and Bob Weaver have both indicated they'll seek re-election to the Turlock school board.
Contact Sly at (209) 578-2317 or email@example.com or on Twitter @judysly.
WHO ARE WE?
Stanislaus County voter registration as of Feb. 10:
No preference: 37,663
American Independent: 6,442
Peace & Freedom: 682
Americans Elect: 14
Parties trying to qualify:
Reform Party: 269
Constitution Party: 15
Justice Party: 2
California Pirate Party: 1
No one has registered for the B.O.P. (Balance of Power), No Corporate Money (NCM), The Good Party and the We Like Women Political Parties.
Source: Stanislaus Countyelections office