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Investment Guru: Which third party will replace the Republicans?

Hat tip to Ballot Access News for the story and background…

Timothy Lutts is an investment adviser with a popular newsletter. Lutts wrote an article which includes wonderful lists of third parties of the past. His article starts by reacting to the recent Republican failures and scandals — ie: Sarah Palin and Mark Sandford — and wondering what will happen next. Lutts proposes that the Libertarian Party could become the replacement for the Republican Party. (And, if you read his whole article, at his site, you will see why Lutts dismisses the Green Party as a possible new, second party…)

Excerpts-only below:

(excerpts from) The Iconoclast Investor
Long-Term Trends of our Political Parties
by Timothy Lutts / July 8th, 2009

…I’ve been working on a bigger perspective, wondering whether the Republican Party has become so weakened in recent years that it’s created an opportunity for a new counterweight to the Democratic Party.  I pledge allegiance to neither, but deep interest in both; after all, they have the power.  But change happens; in fact, you can’t stop change from happening.  So today I want to look at the potential for major change on the political party front in the years ahead.

I start by gathering some facts.

The United States has not always been run by the Democratic and Republican parties.

Our first president, George Washington, was a member of no particular political party, and he hoped that they would not be formed; he feared conflict and stagnation.  Smart man…

For a party’s nominee to actually have a chance of becoming President, (by majority vote of the electoral college as opposed to the even more convoluted ways), the candidate must be on the ballot in states whose collective electoral vote total is at least half of the Electoral-College votes.  To do that takes both organization and money.

In the 2008 Presidential election, three parties (aside from the Democrats and Republicans) cleared that hurdle.

They were:

* Constitution Party (founded in 1992)
* Green Party (founded in 1996)
* Libertarian Party (founded in 1971)

These three are my focus today…

What’s left in the Republican Party is an uneasy alliance of economic conservatives–many of whom hold moderate views on social issues–and social conservatives whose strong religious positions have driven many moderates out of the party and into the Independent column.

In short, the party is shrinking.  It lacks a leader.  And it lacks a credible center.

So the question today–keeping in mind our country’s history– is whether any of those three second-tier parties–in conjunction with increasing numbers of alienated independent voters–can take a page from the Whigs.  Can they join together, pull some more voters out of the weakened Republican Party, and form a party that will offer a credible–and financially powerful–counterweight to the Democrats?…

[Lutts suggests the Libertarian Party is best positioned to fill in for the collapse of the Republican Party, but…]

To do this, the Libertarians would need to moderate some of its positions; I can’t for example, envision the income tax or Medicare disappearing anytime soon.  But intelligent compromise on its most abrasive positions could pay big dividends.

From today’s perspective, the odds against the Libertarians are huge, but if the Republican Party continues to flounder, and if growing numbers of voters in the years ahead see the need for a new counterweight to the Democratic Party, it could happen.

As the history of the United States reminds us, political parties do not last forever.  Change happens.  Think about it.

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