Libertarian candidate touts third parties

by Than Tibbetts

Libertarian presidential candidate Michael Badnarik said Sunday that people are not obligated to vote “for the lesser of two evils.”

Standing before a backdrop of the Statue of Liberty, Badnarik spoke to more than 140 people in Willey Hall about liberty and the role of government.

“Libertarians have this crazy idea that the Constitution actually means something,” Badnarik said.

Badnarik told the crowd that he would provide “more money, more freedom and more choices” if he were elected president.

Nick McElhinny, an economics and philosophy senior, said he will vote for Badnarik.

“The Libertarians are about personal responsibility and people taking care of themselves,” he said. “The two-party system is rather ridiculous.”

Badnarik said the debates are an “infomercial.”

“The questions are scripted, the answers are scripted,” he said. “It’s not a debate, it’s a Broadway play.”

Other students who attended the event said they were not so sure in their choice for president.

“I’m interested and I want to learn more about different candidates,” said Jon Carnes, a first-year journalism student.

Carnes said he was unsure of whom he is voting for.

“I’m mostly interested in seeing a foreign-policy change,” Carnes said.

Lydia Schwartz, a first-year psychology student, said she is drawn to the Libertarian Party because it feels very strongly about personal freedom.

“I think that people are paying attention (this year) and they realize that it is important to vote,” she said.

McElhinny said third parties bring up issues Republicans and Democrats don’t address.

“They represent people who aren’t represented,” he said.

Though Badnarik said he hasn’t met President George W. Bush or Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry, he said that given the chance, he would teach them about the Constitution.