The five major parties and their candidates

As my friend John (Jack) Belli points out, five major parties are running candidates in this year’s election.

The five parties are the Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, Green and Constitution parties.   They are “major” parties because their presidential candidates are on the ballots in at least 20 states and could in principle win a majority of the electoral votes.

In this post, I merely provide Wikipedia links to the five major parties and their candidates, as basic and more-or-less neutral sources of information.  The links show that the three small parties are not only different from the two large parties, but very different from each other.  In subsequent posts, I’ll compare and contrast their platforms on important issues.


For President: Hillary Clinton.

For Vice-President: Tim Kaine.


For President: Donald Trump.

For Vice-President: Mike Pence.


For President: Gary Johnson.

For Vice-President: William Weld.


For President: Jill Stein.

For Vice-President: Ajamu Baraka.


 For President: Darrell Castle.

For Vice-President: Scott N. Bradley.


My comments:

Hillary Clinton is by far the best-qualified of all the candidates in terms of background.  She has the best resumé of any Presidential candidate since George H.W. Bush in 1988.  She also has a network of contacts and supporters in Washington, academia and business, built up over 25 years, to lend advice and support.

Hillary Clinton, Tim Kaine and Mike Pence are the only ones with Washington experience.  Kaine is now the junior Senator from Virginia, and Pence was a congressman from Indiana for 12 years, and was chair of the House Republican conference for two years.

But Hillary Clinton is the only one with executive branch experience.  In addition to being Senator from New York, she was an informal adviser to her husband, Bill Clinton, when he was President and served for four years as Secretary of State during the Obama administration.

Gary Johnson is noteworthy for starting a successful business, Big J Enterprises, a construction and facilities management company, before starting his political career.  Unlike Donald Trump, he was not bankrolled by a rich father and did not depend on political influence for his success.  It was a multi-million-dollar business with 1,000 employees when he sold it.

Gary Johnson was a two-term Republican Governor of New Mexico.  William Weld was a two-term Republican Governor of Massachusetts.  Mike Pence is a sitting Governor of Indiana and Tim Kaine a former Governor of Virginia.  But Donald Trump, Jill Stein, Ajamu Baraka, Darrell Castle and Scott N. Bradley have never held state or national political office.

Biographical information on Ajamu Baraka is hard to come by.  He’s an African-American who supposedly has been fighting for human rights and social justice for 30 years.  He has won many awards from fellow activists.  I never heard of him until now—not that that signifies anything.

Darrell Castle, who served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, is the only veteran on the list.   I can remember when candidates without military service were rare and had to justify themselves.

I think Hillary Clinton would be the most effective leader.  Unfortunately, I think she should lead the country in a bad direction—toward perpetual war and crony capitalism.

I don’t think any of the Libertarian, Green or Constitution Party candidates, despite their vast differences, would attack a country that did not threaten the United States, nor protect a highly-placed criminal from prosecution because the person’s power and position.  I can’t say that of the Democratic and Republican candidates.


2016 Presidential Candidates on Ron Gunzberger’s Comprehensive Guide to U.S. Politics.   Scroll down for more information on other small parties and their candidates.

Presidential candidates, 2016 on Ballotpedia: the Encyclopedia of American Politics.  Information on Democratic, Republican, Libertarian and Green parties.

The Time for Third Parties Is Now! by Robert Fantina for Counterpunch.

The Libertarians’ Secret Weapon by Ryan Lizza for The New Yorker.  A profile of Gary Johnson.

Faced with Trump and Clinton, Americans yearn for third choice by Chris Kahn for Reuters.

Third Parties Eager to Disrupt the Presidential Race and the Two-Party System by Mike Ludwig for Truthout.


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