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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Poll, Vote Now: Let Marking Debate SHS and Noem?

The Mitchell Daily Republic's exclusion of Independent candidate for U.S. House B. Thomas Marking from the Corn Palace Festival debate on August 28 got me thinking: what's a guy got to do to earn a spot on the political debate stage? How much popular viability beyond getting enough signatures to make the ballot must a candidate demonstrate to be taken seriously?

While we ponder that, take the latest Madville Times poll: "Should SD media include Independent candidate for U.S. House B. Thomas Marking in live public debates with candidates Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and Kristi Noem?" Click your position right here in the right-hand sidebar, then drop a comment. Tell us all what you think earns a candidate the right to be heard in a public debate. Voting and comment is open to everyone, regardless of your potential for winning a public vote. ;-)

Poll is open until breakfast time Saturday, around which time I'll post the results and offer some more commentary. Tell your friends, and vote now!


  1. It would make sense that if a candidate is on the ballot, he/she should be included in public debates, and if we don't want to include them in debates, raise the requirements for signatures to what other mainstream candidates must obtain to be on the ballot. Keep it fair all around.

  2. Goldman: Your commentary makes even more sense, since Mr. Marking in reality already had to collect more signatures than the other mainstream candidates.

  3. Makes sense, since it would break the duopoly that is the Demicans and Republucrats.

    Someone once asked Jesse Ventura what he thought of the two-party system. He said that it was "one party more than a monopoly".

  4. B Smith, is this what you're referring to?

    South Dakota: For a registered political party in a statewide election they must collect petition signatures equal to one percent of the vote for that political party in the preceding election for state governor. An independent candidate must collect petition signatures equal to one percent of the total votes for state governor, and a new political party must collect two-hundred and fifty petition signatures. In state legislative elections a registered political party needs to collect fifty signatures and an independent candidate must collect one percent of the total votes cast for state governor in the preceding election.

  5. It's certainly what I refer to, Rod! Marking had to do the work of the Republican and the Democrat put together.

  6. Goldman. Yes it is . there is however a mistake on the wikipedia page . The last sentence should end with " in their respective district"

  7. I realize that the statute says they have to, but what is the reasoning for independent candidates to have to do more work than the "main" parties.

    Is it to weed out those that might run on a whim, or just to make it easier to maintain the 2 party system. I see that there should be a bar to jump over but why make it harder for those who would want to serve the public but can't because of arbitrary limits and money (which is another issue in political campaigns entirely).

  8. Jim, I'll note that we Democrats benefit from the way the law is structured as long as we lose the governor's race. Our signature burden was significantly lower this year thanks to Jack Billion's getting creamed in the 2006 election.

    I do agree: the two main parties have passed laws to solidify their grip on power and exclude Independents and other parties that might challenge them. We don't want folks jumping on the ballot on a whim, but we shouldn't put outsiders at such a disadvantage.

    How about we simply require candidates to obtain a certain percentage of signatures from folks who share their affiliation? Suppose we required you get signatures from 1% of the folks who are registered the same as you (or 250, whichever is greater—still keep a sensible minimum). For statewide office, by current registration numbers, Republicans would have to get 2339 signatures, Democrats would have to get 1931, and Independents would have to get 825. Would that be fairer?

  9. On the topic of the debate; it is the newspaper's debate and they have the right to invite whomever they choose to be a part of it. But, they are doing a disservice to their readers and the rest of the citizenry by not including all interested parties.

    If the debate is to find who best belongs in the position, then they should invite all comers. If it is just for publicity then just invite who you please, but don't advertise it as a debate. Instead call it a meeting with whoever you invited.


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