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Presidential candidates range beyond two parties

November 1, 2012

While most of the national media has focused on President Barack Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney there are three other candidates who have the chance to win the election as well.

They are: former Governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party),  Dr. Jill Stein (Green Party) and former Congressman from Virginia, Virgil Goode (Constitution Party).

Johnson began his campaign by seeking the Republican Party’s nomination for president. He is now the Libertarian Party’s nominee for president.

Johnson’s views on education focus mainly on the k-12 areas. Johnson supports taking control of the education system away from the federal government and handing it back to the states. He also has the goal of ending the Dept. of Education.

Johnson believes that ending the Dept. of Education would give schools more room to decide what they want to do and allow the schools’ decision to be more student driven.

On the economy, Johnson believes that spending and taxes need to be cut drastically.

Amongst Johnson’s ideas are to revise Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security as they, “threaten to bankrupt the nation’s future,” according to garyjohnson2012.com. Johnson also believes that the IRS should be abolished and the Fair Tax should be expanded.

Stein is running for president as the Green Party’s nominee.

Stein has run against Romney before in the 2002 Massachusetts gubernatorial race and received 4 percent of the vote.

Stein has radically different views on education than the other candidates.

She believes that education should be free for everyone from kindergarten to college.

“Provide tuition – free education from kindergarten through college, thus eliminating the student debt crisis,” said Stein via her website, jillstein.org.

She also believes that all student debt and loans should be forgiven.

On the economy, Stein supports cutting the budget for the military as well as private health insurance companies. Unlike Johnson, Stein believes that Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security should remain the same.

Stein also plans to eliminate large private banks and replace them with government run banks. She believes these institutions will help the people rather than the banks helping themselves.

Goode served 24 years in the Virginia State Senate and followed that by representing Virginia in the House of Representatives for 12 more years. Goode will be running as the nominee for the Constitution Party.

Much like Johnson, Goode believes that the education system should be in the hands of the states and schools instead of the federal government.

According to his website, goodeforpresident2012.com, Goode believes that both “No Child Left Behind” as well as the Dept. of Education should be abolished.

However, there is not much information on Goode’s stance towards higher education.

Goode also supports changing the tax system of the United States.

“I support and have voted to terminate the current IRS Code at a date determined in the future so it can be replaced with something simpler and fairer,” said Goode via goodeforpresident2012.com.

He also claims he would support the Fair Tax, but only if the Income Tax and Death Tax were abolished.

He also believes that nearly all government programs should be cut down in order to reduce the national debt.

Johnson, Stein and Goode will not appear on every state’s ballot in the country. However, they are all on over 40 of the state’s ballots and could accumulate enough electoral votes to win the presidency.

All three candidates will be on both the Wisconsin and Minnesota ballot.