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USPol 

Me and my wife voted in our primary elections, I republican, her democrat (we are both registered independents)

For our state and congress district, Democrats are running on a nearly unopposed primary ballot.

Republicans are not.

Among the republican congressional candidates, they are all basically same-y. White upper class pro-business. Except for one.

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USPol 

@matt Not gonna lie. If I were american, I'd be voting 3rd party. I know the system is basically a duopoly but I just wouldn't be able to bring myself to vote Dem or Rep. I'd probably go Libertarian

USPol 

@linuxpaulm We have very ineffective third parties here, sadly. And they often don't run for every office either.

USPol 

@linuxpaulm And I'm not even talking that they don't win elections (which is true). I'm talking that

a) their presence is very much invisible. they don't make themselves known at all

b) they don't apply any kind of pressure on the big two parties

c) while the 3rd parties themselves are fine, the specific people that run under the 3rd party banner tend to be...well, undesirable people that you definitely do not want in office.

USPol 

@matt @linuxpaulm 3rd parties also do not have the decades of data collection, experience, and advice backing them. From the inside of a campaign it is amazing to see the amount of data, tools, and expertise that are provided by the two major parties. I have not gotten involved before and as such there are a lot of things that seem counter intuitive to do, but when explained kinda make sense. Thus experience and expertise make a huge difference.

USPol 

@AtypicalKernel @linuxpaulm Is it willful ignorance on the 3rd parties then, or just a lack of funding? There has never been anything stopping the 3rd parties from amassing the same databases as the big two.

USPol 

@matt @linuxpaulm A lot of it for better or worse is actually not wanting to invade privacy of voters, in addition the data collection apparatus encompasses not only public records but is also hooked into massive data farms (think lexus nexus) and social media, that data is then fed through ML/Algorithms to allow micro targeting. Quite frankly the only thing that would rival it I'm aware of would be the CIA/NSA.

USPol 

@matt @linuxpaulm Funding is also an issue. The work being done in the campaign I am a part of is almost entirely volunteers. Other campaigns however are simply paying ppl to knock on doors, make calls, put up signs, run the campaign, etc. The problem is volunteers can only give some time (in between work, college, family etc) where as a paid person is "campaigning" 40 hrs a week

USPol 

@matt @linuxpaulm There is also the issue of "dirty politics" which goes way beyond what most ppl are aware of. The mud slinging and lies ppl see. What ppl don't see are things like taking down an opponents signs, paying (cash under the table) advertisers or radio/tv/influencers to simply not return calls or flat refuse certain campaigns. Granted the above are illegal but the ppl have to get caught so....

USPol 

@matt @linuxpaulm Most third party campaigns do not engage in "dirty politics" and as such this puts them at a disadvantage

USPol 

@AtypicalKernel @linuxpaulm and that right there is why i'm a registered Independent.

Can trust either party any more than i can shove them over the south rim of the Grand Canyon.

USPol 

@matt @linuxpaulm After seeing the ugly insides of politics, the best thing would be more transparency and accountability. The problem is that almost every group that tries either winds up slanted or gets shadow banned. I have serious concerns about how much control and influence platforms like facebook, google, etc have over US politics. One of many reasons I have chosen not to exist or use those platforms. Quite frankly my mental health improved after ditching them.

USPol 

@matt @AtypicalKernel I am probably the Northern Ireland equivalent of a registered independent. I tend to float around voting for the individual that impresses me most based on performance in hustings events etc. I simply can't do lesser evil voting anymore and get called "naive" all the time for "always letting the shit one in". Thats why I sympathised with 3rd party voters who got blamed for Trump in 2016

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