Constitution Party

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The Constitution Party claimed to be the third-largest political party in the United States in terms of numbers of registered voters. The party was founded in 1992 as the U.S. Taxpayers Party. Its name was changed to the Constitution Party in 1999, but some state affiliate parties have different names. The Michigan affiliate has kept the U.S. Taxpayers Party name in order to retain ballot status, and in Connecticut the affiliate is the Concerned Citizens Party.

In 1992 they ran a presidential candidate in 1992, Howard Phillips, and were on the ballot in 21 states. By 1995 they were formally recognized by the Federal Election Commission as the fifth national political party and again ran Phillips as their parties nominee, this time on 29 state ballots, receiving about 185,000 votes.

In 1999 they changed their name to the Constitution Party, which they felt better reflected their comprehensive agenda, and they again elected Howard Phillips to run, this time for the upcoming race of 2000.

The 2000 elections marked their arrival as a national third party force, on the ballot in 48 states and running over a hundred candidates in local races all over the country. While not as organized or as large as other third parties like the Greens, the Reforms, and the Libertarians, the Constitution party nonetheless has maintained a strong grassroots following, consisting in part of disenfranchised Republicans who have felt that the Republicans have become too moderate, particularly on social issues.

Most of the Constitution Party's registered voters are in two states: California, in which the affiliate is the American Independent Party, founded in 1967, and Nevada, in which the affiliate is named the Independent American Party. According to some observers, the word "Independent" in the party name may have attracted the registrations of voters intending to declare themselves unaffiliated with any party, but there is no way to determine to what extent this might be true.

The party made headlines in early 2004 with talk of them wooing conservative Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore to run on their ticket. While it was seen by some as a means to raise the national profile of their party, they ended up running Michael Peroutka as their parties presidential candidate.

In the 2004 elections, the Constitution Party was the only one of the national third parties to increase its percentage of the vote, polling more than 40% better than in 2000. One of its candidates, Rick Jore, was also elected to the Montana state legislature, becoming the first Constitution Party candidate to be elected to that level of government.

Platform

The party holds that United States law is based on the "moral principles" of Christianity as codified in the Bible, and urges the abolition of the federal income tax. It also advocates a stricter and more narrow reading of the "original intent" of the framers of United States Constitution and its amendments. Members support reducing the role of the United States federal government through drastic reductions in taxes, spending and regulation, as well as reducing and eventually eliminating the role the United States plays in multinational bodies such as the United Nations.

The party has a generally libertarian view on issues of foreign policy, Second Amendment rights and economics, but supports protectionist policies on trade and advocates a more restrictive immigration policy. It is far-right on social issues, including equality, medical privacy and the protection of religion in American life by seeking to end the separation between church and state.

The Constitution party describes its own agenda as “completely pro-life, anti-homosexual rights, pro-American sovereignty, anti-globalist, anti-free trade, anti-deindustrialization, anti-unchecked immigration, pro-second amendment, and against the constantly increasing expansion of unlawful police laws, in favor of a strong national defense and opposed to unconstitutional interventionism“.

Presidential and vice presidential nominees

See also: List of political parties in the United States

External links

The Constitution Party - Official website

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