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Oklahoma County Republican Party 2007 Platform
calls for Ballot Access Reform:

"Recognizing that real competition leads to improvement in the quality and quantity of products and services, and recognizing that Oklahoma has both the most restrictive ballot access laws in the nation and low levels of political participation; therefore, we support lowering state ballot access requirements to at least that of the 10th least restrictive state in the union."

The 10th least restrictive states (Utah and Washington) both require 1,000 signatures.

Oklahoma County Republicans Want Improved Ballot Access
Modern Patriot Chronicles
March 11, 2007
By Craig Dawkins

I have long argued that Oklahoma would do better with more political competition. By political competition, I mean giving other political parties equal opportunity by removing unreasonable barriers to compete with the two major political parties. When it comes to allowing political competition, Oklahoma is less restrictive than North Korea, but more restrictive than Afghanistan.

Don't believe me?

If you go to this link, you will discover the truth. Article 5 of the Afghanistan constitution states:

Political parties can function freely on the basis of the provisions of this law, and have equal rights and obligations before the law.

In Oklahoma, any party wanting to appear on the ballot must obtain almost 50,000 signatures in order to be identified as something other than “Independent.” This situation is just not acceptable. Republicans and Democrats seem to be pro-democracy as long as it means political oligopolistic power of two and only two. That's just barely better than the old Soviet Union.

But the political culture is such that elected officials seek to make it almost impossible to beat an incumbent. They pass restrictive laws, like McCain/Feingold, that violate political free speech so that they can remain in office. Modern politicians aren't pro-competition, they're pro-incumbent. Pro-incumbent attitudes breed a "go along to get along" mentality.

When Mike Reynolds refused to vote for Lance Cargill for Speaker of the State House, he was threatened with expulsion from the Republican Caucus. There's something really ironic about that. (Since when do elected Republican officials seek to prioritize government spending in accordance to a limited government perspective?)

Once, back when I was on the radio, I had members of several different political parties in the studio talking about ballot access. Back then, I pondered the wisdom of changing the way Oklahoma restricts political competition. It is clear to me that Oklahoma has been hurt by the lack of competing parties.

Oklahoma County Republicans should be congratulated for getting the ball rolling on embracing competition as a way to improve the quality of the Republican Party. The State Republican Party Platform Committee would do well to follow their lead.

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