May 30, 2020

I would like to thank the Bangor Daily News for its editorial of Aug. 1 titled, “Parties and progress.” It is obvious to all observers that the political process in the United States is breaking down. I think that process is breaking down because it is too expensive to run for office and because the Democratic and Republican parties are working to see to it that no other political force is allowed to gain access to the political process unless the people involved are also millionaires.

As long as only millionaires can get involved in the political process voter turnouts will continue to go down and the desire of the people for new political parties, now standing at 60 percent in many polls, will continue to rise.

It would not be all that hard for Maine to embark upon the course of revitalizing its political process. The Legislature could enact serious campaign finance reform and laws to open up ballot access to new parties and independents. I doubt that the Legislature, controlled by the entrenched parties, will enact real reforms, so we are likely to see a series of referendums and court challenges to the existing order.

I don’t think the people should be forced to undertake such expensive endeavors, and therefore I hope that when the Legislature reconvenes in January, campaign and electoral reform are high on their list of priorities. The future of our democracy depends upon it. Greg Gerritt Office coordinator Maine Green Party Augusta

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