Saturday, October 13, 2007


Polls show that voters are frustrated with “politics as usual” and are taking a closer look at alternatives to the Democratic and Republican parties. The Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas will host a day of programming devoted to this trend on Thursday, Oct. 25.

“I’ve been struck by how many visitors to the Dole Institute comment on their feelings of alienation from the two major parties,” said Jonathan Earle, interim director of the institute. “I sense there is a lot of frustration out there that could lead to openings for alternative parties in the coming election cycles.”

The afternoon event will begin at 3 p.m. in the Simons media room and feature several academic experts discussing the history and potential for third-party success in coming elections. The afternoon will feature Lisa Disch, professor of political science at the University of Minnesota and author of “The Tyranny of the Two-Party System”, John H. Aldrich, the Pfizer-Pratt university professor of political science at Duke University and author of “Why Parties?”, J. David Gillespie, professor of political science at the College of Charleston and author of “Politics at the Periphery”, and Bob Beatty, professor of political science at Washburn University and expert on Kansas’ three-party system. Moderating the panel will be Jonathon Earle.

The evening event features a roundtable discussion moderated by Bill Kurtis and begins at 7:30 p.m. in Hansen Hall. The panel at the roundtable discussion includes David Boaz, executive vice president of the Cato Institute, and long-time Libertarian activist. The panel will also include Richard Winger, who has been a prominent national activist for Libertarian and third party ballot access.

Both programs are free and open to the public.

The Libertarian Party of Kansas (LPKS) applauds KU and the Dole Institute for providing a forum for alternate political party solutions. The LPKS has increased outreach activity and expects to step up local activity over the next election year. Recently two members of the party were elected to positions in their hometowns “We are gaining momentum across Kansas,” says Rob Hodgkinson, State Chair of the LPKS. “Kansans are ready for real change and we are ready to give them a viable third party option.”