"Survey of Political Leanings Sees Third Party Idea Gaining" (Sept. 21) not only shows that the theoretical base of the two major parties is weakening. It shows that the current "left-right" spectrum of the political map is hopelessly inaccurate. How else could it speculate that there exists potential for a new "third" political party consisting of "seculars" (from the left), "new independents" and "embittered" (from the center), and "Libertarians" (from the right)? Would that third party be "leftist" or "rightist"?
To be more accurate, political attitudes must also be measured by their slant toward more government control versus less government control. For example, most so-called "rightists" prefer less government control over economic matters and social issues but more government control over matters of personal morality. Most leftists tend to be the reverse.
I must therefore object to your characterization of Libertarians as part of the "divided right." Libertarians are neither "left" nor "right" because we prefer less government control not only in economic and social issues but in matters of personal morality as well.
The Libertarian Party is already the third largest political party in the United States, and growing, because it attracts increasing numbers of voters from all segments of the "left-right" spectrum. Instead of a new party being formed, a probable trend is that more Libertarian candidates will be elected.
The reason is simple. More than any other political party, we stand for the basic principles of individual freedom and strictly limited government, eloquently defined by the Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. These principles are neither "left" nor "right." They are just basic.
LAWRENCE D. GOLDBERG
Libertarian Party, Burbank
* In your Times Poll, didn't you forget the most important group--the "control" group--the top 1% that runs this country?
This is the group that owns 90% of the stock market value and influences 90% of the politicians, state and federal .
Perhaps at one time this group had a paternal feeling for the poor and average citizen, but that seems to have dissipated. Now it's call in the MBAs and to hell with social or distributive justice.
* While I applaud The Times for an article on the possibility of the emergence of a third party, I am as bewildered as ever about your consistent refusal to cover the candidates of alternative parties--Green, American Independent, Peace and Freedom and Libertarian.
The news media and the League of Women Voters do a great disservice in presenting to voters only one-third of their choices on the ballot. The voters' media-induced misperception that Republicans and Democrats are the only game in town has caused the two major parties to become arrogant, unproductive and unresponsive to the concerns of their constituents.
The usual excuse for this non-coverage and exclusion from debates is that the alternative party candidates get so few votes that they do not deserve to be seen or heard, but this lack of exposure is the main reason for their inability to get votes.
Disaffected Republicans and Democrats already have alternatives that have been hidden from them for years. The Times should begin taking seriously its responsibility to inform the public about all candidates running for public office.
* Finally! You guys are beginning to figure out that the phenomenon of Ross Perot was not about Ross Perot ("Tired Political System Looks for a Tonic," editorial, Sept. 25).
The scoop of the decade and you almost missed it. A relatively unknown man leads the polls for President after entering the race by popular mandate in only a 12-week period of time. That demonstrates a state of dissatisfaction by the electorate that is unprecedented. However you still hold to your conviction that most of us out here are incapable of dealing with our own destiny by posing the question "Will Americans' fundamental common sense keep it in check?" Who better to keep our political systems in check than us?
Please give us credit for at least a modicum of intelligence and responsibility. We, the people, are perfectly capable of directing our own destiny. However, I do commend you on finally seeing how large numbers of citizens have had it and, in the words of Perot, are going to take back our country.
We are not mindlessly going to kick out only incumbents but rather we are going to replace the arrogant politicians who do not serve us and see us as only sheep to be manipulated at their will. Watch out, boys, democracy is coming!