Ninety percent of the government’s role should be eliminated, said John Mangopoulos, the Reform Party’s candidate for Michigan’s seat in the U.S. Senate. “If it’s called a program, it’s unconstitutional.”
One of five “third parties” with candidates on the Nov. 5 general election ballot in Michigan, the Reform Party has received attention through candidates such as Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura and 2000 Presidential candidate Pat Buchanan.
The party also takes its shots at the Republican and Democrat parties, which Mark Forton, chairman of the party’s Michigan chapter, said are “like a government in and of themselves.
“They both lead you down the same garden path to a global government where we won’t be free.”
The party’s platform accuses the U.S. government of straying away from the Constitution by taking an active role in education, implementing an income tax, condoning abortion and adopting the North American Free Trade Agreement, Forton said.
“If we were in power, NAFTA would be over with now, because it’s unconstitutional,” Forton said. “What you really have with this global free trade is a global free labor market.”
The Reform Party also proposes instating government tariffs or a flat tax to replace the income tax, which Forton said was never passed by Congress.
Forton added that the party opposes abortion because he says science has proven that life begins at conception.
Federal government policies that fund public education are socialist, he added, because the Constitution clearly stipulates that education policies should be left in the states’ control.
LSA senior Nick Waun, the Reform Party candidate for the University Board of Regents, said to keep tuition costs down, the University should continue to receive federal funding, but at the same time begin producing income through entrepreneurial enterprises.
He said rather than investing in companies, the University should produce its own products, such as its own version of the Oxford Dictionary or other such reference books.
He also proposed reviewing construction costs, placing a cap on administration salaries and creating a statewide lottery whose proceeds would benefit higher education.
Holding more classes online would allow more students to enroll at the University, thus reducing the cost of each class per student, Waun said.
Mangopoulos, a self-employed businessman from Okemos, said in addition to immediately abolishing abortion, his platform proposes removing all government health care subsidies, including Medicare. Market-based medicine would provide better quality prescription drugs at lower prices, he said.
Health care access can also be expanded by removing the income tax, which would provide people with more income for the purchase of drugs, Mangopoulos added.
The Reform Party platform opposes affirmative action, but Waun said he supports diversity through the development of charter schools and outreach programs in areas where many minorities reside.
As a student running for regent, Waun said he has a better understanding of students’ concerns than other candidates. He said he would like to see the creation of a student-run store where coursepacks can be traded without a middleman, more parking spots, meal plans that feature reusable tickets and electrical buses to replace the current ones.
Mangopoulos said the United States government also should avoid war with Iraq because many nations have nuclear weapon access.
“We do not need to be the policemen of the world,” he said. “Iraq poses no threat to the United States.”
The Reform Party believes that the United States should pull out of the United Nations because it is a socialist organization and 99.9 percent of its members are socialist, Forton said.
Although Forton said the Reform Party is not formally allied with the Constitution Party – another third party that will appear on the election ballot as the U.S. Taxpayers Party – the two parties are not running candidates for the same office in Michigan. Because the Constitution Party is running a gubernatorial candidate, the Reform Party is not.