WTF Community

3rd Party formation Question

What do people think about Bernie Sanders possibly forming a People’s Party. He might not run for President in 2020 but at least he would start and bring people over to a party that would be for the people.

I mean, sure. But unseating the two-party behemoths is no easy task.

I’m of the firm belief that by 2020 we will no longer be a 2 party system. It’s just my gut intuition; no facts to support it.

I don’t know how the spilt it will divide and come to form. I’m not a Bernie supporter personally, but regardless of that, I don’t think it will be a Dem/Bernie spilt. I think Bernie will still be a faction of the Dems, much like the Tea Party is to the Republican Party.

I think we’ll see the emergence of something we’ve never seen before - possibly something like what Macron did in France with En Marche.

1 Like

Thanks for you comments. I am hoping that there will be better choices than what the 2 party system is offering us. I feel both are part of the oligarchy and neither will work for the people.


Interesting @mouseam, I hadn’t thought of it like a tea party equivalent before. I want to want to support Bernie, but can’t quite get there myself either. Politics is such a broken thing now, I know it’s never been perfect but holy crap the move towards authoritarianism scares the fuck out of me and too often it’s all I can see right now when I think about the future. (There’s a lot of good ppl doing a lot of good things tho, that keeps me grounded.)


Not to put a damper on this. But, 3rd parties are probably not possible in a country with first past the post elections. I know parties like the Greens and Libertarians want us to reject the notion that there are only two choices. But, FPTP creates a system where if you are voting outside the two-parties, you are creating a vote deficit that helps your least preferred candidate ideologically. I’d never suggest that voting for a 3rd party candidate is a wasted vote. But, voting for a 3rd party candidate indirectly benefits the candidate who is least like you politically.

Also, FPTP goes hand in hand with a lot of issues we have in general. FPTP favors incumbents, empowers the gerrymander, and “wastes” votes in a sense that every vote cast for the candidate who doesn’t win doesn’t matter.

There are some cool reform ideas to fix some of the issues. Maine put Ranked Choice Voting on their ballots in November and passed it (although last I checked, Maine had an “emergency session” to overturn the will of the people). Ranked choice is exactly what it sounds like. You rank your candidates from most preferred to least. If your most preferred candidate doesn’t win outright (and no other candidate wins outright with 51% of the vote) your vote is transferred to your second preferred candidate and the process to get to 51% repeats until someone hits it.


Hi Chris, Very familiar with Ranked Choice Voting as we in Colorado have been trying for a long time to get it here. Problem is the 2 party system doesn’t want it and therefore legislators will not pass it. They want us to remain in the duopoly. So sad that we are not like the European Countries that have many parties and parliaments.

1 Like

Nobody wants to marry Bernie Sanders more than me, but frankly I think Draft Bernie is a wasted effort. He’s been pretty explicit about his views on changing the two-party system. My feeling at this point is that people should vote for the candidate they can feel good about voting for, but they should do so understanding that, for Presidential elections at least, Sanders will be voting Democrat.

I think third parties are fine, but if they live or die on the endorsement of one person, even a really popular person or a really good person, I’m probably not going to bother changing my party affiliation. It’s better to spend your energy building your party than trying to draft someone who has already made their position clear.

Third parties aren’t really an option in our winner take all (non parliamentary) form of government. (see CGP Grey, who I think explains it best/with the cutest animals:

For better or for worse, it’s usually better for the parties to absorb new ideas that are gaining traction among their constituents, rather than have the votes cannibalized and spoil the election. In the most recent case of this Republicans + Tea Party, this was a huge boon for the third party, as I’m pretty sure that they’d still be a fringe group with mostly local influence rather than a large portion of the House, and a smaller, but relevant, part of the Senate. It’s clear that it’s going less well for the establishment Republican brand, but if they had stood firm against the Tea Party, they probably would have lost a bunch of elections. They’re still officially in power, which is probably better for them than the Democrats in power.

It really doesn’t matter how many people are disenfranchised with the system. Unless you change how representatives are elected, you will still eventually trend back to a two party system. imo, your best bet is to change the party you are most aligned with from the inside.


Wanted to throw this into the mix…has anyone heard of transpartisanship?

Transpartisanship represents an emerging school of political thought which accepts the validity of truths across a range of political perspectives and seeks to synthesize them into an inclusive, pragmatic container beyond typical political dualities. It is distinct from bipartisanship, which aims to negotiate between “right” and “left,” resulting in a dualistic perspective, and nonpartisanship, which tends to avoid political affiliation altogether.

Right now the only political body that embodies this is Macron’s En Marche. I’ve done tons of research - millennials are moving towards / or want a transpartisan govt. So, I think if we see an emergence of a 3rd party, it won’t be anything like we’ve seen before or can compare to. Within the current system, a 3rd can’t survive (unfortunately), but I think things are changing in ways we’ve never seen before and have no historical predictor for.


Interesting. Since I am unaffiliated that might be a good way of looking at it. More and more in this country are becoming Independent and not partisan like they used to be. I wonder whether it will influence the parties we have now. I don’t think so because they are both in their own bubbles.
I am still looking to start a People’s Party that will bring in those disaffected people so there is somewhere for them to go to with a very progressive platform.

1 Like

Interesting concept and Burlington/+, VT, Bernie’s political launching pad, reflects this approach. Transpartisanship, the two parties still exist along with others equally represented in local government here. Plus a growing number of individuals/millennials (have 3 adult children) running and winning in Town, City and State elections.
Thank you for this information, greater research will certainly help to increase my debate skills with those I must communicate with who actually verbally parrot some of this WTF, “Clinton’s people shot that Rich guy, how many is that now?” that just blows my mind.
The new legal suit filed in Federal Court in NY certainly seems to have real teeth; documents, emails, audio recordings that again trace right back to dt and the legal doc’s provide very interesting reading.


You’re more likely to see a Kasich-Hickenlooper centrist party. A “people’s party” would be no bigger than the green party.

1 Like

I’m quite excited about the potential Kasich-Hickenlooper run! Depending on who the Democrats run, honestly - I’d probably vote for them. I’d prefer a Democrat at the top of the ticket, but Kasich is a reasonable Republican.

Most likely – the Democrats would need to run either Hillary, Kamala Harris or Joe Kennedy III for me to vote Dem.

A Kasich-Hickenlooper would be the first step, as a country, we would take towards transpartisanship, It will attracted alot of millennials too.

1 Like

I would likely vote for them over any of the people you listed. If Joe Biden or Tulsi Gabbard ran, those are pretty much the only circumstances I can think of in which I would vote for a Dem over a Kasich-Hickenlooper ticket. It’s unlikely but I hope they try.

Sweden has 7 or 8 parties in Riksdagshuset right now, plus there are a couple of newer baby parties (Feminist Initativ, the Pirate Party) that don’t have any seats (yet). But the vast majority of the work gets done via coalition which is essentially analogous to a two-party system, complete with third parties that leave official coalitions hamstrung. I love a multi party system as much as anyone, but seeing how it works in the day-to-day has made me a little less cynical about a straight up-and-down two-party machine.

Swedish politicians also don’t seem to have offices or accessibility to constituents the same way American ones (theoretically) do. I asked someone who used to work in politics what the best way was to agitate politically here, and the answer is basically 1) officially join a party so you can vote in all of their internal elections over party leaders etc. and 2) stage public interest campaigns (there is nothing more Swedish than writing letters to the editor). Swings and roundabouts.


I was kind of shell shocked over how poorly third parties did last election. I was feeling like this was the moment. But of course, more people just stayed home because the main two candidates did not represent them.

I think the way forward for third parties is to focus on overcoming political apathy. That’s a huge problem in our system, which I think would go a long way toward changing the politics of the two main parties as well.

I’ve seen all the CGP Grey videos, and I understand the pitfalls of first past the post, and how the spoiler effect works, but I think we’re approaching a situation where the two leading parties are so close to each other that, if every voter had amnesia and the media didn’t favor the big two, we’d see a very different pair becoming the two pillars. The democrats obviously can’t count on moving the split further right and collecting everyone to the left of that split. I think that is why we’re seeing such a surge of progressives looking to change or break the system. There is no balance in the current system and inertia is the only thing carrying it forward.

If you’re serious about 3rd parties, they have to be built from the bottom up. The Greens and the Libertarians are conning millions of people out of participating in the political process every election and robbing millions of dollars from their supporters. I’m not anti-third party. But those two parties are!

For example, I know my local Green Party well, as they formed after disatisfaction with the Dem primary. They get absolutely ZERO support from the national party.

But what does the national party do? Run a Presidental candidate every 4 years and rake in millions upon millions of dollars for a vanity campaign. I don’t know what they are actually doing with that money, but I’ll tell you what they aren’t doing with it. They aren’t trying to get grassroots Green candidates elected.

I don’t consider the Green or Libertarian parties real political parties. For them to be real, they would have to have an interest in winning elections. For them to have an interest in winning, their core mission would be local offices, not the Presidental one. If I was a member of either party, I wouldn’t be worried about who we’re wasting time with for President in 2020. I’d demand that money and effort go to my local candidates instead.

If you’re a member of the Green party and believed in the core message, couldn’t the mayor of your town do some good? Maybe your representative in the state house? There are 550,000 elected offices in this country, and ~100 are held by Green candidates. (That’s 0% btw). Those candidates largely got elected on their own merits. I wonder how many candidates could get elected if the national party got involved. Could we have thousands? 4% of the country identify as Green…couldn’t they put some effort to grab 4% of elected positions? I think they could, and they should.

But as long as 3rd parties continue to spend their budgets on running vanity candidates for president, they will continue to strengthen the two party system. The GOP and the Dems love the Jill Steins and Gary Johnsons of the world, because that means they aren’t facing well funded 3rd party challenges. There are plenty of reasons we have a 90% incumbency rate in this country, and this is one of them.

1 Like

Our local Greens ARE active politically, though there are none running in my specific municipality. I know there will be one on the ballot for a senate seat this time, and that person has been working really hard.

I am thinking hard about Green party membership though. I’ve been pretty sure I was going to go for it until recently, but I’ve just encountered so much antisemitism represented in its membership that I’m reconsidering. The person running for the senate seat has been good about calling it out, but the comments… oof.

1 Like

Hear fuckin hear :tumbler_glass::100:

1 Like