3rd Party formation Question

(Chris) #21

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.


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.


Hear fuckin hear :tumbler_glass::100:

(Boundless Informant) #24

But isn’t that a pretty colossal “if”?

I was kind of shell shocked over how poorly third parties did last election. I was feeling like this was the moment.

Anecdotally sharing my own experience, I did not get that feeling during this election at all.

The first election I voted in was 2000. I perceived tremendous frustration with the entrenched 2-party system amongst my peers at the time and we had two extremely lackluster major party candidates. I voted for Ralph Nader, in Ohio, not because I liked him very much or identified with the Green party, but because I really wanted to shake up the 2-party system and it was my understanding that a third party would receive federal election campaign funding if their candidate got 5% of the popular vote in the previous election.

I was really hoping Nader would get that 5%. He got 2.76% by my calculation just now–not even close. In exchange for that giant nothing-burger I squandered a vote for Gore in Ohio. How many others like me did the same thing? It’s difficult not to think we handed the election to Bush. I will never vote third-party again unless I’m certain they have a realistic chance of winning.

Has there been a more-recent third-party candidate who did as well in the national vote?

It’s not my intent to shit on the idea, even though that’s maybe in-effect what I am doing. This subject hits close to home with my personal experience so it would be very difficult not to express my thoughts.

(edit: I didn’t see that this topic had been dead for a month before writing the above. This was in my “suggested topics” list; I don’t really keep up with the forum.)

(Amy Ginsburg) #25

There is still the risk of splitting the Dem vote, leaving the GOP wide open to get the majority vote. At this time, I just don’t hear a position that is compelling enough that it would draw a significant number of Dems away towards a 3rd party. And while the GOP has issues of their own which could certainly lead to a split into two parties, we would end up with a very fragmented government with the potential of 3 to 4 partisan positions. I cannot fathom anything happening if that occurs. I would love to see Biden come back to politics but I’m not sure that’s going to happen. Kasich appeals to me although I’ve never considered voting Republican in my life. But at this time, I’m just not sure he will be able to dominate the GOP to the extent he will need to be. I’m just not seeing anybody who is sufficiently popular, reasonable, and who can pull Congress together and I find that scary. We’re obviously in the midst of a paradigm shift but it may take a real crisis before we can get unstuck and move into a new way of doing things. I am just afraid that crisis is going to mean a profound loss of life. I’ve never prayed before going to bed. These days I do. Call me paranoid, but I’m no less crazy that the individuals who keep threatening to drop nuclear bombs. There just has to be somebody with sufficient charisma, an understanding of what needs to be done and the leadership skills to turn this around, but I haven’t yet seen him or her.

(Lynn) #26

I’m REALLY late to this discussion too, but I just want to add that while I find it easy to like Kasich, and agree that he seems reasonable, I get queasy when it comes to his views on women’s (choice) issues. And these days my trust in ANY Republican would be a negative number, thanks to the way some of them give great “lip service” but their actions don’t align. (“actions speak louder than words”!)

I would love to see more choices in political parties though…I’m open to change, there’s GOT to be a better way than the way things have always been. But to get to the point where we could change things, don’t we need to get the [big] money out of elections first? To that end, I think the right Democrats elected will be the best chance to get us there, to make real & lasting changes.


I mean, the DNC has decided that one’s view on women’s choice is not a dealbreaker. It’s not so much that that gets me at this point, it’s the slavish support of The Party (whichever it is) that causes politicians/legislators who know damn well the right thing to do to go “eh, you’re probably right, but…” and then vote The Bad Way. Just about the only person (who isn’t Sanders) I trust in that regard is Tulsi Gabbard.

(Ashley ) #28

This has really bothered me…Ted Lieu made a great point at the “empty chair” townhall he spoke at in CA-48:

”If a someone isn’t pro choice, the voters will take care of that…if you aren’t pro choice there’s just no way you’ll win a dem primary”

Personally, I don’t care what someones personal beliefs are - but politicians must be politically pro-choice, IMO. I think Tim Kaine is an excellent example of this - he’s personally against abortion, but he doesn’t believe that should be forced onto women. (He hasn’t always felt this way, but his stance has evolved drastically over the years. He now has 100% pro-choice voting record by NARAL.)


That right there is what the Anti-abortion groups just don’t understand. One can be personally against abortion but respect and understand that women’s civil liberties are the bigger issue. The government has no right to force women to give birth and endanger their life against their will.

(Lynn) #30

Which is exactly what the sick bastards that trump has put “in charge” are trying to do. (time out for scream)

As you said, I don’t care so much what someone’s personal beliefs are, but they have to represent all of their constituents and the party they stand for if elected. It’s no different from any other profession, & anyone whose occupation is in public service of any kind should be prepared to put their own opinions aside. What would you say if your mail carrier just discarded any publications addressed to you that they didn’t like & agree with? It doesn’t matter if it’s “Playboy”, a union magazine, or religious…but this is what trump & his supporters are trying to get away with. It’s an outrageous attack on our entire society…and since trump is “just” a greedy bastard, not
a thinker, it’s obvious that someone who wants our country to fail, someone like Putin, is pulling his strings.

(Lynn) #31

I like & trust Sanders too…but I’m not at all familiar with Tulsi Gabbard, so thank you…it’s good to have a forum like this, to share thoughts & potential solutions.


And this is the issue here: no they don’t. Because what else are you going to do, vote for the other guy? Of course not! This system as it stands is a race to the bottom and nobody wins.