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View Diary: Dear Your Liberal Friend Who's Thinking of Voting for Anderson or Dr. Stein: (242 comments)

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  •  And this is the real answer for third parties. (1+ / 0-)
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    Donna in Rome

    Run for local and state offices like you actually want to build up a party organization and candidate bench. How on Earth anyone expects an unknown doctor from New England who's only ever held an elected position on her municipal council to win the presidency is beyond me. If Dr. Stein spent more time on running for state or even lesser national office there might be viability to her candidacy; as it is, she's just on a quixotic quest to nowhere that benefits neither her nor the Green Party.

    What the Greens really need to do is put their efforts into those local and state races. Capture local governments and chunks of state legislatures, move on to Congressional seats, then shoot for the presidency when you have the organization and party structure to be a serious contender. That's how every successful new party has done it throughout our history; by starting local (as third party) and building from there. The perfect example of this is the People's (Populist) Party, that started with the merger of two regional parties and went on to capture one entire state government (North Carolina) and large chunks of several others (especially in the upper Mid-west.) They were so successful in a policy/platform sense that they finally were undone by their own success; their issues and positions were absorbed by the main parties and helped to fuel the Progressive movement. They were so well placed in 1896 that the Democrats nominated their candidate (none other than William Jennings Bryan, whom the Democrats keep nominating thereafter for two more runs) for president.

    The People's Party's strength was local and state organization. While in the end they did not stick around as a party, they did change the entire political debate and were the first to champion reforms that became hallmarks of the Progressive movement, like the direct election of Senators and a progressive income tax. That's the very essence of a party's ideological success, when your ideas come to be the popular and successful reforms that the other parties are forced to go along with.

    Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzu The Art of War

    by Stwriley on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 07:53:34 AM PDT

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    •  A pair of Green (or other 3rd party) (1+ / 0-)
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      candidates for President and VP is not going to get anywhere, even if they should miraculously win an election. How are they going to govern, with a Congress consisting basically of two OTHER parties and with no representatives of their own?

      A would-be alternative 3rd (or 4th, 5th, 6th, etc.) party needs to build up a whole apparatus, with candidates at all levels, and with a possibility to send elected representatives to Congress (just a couple of "Independents" aren't sufficient and may not even be allies). This sort of thing is most possible in a representational parliamentary type system of government, where anyone who gets enough votes earns a seat to represent their constituency. It also makes it necessary to form coalitions of (at least relatively) like-minded parties in order to guarantee a relative majority. But in the U.S. how would this be possible? If a 3rd party President doesn't have a certain number of party representatives in Congress, he or she will be a lame duck president from the very start, having to deal with a Congress made up of two parties which would be lukewarm (best hypothesis) to outright hostile to him or her.

      "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

      by Donna in Rome on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 10:06:52 AM PDT

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