FAQs About the People’s Party
Get answers to common questions about the People’s Party.
Why not work to reform the Democratic Party?
- The evidence is in. Our reform efforts have backfired. Look no further than the Justice Democrats. In January 2017, a PAC called Justice Democrats was created. Its goal was to get progressives, real left warriors, elected to Congress, in order to push the party left. The Squad are all Justice Democrats. And while they entered with the sincere intention of changing the system, the system changed them. If you examine their actions, versus their rhetoric, they almost always tow the party line.
- History shows that new progressives quickly drop their progressive mandate. They do it slowly, without making a conscious decision. They do it in exchange for committee appointments, support for their bills, assistance fending-off well-funded primary opponents, reelection support from establishment politicians, the path to higher office, reelection, and continued income.
- The Justice Democrat experiment made clear what working people have come to realize over the last 40 years. Entrenched corporate parties cannot be reformed. It is the billionaires and corporations who write our government’s policies. This is why almost 2 out of every 3 Americans wants a major new party. We must bring real change to this country to help the everyday working person.
- Party affiliation is near historic lows. The number of independents is now far larger than the number of Democrats or Republicans.
- The Democratic party does not operate democratically. A small number of party leaders, insiders, lobbyists, and superdelegates hold the decision making power. The Democratic Party argued in open court it has a complete right — protected by the first amendment — to nominate whichever candidate it chooses and has no obligation whatsoever to abide by primary election results. Party lawyers argued that since all voters know the primary is rigged, there is no fraud. After decades of relentless work at local, state, and national levels, it’s abundantly clear there is no internal mechanism for real change. In fact, the opposite is true. And the corporations and politicians that benefit from this lack of democracy, stand in the way of any change.
- Historically, independent parties have been instrumental in bringing about progressive change. That’s the missing ingredient in our progressive movement today. The Democratic party needs to be replaced by a new party that truly represents the working people, not the billionaires.
Why a 3rd party? Why not join the Green Party or other existing party?
- MPP’s mission is different from existing independent parties. We’re building a coalition of community organizations, student groups, unions, progressive groups, and others that can unite for a major new party. Polls consistently show that a majority of Americans want a major new party but are not enthused by existing independent parties.
- More than 100 years of social science show that when progress stalls, it takes new parties and movements to shake things up and win. Left parties have existed for several decades in Europe and Latin America, but it wasn’t until a new generation of left parties came about in the last five years that they broke-through. The same happened in our country’s history. Abolitionist parties like the Free Soil Party and Liberty Party had existed for many years before the Republican Party, but it took a new party to finally breakthrough.
- It might seem intuitive to think that small parties that have been around for decades could grow and be more successful, but history indicates that it takes fresh new parties to captivate public imagination and succeed. New parties innovate, are more in sync with the historical moment, are technologically savvy, and inspire a sense of great possibility. They also come about at the right political moment, when the public is ready for a mass break with the establishment. They are free of the baggage of longstanding smaller parties, which come to be viewed as marginal and stale. Historically, longstanding small parties serve the role of inspiring and paving the way for new larger break-through parties.
- We bring professional political and organizational knowledge and skills from having worked on Democratic Party campaigns before setting out to build a major new people’s party. We also have the networks to bring over others who remain in the establishment parties. The early Republican Party succeeded because it drew over a large number of former Whig voters, elected officials, party officials. Having recently come from the Democratic Party helps us understand, communicate, and bring over other people and groups from the Democratic Party. It also gives us the personal connections to bring over elected officials and professional campaigners to help set up the party and run winning campaigns.
- A party’s name is its first impression and identity. It can lead people to see themselves reflected in the party and invite them to learn more, or it can convey that it is not for them. For an independent party to become a major party, people from all walks of life must be able to see themselves belonging to it from the start. That takes a party name and character that encompasses and invites everyone. “The People’s Party” is a statement in itself, that a political party must belong to the people, and that all are welcome. It also leads people to ask, “Who do the major parties belong to?”
- The Green Party’s name, unfortunately, leads many to view it as a niche environmental party that sidelines other pressing issues, like the cost of health care, housing and education. That means that fewer people identify with it and take the time to learn more. Legally it cannot change its name without starting the party over.
- The Green Party also has to start over with ballot access petition collection in most states every four years. It’s another reason that we might as well start over with a fresh and energetic new party. Because it has so few resources — an annual budget of about $300,000 and about three full-time staff equivalents — the Green Party spends all its energy getting ballot access and then has little left to run its campaigns. This means it’s stuck on a ballot access treadmill: running candidates who get 1 or 2% just to maintain ballot access and getting a reputation of being marginal in the process. It has been stuck in this cycle for so long that it no longer fights to win, but just to survive. We need a bold, decisive, and captivating party that resolves to become the next major party in America and ushers in a 21st-century progressive era.
Won’t a new party split the vote? (The Spoiler Effect)
- Disenfranchised Americans are already not voting. Millions of Americans choose to stay home, completely uninspired. They realize the corrupt, corporate, billionaire-approved candidates will never represent them. Only a new party built on the progressive views of the majority can inspire the turnout necessary to defeat the plutocrats’ agenda.
- Affiliation with the major parties has been declining for a decade. There are now far more Independents than Democrats or Republicans. If even half of the progressives still tolerating the Democratic party and only half of Independents were to join the new party, it would be the largest party in America. What remained of the Democrats would become the spoiler!
Can the People’s Party really become a 3rd major political party?
Thankfully, the stage is set for the People’s Party to become a major political party. Bernie Sanders helped people realize that the policies they wanted were not radical, or fringe issues.
In fact, it has become clear that progressive issues are wildly popular with people (but not politicians) across the political spectrum. You need look no further than Florida’s 2020 election; Floridians voted for a $15 minimum wage (60%) and on the same ballot voted for Donald Trump (51%).
The moment is ripe for a 3rd party. Many members of both parties feel significant dissatisfaction with their party. In a Jan/Feb 2021 Gallup poll, support for the formation of a 3rd party among Americans was at 62%, up 5% from September 2020 (57%).
One source of new People’s Party membership is the many left-leaning Democratic party members who feel radically disenfranchised within the party. It was a similar situation that fueled the success of the Republican party in 1854. At that time, many dissatisfied Whig members jumped ship to join the Republicans.
And most likely, it won’t just be ex-Democrats who decide to jump ship to the People’s Party, but many independents, working-class Republicans, and a portion of the majority of Americans who feel so disenfranchised that they never even bother to vote – until now.
Will it be difficult to create the People’s Party of Washington (PPOW)?
As you probably already know, there are big structural barriers to the formation of a new major political party in the US, including in Washington state. Beginning in the late 1800s, the 2 major parties slowly began to erect these barriers, often in tandem with voting fraud measures which made their less-commendable anti-new political party motivation less apparent. Those efforts continue today.
In Washington, it is relatively easy to form a political party – a minor political party. For instance, you don’t need to get a petition with 1000s or tens of 1000s of signatures to form a political party as is required by many other states.
In Washington state, a political party simply needs a charter and by-laws and to register with the State. Of course, developing a charter and by-laws is not an easy task. It is the crucial foundation that determines how a party will operate and what principles it will pursue.
While it is relatively easy to become a minor political party in Washington state, becoming a major political party is much more difficult.
For instance, the Green Party is a minor political party, not a major party. That is why every 4 years the Green Party must work hard to gather petitions (including in Washington State) simply to get on the ballot.
However, if the Green Party were a major political party it could easily nominate candidates to any state, district, or municipal office. No petitions or strenuous effort would be necessary.
What it takes to be considered a major political party varies state by state. In Washington, to be considered a major political party a party’s presidential candidate must get at least 5% of the popular vote. With your help, the People’s Party of Washington will be a major political party.
What is the goal of the People’s Party?
The goal of a people’s party is to represent the interests of the majority and to create a system that maximizes the well-being of all.
We believe all people deserve a system that honors everyone for their own inherent value, not based on the color of their skin, the land where they happened to be born, or the amount of money in their bank account. A system that brings powerful law-breakers to justice. A system that ensures that the well-being of our planet and all living beings are valued above corporate profits.
Many Americans have realized that currently Congress mostly does the bidding of Wall Street, corporations, and billionaires — no matter which party is in power. The system has failed. It is time for, we the people, to fix it.
In 1944, FDR proposed an Economic Bill of Rights to guarantee that working people in America would have a living wage, health care, decent and affordable housing, and education so they could have the freedom to create a healthy and happy life for themselves and their family. It is time to make Roosevelt’s vision a reality.
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