Third parties, cooperate with the Democrats, or leave them to their own devices.

by on September 28, 2010 · 4 comments

in Civil Rights, Organizing, San Diego

bull moose teddy 3rd party cartBy Anonymous Activist / Special to the OB Rag / September 28, 2010

The Socialist Salon hosted a community forum on “left parties” and the possibility of working with the Democratic Party to create social change in our country that matches the ideals of the current “third parity’s” ideals. The event was held at the Joyce Beers Community Center on 9/19  with panelists from the Peace and Freedom Party, Green Party and PDA/Progressive Democrats of America.

The PDA representative did not make it to the meeting so Jerry Malamud, a PDA member, added some information to the discussion about the PDA perspective.

Miriam Clark, Peace and Freedom Party candidate for the 50th Congressional District, gave the group a historical litany of our governments moral indiscretions from the Vietnam War through our government’s repeated inappropriate imperialist actions in Central America and ending with the current imperial wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Although Ms. Clark never actually stated that she would not be able to work with the Democratic Party she made it clear, both by her comments and her current campaign, that she feels the parties in power are morally bankrupt and should not be approached as partners.

Hugh Moore, Co-Chair of the San Diego County Green Party, showed the group a short PowerPoint presentation explaining the Green Party’s 10 key values that he indicated are the core basis on how all policies that the Green Party supports are derived from. His presentation stressed the need for a moral guide that a party should follow rather than basing the platform of a party on the current party’s membership’s ideas of what is acceptable at a specific point in time.

His presentation ended with a comic that indicated there was no difference between President Bush and President Obama. Again, no statement of refusing to work with the Democratic Party but the message was very clear that the Democratic Party has lost the ability to lead due to their past record of support for immoral policies.

Jerry Malamud, a member of PDA for many years who spoke as a representative of the PDA without the benefit of time to prepare, indicated that he felt their organization was successfully working within the Democratic Party to achieve socially progressive policies even though that progress was slow.

He not only stated that he felt many of President Obama’s new policies had benefited the majority of the population but felt that the current administration needed to be supported by the politically left populous because any vote for a third party might as well be counted as a vote for the Republican Party.

After the presentations from the panelists the discussion was opened up to the group present (about 30 people) and not only was every person allowed time to speak but every person did speak with many ideas for different political actions being presented.

Some of the ideas discussed were:

  • the possibility of supporting an action of a vote boycott: to demonstrate the public’s frustration about the current government’s policies by not giving consent to be governed;
  • the possibility of third parties moving their focus of action to supporting the needs of minorities: to demonstrate that the third parties are actually interested in the needs of the disenfranchised and possibly to improve their membership in communities that up to now have had minimal voter participation;
  • the need to find objectives that are common among third parties and take actions that everyone can agree on: the goal of which would be to speak with one voice and be able to have a larger impact on the political process; and other ideas.

No final decision was reached by the group on the topic of working with the Democratic Party but everyone present was given information that they may not have previously had and hopefully each person will now have the knowledge needed to make their own decision on the topic of the forum.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Gary Ghirardi September 28, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Brasil is on the verge of their own kind of Obama – Worth a look as it relates to the aspirations of many of the third parties related in the article above. Though we can not imagine that a similar scenario could occur for the United States of America, it is important to recognize this reformist government for its emergence, and one that is tied to our foreign policy.


C. T. Weber September 29, 2010 at 1:09 am

The electorial system is designed to force voters to vote for the lesser evil in fear of electing the greater evil. If the Democratic Party really wanted a democratic society they would put forward a system of seating parties in proportion to the number of votes received. Both Peace and Freedom Party and Green Party would have several seats in the state legislature and U.S. House if we were using proportional representation.


tj September 29, 2010 at 9:57 am

“We need a new party, a third party, a wild party.”
Alice Cooper

If everyone who was dissatisfied with the status quo refused to support it with ther vote (or non-vote) – representation of the electorate (vs the special-interests) might be an occasional consideration of the elected.

Dissatisfied? Vote 3rd party.


annagrace September 29, 2010 at 11:08 am

I’ve voted 3rd party in the past, and am sure that I will vote 3rd party again in the future. But not this time- Democrats will get my vote because the polls show that this is going to be a very close election. There are in fact substantive differences between Boxer and Fiorina and between Brown and Whitman.

We must reform the way we pay for elections by limiting it to public financing; we must shorten the campaign period; and our election process must provide an equal opportunity for third parties to participate.


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