If Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein wins 5% of the popular vote in the 2016 election, the party will be eligible for millions of dollars in federal matching funds for a 2020 presidential campaign. The Green Party has strategically justified every fringe/spoiler presidential campaigns it has run since 1996 in part by talking up the possibility of winning 5% of the popular vote. What the Green Party has never done is develop a hard-headed assessment of whether it is even possible for their candidates to reach the 5% threshold despite failing to do so five presidential cycles in a row.
Part 1 of this piece dealt with whether or not pro-Sanders and Sanders-skeptics could work towards common ends despite our differences.
What happens to the Sanders campaign after the nomination fight is over has yet to be determined; its future is to a large extent what campaigners make of it since the official campaign’s three offices (one in Burlington, Iowa, and New Hampshire) can hardly control 100,000 volunteers in 3,500 groups in all but 12 of the country’s 435 Congressional districts.
If Sanders loses to Clinton, his campaign faces three basic evolutionary possibilities: Continue reading →
This is Chapter 1 of Building Progressive Politics: The Vermont Story, a 1993 pamphlet by Marxist Terry Bouricius, that chronicles how the only successful left third party in the U.S. today was built over the course of three decades. The remaining chapters will be published on this blog in the coming days.
Having a “third party,” or more than two parties, has been the norm rather than the exception in Vermont’s history. Some of these parties have been national in scope and some have been Vermont grown. Some of the national “third parties,” which I shall refer to as alternative parties from here on, did especially well in Vermont. Many of these parties could be described as single-issue parties. Continue reading →