US socialist parties ballot access & US election update

Ballot Access News has a running chart for parties’ petitioning to appear on state ballots in the 2008 U.S. Presidential elections: http://www.ballot-access.org/ballot-chart.html. The top of the chart deals with the Greens, Libertarians, Constitution Party and the Nader/Gonzalez campaign, which will all be on in the ballot in a majority of states. Scroll down for the following information on these left parties with active campaigns:

Socialist Workers Party: “likely to be on in Colorado, Delaware, D.C.,
Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Minn., Miss., New Jersey, New York, Rhode
Island, Utah, Vermont and Washington.”

Socialist Party: “likely on in Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana,
New Jersey, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Wisconsin, and …
possibly Ohio.”

Party for Socialism and Liberation: “Ark., Colo., Florida, Iowa,
Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Wash.,
and Wis…”

It is rather impressive that the SWP and the PSL will both be on the NY ballot. Its not the most difficult ballot access in the country,but its not the easiest either.

The SP and PSL candidates had hoped to be endorsed by California’s Peace and Freedom Party, at its Aug 2-3 convention but the presidential nomination has instead gone to Ralph Nader. The PFP intends to set up a national political organization at the end of the year, after the election. Endorsing Nader is apparently a step in that direction.

The Peace and Freedom Party was founded in 1968 as a national party of the anti-war Left. Subsequently the party maintained a presence only in California, where it has about 60,000 members and ballot access.  The Ballot Access Coordinator of the Nader campaign is apparently working with the Peace and Freedom Party to establish a new national party.

Speculatively, the new party would probably incorporate some faction of the Greens including some state organizations and the left organizations like the ISO who’ve worked in the Greens at least till now, while appealing to progressive independents and the large number of people that don’t vote. The politics of such an organization wouldn’t be very left at all. The attraction is presumably to the effective organization of the Nader campaign. This is only my opinion. I don’t intend to stir up dissension where there is none. I believe there is space for both Green, progressive, centrist and socialist parties in the US.

It takes such tremendous resources to run a national U.S. campaign that it seems to be depriving other organizing. Yet, without the national presence, you don’t exist. It is a real bind for the U.S. Left.

Links for campaigns and parties mentioned above:

The Peace and Freedom Party website is here: <http://peaceandfreedom.org/home/>

The US SWP is reporting on its own ballot access here: <http://www.themilitant.com/2008/7231/723104.html>

The Socialist Party, USA: <http://sp-usa.org/>

The PSL: <http://www.pslweb.org/site/PageServer>

The Greens: <http://www.gp.org/index.php>

Nader/Gonzalez: <http://votenader.org>

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Posted on August 3, 2008, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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