Monday, November 13, 2006

Working Families Party on the ballot in '08

From the Courant:

But in every race it earned at least 1 percent, the threshold required to earn Working Families a place on the ballot in 2008. It also gives the party, which fielded more candidates than any other minor party in the state, leverage to push its legislative agenda, Working Families leaders contend.

Of the 51 Democrats and Republicans cross-endorsed by the party - which meant their names appeared twice on the ballot - 42 won. In the 19 races where the party put up its own candidate, it got between 1.3 and 12.6 percent of the vote.

Jon Green, director of Connecticut Working Families, said the results were enough to bolster the party's strategy of earning places on the ballot, then cross-endorsing candidates who are sympathetic to unions, working-class families and the poor.

Using the same strategy in New York State, the Working Families Party has become a force to be reckoned with. NYS is a good example of how minor parties can gain influence through cross-endorsements. As the party grows voter trust in its choices could also grow. The cross endorsements can help major party candidates, and by voting for them on a minor party line voters can make their voices heard.

Now that the election is over WFP will focus getting legislation passed.

The party will now turn its attention to legislative initiatives such as universal health care and prepare for next year's municipal elections, where it thinks it can win seats on the Hartford city council.

It will be interesting to see how much their election results translate into political influence.

Spencer, Mark. "Results Delight Think-I-Can Party". Hartford Courant. 11/12/06


Anonymous said...

The WFP is a force to be reckoned with. They have backed elected municipal officials in cities such as Norwalk and elsewhere throughout the state. They have a tremendous GOTV operation and i am sure will enlarge it next year.

Jon Green said...

I might as well jump in here.

First of all, we don't have any delusions of granduer. We're still a relatively new player on the scene and operate on a pretty shoe-string budget.

Having said that, this year's results are pretty encouraging. Our % of the vote increased in almost every district we ran this year and we're getting numbers that start to matter in a growing number of districts.

Certainly would have liked to have gotten a few hundred more for Steve Berry and Derek Donnelly, who both ran great campaigns in tough districts.

I think we'll make deeper in-roads in the '07 municipal elections in places like Hartford (where replicating the success of the People for Change party is certainly achievable), Waterbury, Norwalk, and a maybe a couple of others.

At the legislature there will continue to be folks who appreciate the cross-endorsement and care about preserving it. There will also be folks who still wish we'd just go away (which isn't happening).

Ultimately it takes more than just an election to win the policy fights anyway. It will take serious, sustained grassroots organizing so that becomes our focus for the next 8 months.

Conservative Democrat said...

Whenever a major-party candidate that I plan on voting for is cross-endorsed by a minor party, I always cast my vote for the minor party.

This year, I voted for Chris Murphy on the WFP line. When I lived in NY, I almost always voted WFP line. I look forward to seeing some more WFP candidates (cross-endorsed or otherwise) here in Waterbury in the future.

cgg said...

When I lived in NY I always voted for my candidates on the WFP line as well.

stomv said...

A ballot initiative to bring fusion voting to Massachusetts failed 65-35. It would have helped the WFP work to become a regional force in elections. Ultimately, everything was overshadowed by the governors race, and all 3 MA ballot initiatives failed (although this particular initiative failed by the most).

Skydogct said...

I feel like my vote has more power on the WFP line. I would compare it to trying to move a 500 lb. block of concrete (politician). When you try pushing it by yourself it doesn't want to budge. But when you get some leverage (WFP) under it you find that you can nudge it a bit.