The answer is that the WFP should be called the WFO -- Working Families Organization. Like most advocacy organizations, WFO takes positions on political issues, raises money, runs grassroots and media campaigns to support its positions, and endorses candidates in political elections. And like all other political advocacy organizations, WFO does not run its own candidates for office. And as the endorsement of Senator Clinton reflects, like other advocacy organizations, WFO has shown a willingness to endorse politicians who are at odds with its own ideology when doing so is politically advantageous. There is nothing wrong with this approach, but its is not the approach of a political party. Could you see the Democrats endorsing John McCain for President if he shows a strong chance of winning? Of course not.
For a true third-party to be worthy of that title, it must, at a bear minimum, run its own, alternative candidates for office. WFO, quite simply, does not run its own candidates -- it simply endorses those run by the Democratic Party. And I am afraid exceptions do not make the rule. Yes, Letitia James did win a spot on the New York City Council exclusively on the Working Families Party line after the Democratic Party felt compelled to back the brother of slain City Council Member James Davis (Ms. James had previously run for political office as a Democrat). But one alternative candidate a party does not make. If the Working Families Party meets the qualifications for calling itself a third-party, then anyone of us could go out tomorrow, incorporate a business organization, endorse all the Democratic Party's candidates for office, and call ourselves a third-party as well.
The truth is, New York City could probably benefit from a third-party that gives us some real alternatives to those persons the two major parties run for office. But an allegedly progressive organization that almost exclusively endorses Democrats for office and even goes so far as to endorse a powerful Democratic senator that even progressive DEMOCRATS are abandoning cannot possibly claim to be a third-party. As a progressive advocacy organization, the WFO is simply outstanding and it is an organization whose efforts I am proud to support. But until it stops endorsing powerful, centrist candidates and begins to present voters with real alternatives at the polls, the Working Families Party is a "party" in name only.
(c) Independent Media Center. All content is free for reprint and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere,
for non-commercial use, unless otherwise noted by author. IMC not for content (expand this). more...
imc-nyc at lists.indymedia.org |
4 W. 43rd ST, NY, NY 10036