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What makes the Oregon Progressive Party different from other third parties?

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There are similarities between the Oregon Progressive Party (OPP) and the two other left-leaning Oregon minor parties, the Pacific Green Party (PGP) and the Working Families Party (WFP). But there are some fundamental differences. You can see many of the positions that the OPP has taken at http://progparty.org. The Oregon Progressive Party supports multi-third party independent politics, and we look forward to many fruitful collaborations;, however, here we will focus on some distinctions to help clarify who we are and how we uniquely contribute to Oregon politics.

Both the PGP and the Oregon WFP are local affiliates of national parties that have a much larger bureaucratic infrastructure. The local branches sometime must go through the national structure before taking positions on local issues. OPP is an Oregon- grown grass-roots party that is not beholden to any national party, which gives us the ability to respond to local issues more quickly and without filtering by a national political agenda. OPP also tends to take on issues that the other parties do not appear to address, such as drone legislation, institutionalized racism, local police affiliation with the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), and various international U.S. military and foreign policy actions. ??

The Working Families Party is a national party with local chapters.  The WFP does not run its own candidates in local partisan elections, except where the Democratic candidate is overwhelmingly favored and is in no risk of losing. The Oregon WFP has supported at least one successful challenge to an incumbent member of the Oregon House of Representatives, in the 2012 Democratic Party primary election. For the most part, the Oregon WFP cross-nominates and supports liberal Democrats and works on ballot measures. The Oregon chapter is run by a committee comprised mainly of labor union representatives.  WFP takes positions sometimes very different from OPP.  For example, WFP in 2014 strongly supported a statewide initiative to create a “top two primary” system, which was strongly opposed by the PGP and OPP. Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) is one solution to the supposed “spoiler” issue.

The PGP does run local candidates who are usually quite good. Often the same person receives both the PGP and the OPP nomination for the same office. A candidate in Oregon can list up to 3 nominating parties next to her/his name on the ballot, under a law passed in 2009. PGP does not control the selection of Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates, who are determined by the national Green Party structure. OPP is not constrained in these nominations and in 2008 and 2012 chose its own nominees (Ralph Nader and Rocky Anderson).

OPP appreciates and welcomes the activities of PGP. Let a thousand flowers bloom.

The Oregon Progressive Party is currently leading a campaign finance reform measure in Multnomah County. WFP has provided important support for that effort. Oregon is one of only a handful of states that allows unlimited political contributions to candidates.  We favor strong statewide limits. The Oregon Progressive Party also closely follows the activities of the Legislature when it is in session, providing testimony on nearly 100 bills per session. The WFP and PGP do not testify on most of those bills. Oregonians should not need to rely on a single left-liberal-progressive party to perform all possible functions. In Oregon, each of the 3 such parties contributes in its own way.

If you have any questions, please let us know. Monthly public meetings are the second Tuesday of every month, in downtown Portland 7:00-9:00pm.

Updated July 19, 2016
by Alaina Melville
State Council Member

http://www.progparty.org/


Source: http://www.progparty.org/node/541


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