The Party for Socialism and Liberation, a revolutionary Marxist-Leninist party, has selected its 2012 Presidential ticket. The PSL has nominated two candidates who are not Constitutionally eligible to serve: 27-year-old Peta Lindsay, a member of the PSL’s Central Committee, and 26-year-old Yari Osorio, a Colombian immigrant who has been a member of the party since 2006.
In past elections, the Socialist Workers Party has employed the strategy of nominating Constitutionally-ineligible candidates as a way of drawing attention to what the SWP considers unjust eligibility requirements. However, the strategy comes with some negative electoral consequences. Some states do not grant ballot access to ineligible candidates, so the SWP has had to nominate an alternate slate of placeholder candidates to place on those states’ ballots. The result is that the SWP tally appears smaller when major news organizations list Presidential tallies.
The PSL was founded in 2006 by discontented members of the Workers World Party. Its first Presidential candidate was longtime Marxist and third-party activist Gloria La Riva, who was on the ballot in twelve states, more than any other Marxist or Socialist party managed. The PSL website contains a wealth of information on the new Presidential ticket, including statements by Lindsay and Osorio and video clips of their acceptance speeches. Lindsay’s statement denounces the American electoral system as “fundamentally a fraudulent exercise…a form by which the ruling class maintains class rule.” Nevertheless, the candidates’ promises that “we will get into the debates.” Historically, the Commission on Presidential Debates has never admitted candidates who were Constitutionally ineligible to serve.
The PSL is the third United States political party to designate its Presidential ticket for 2012. The first two were the Prohibition Party (Lowell “Jack” Fellure) and the Socialist Party USA (Stewart Alexander).