Thursday, April 23, 2009: “Do we need a national third party?” debate in Long Island, NY

A third party event will be held Thursday, April 23rd at 7 PM at the Huntington Public Library 338 Main Street Huntington, NY. The event, hosted by The Huntington Chapter of the Long Island Progressive Coalition is part of their “Patriot Games” series.

The topic at hand is “Do we need a national third party?” There will be a 25 minute video screening about militarism in US policy, and then a debate between David Sprintzen of Long Island Progressive Coalition (arguing against a national third party) and Kimberly Wilder a writer for Independent Political Report (arguing for a national third party.)

This event is free and open to the public.

25 thoughts on “Thursday, April 23, 2009: “Do we need a national third party?” debate in Long Island, NY

  1. Kimberly Wilder Post author

    I hope it was okay to write-up an event I am appearing in (I usually try not to.)

    The original speaker canceled. And, I was recruited on 48 hours notice. So, there is a time pressure to get the word out and gather an audience.

    I think this will be fun.

  2. HS

    I apologize to Ms. Wilder if this post is placed inappropriately or completely unfounded. Her debate just gave me a spur of the moment thought.

    Has it been done lately where leadership or designated reps of the various parties get together in DC and hold a similar public debate or meeting on creating some sort of umbrella group or otherwise brainstorming and discussing approaches to building a viable party?

    I figure the LP, Socialists, Greens, CP, Boston Tea, Modern Whigs, and any other party can get a room at the National Press Club or some other venue to hold a debate or discussion. IPR could sponsor, ie organize, and pick DC because I imagine most national parties have some presence. IPR can then broadcast it on their podcast.

    Thanks for indulging me 🙂

  3. Jeff

    I would argue that any such ‘National Third Party’ should be under the LP banner, since the LP is all about Freedom and having a genuinely diverse community that believes everyone is free to do/believe as they wish, so long as another is not harmed.

    But hey, I’m a card-carrying Libertarian. 🙂

  4. Richard Cooper

    Kimberly: I posted this notice to the Nassau LP, Suffolk LP & LPNY Discuss yahoogroups. Tell Ian I say hi. I don’t know if I’ll be available or not.


  5. a different paul

    Jeff, that’s the problem. Every member of a third party is going to think the ‘national’ third party ought to be their’s.

    And they all could make a statement repeating the reasons why they joined that third party to begin with as justification for everybody should find that respective argument equally compelling.

  6. Melty

    it’s really a second party we’re looking for, to oppose the ruling party, so no need for a third party . . . one good party will do . . . but is there one yet?

  7. paulie

    To explain Trent’s mirth:

    IPR is a group blog, but that is all we are. We have no money or office. None of us, as far as I know, get paid to post here. The company Trent works for owns IPR, but as far as I know he does not get paid specifically to run it.

    As for the idea of all these parties merging, while interesting on some level, realistically I do not see it happening; there are too many differences on issues, for one thing.

    However, I do see some merits in having such a discussion: I think it would receive some press coverage and would lead to interviews of the participants and audience.

  8. paulie

    I hope it was okay to write-up an event I am appearing in

    Perfectly fine. I write up stuff I am involved in, and include a disclaimer to that effect.

  9. HS


    My idea on the matter was IPR could promote it as an open discussion forum and broadcast it through its podcast, with someone active on the site volunteering to try and put it together. Of course I know it has no money or physical office.

    There is no way the parties would ever merge. But from time to time there is discussion of creating some sort of umbrella group to coordinate various efforts in getting a third party candidate elected.

    My main point was to see about setting up such a discussion with all these groups. But glad I elicited a sarcastic laugh out of Trent 🙂

  10. paulie

    It’s not a bad idea. Our blogtalk is basically just a conference call with automatic recording and internet broadcasting capability.

    I don’t think I can put much time into organizing it, but if anyone can, I’m all for using our blogtalk to broadcast it.

  11. a different paul

    “…some sort of umbrella group to coordinate various efforts in getting a third party candidate elected.”

    Ah, I see where you’re coming from. That is an interesting idea. However, the devil would be in the details.

    Exactly which efforts to elect which third party candidates. Do you envision LP members helping to drive Green voters to the precinct voting place on election day?

    And then there’s the question of where to cut off the efforts. How big does a third party have to be in order to get umbrella organization assistance? Its the same question others deal with in terms of how big a third party has to be to gain ballot access and debate access against the major parties.

    The very existence of such an organization might encourage the creation of yet more third parties – say the “California feret owner rights party” or the “Central North Carolina party for prohibition of light blue as a color” (comprised entirely of Duke alums).

    This is especially true if third parties create their own debate circuit. Every nut with something nutty to say will want a seat at that table, lol.

    The simpler route is to just have everyone take care of their own, I suspect. And if a party can’t get its candidates on the ballot or can’t get any media exposure, take it as a sign that the candidate probably didn’t have much of a chance anyway.

  12. HS

    I agree there would be many, many issues and personalities to hash through, to include criteria for being a part of such an umbrella. But has there been a public discussion among the various groups on an official basis to even broach the issue? I am not convinced that the CP, for example, would even condescend to sit with Greens, or vice versa.

    All I know is that the same old game needs to be changed. When I got involved with the Whigs, I liked the idea of taking a completely different tact in building a party that seeks to avoid marginalization and petty interpersonal conflicts. It’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s not anywhere near dead yet either.

    a different paul brings up just a few of many valid problems. But a public discussion that brings together some of the third party players may be beneficial.

  13. Kimberly Wilder

    HS – thanks for your ideas and comments. Great when any dialogue happens. There is so little political discussion in the world anymore.

    I think it would be neat to think of IPR to capitalize on its resource – a network, camarederie, shared interests – and try to use that to create something like a conference or broadcast. So many people get stuck on thinking you need the money first, or some grand infrastructure.

    About the Whig Party – I don’t think I agree with everything they do enough to join them. (But, heck, I am very fussy and specific.) But, I have a tip. I think that the Whig Party should capitalize on the historic nature to pull in some more women activists and supporters.

    Everyone is so interested in being “equal” about men and women, they often forget the great power and resource that, for good or bad, bioligically or simply by hundreds of years of socializing, we are different and have different interests and communication styles. Hence “Nancy Drew Mysterious” and “The Hardy Boys.” Hence the idea of “chic flicks” and women’s magazines.

    So, I think Whig people should look into the book “Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire” (and the movie, though it is less profound) and figure out how to work that into meetings or celebrations or symbols. Find things that women like and would take time out to do or study…like watch a cool movie with historical costumes.

    I have been obsessed with the Duchess, and now Jane Austen and Jay Eyre. Women like that stuff. If people want women in their midst, they should use that stuff.

    There is so much (sometimes casual and sometimes pointed) social commentary in the Jane Austen books and a lot of Victorian literature. The socialists should use that as a starting point to communicate to women, instead of starting with lingo and diatribes.

    Just thinking…and reading…and watching youtube clips of dashing young heros and heroines…

  14. Donald Raymond Lake

    Kimberly Wilder // Apr 22, 2009 at 9:08 am

    I hope it was okay to write-up an event I am appearing in (I usually try not to.)

    GO FOR IT………….

    The original speaker canceled. And, I was recruited on 48 hours notice. So, there is a time pressure to get the word out and gather an audience.


    I think this will be fun.


  15. Robert Milnes

    “…some sort of umbrella group to coordinate various efforts in getting a third party candidate elected.” YES, YES! That is it. That is the solution. NOT A NEW THIRD PARTY. The 2 split poles of the progressive movement ALREADY have evolved into their separate parties-GP & LP. CP & Socialist parties represent further splitting. Most of the work, dedicated activists, ballot access etc. has ALREADY been done. PLUS, GP & LP party members are not about to abandon their party & defect to a new third party. A group with website-The Progressive Libertarian Alliance Coordinating Committee- to coordinate the 40% total progressive bloc vote. One Green OR Libertarian on EVERY BALLOT. OR if neither a Green or Libertarian on ballot but independent or write-in leftist progressive or libertarian, coordinate that vote for that candidate. No progressive support for liberal democrats (OBAMA!) or any other dem or rep or centrist or rightist/conservative candidate. Also provide voters of progressive position on ballot issues & initiatives.

  16. HS


    Thanks for the feedback. I know we do have quite a few active women in leadership and non-leadership roles. I’ll forward your comment on as it does have some merit to to invoke historic women in politics in party promotion.

  17. Michael Cavlan


    Go Girl. You will do us proud.

    Thank you for EVERYTHING that you do. For the record, we are having this very same basic conversation in Minnesota. Except we are building while we are talking.

    For many of us the question is not IF we should have said party, it is how and in what shape.

    Also, for the record, I have sat down with the CP as well as the IP in Minnesota. Quite nice people.

  18. Richard Cooper

    I have met David Sprintzen of the Long Island Progressive Coalition. It is an example of a very effective organization, far more than the Libertarian Party unfortunately.

    Take a look at their website I wonder if a nonpartisan political organization like the LIPC would have been a better approach for Libertarians, at least over the past thirty years, than having our own political party.

    Back in the old days, I was a member of the Society for Individual Liberty (SIL) since merged with the Libertarian International to form the International Society for Individual Liberty

    Many of the people who are in the LP don’t really seem to want to be a political party. My observation is based on my experience as a candidate, county chair, and state chair.

  19. paulie

    There are some similar organizations in the libertarian movement. So anyone who does not want to deal with political parties can work with one of those, or start a new one.

  20. Kimberly Wilder

    Thank you so much to everyone for your support and helping spread the word.

    The event went great. I was told by two people (well, one was my mom!) that I made great points.

    I quoted Richard Winger, politics1, and Nader. And, did a hand-out with my projects and interests, including IPR.

    It was videotaped for public access.

  21. paulie

    I quoted Richard Winger, politics1, and Nader. And, did a hand-out with my projects and interests, including IPR.

    Thanks Kimberly!

    I hope new people don’t get the wrong impression of IPR with Andy and Jim telling anyone, everyone and each other to go screw themselves on two of the other threads.

    We’re all about free speech, but at the same time we hope everyone will be decent to each other.

  22. Kimberly Wilder

    Paulie: I did not put it in my handout that people here have been telling each other to screw each other etc. But, I think that stuff happens on any open forum, and every political discussion…

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