Michael Bloomberg, probably the nation’s most high profile Independent politician, is attempting to abolish parties in New York City elections. Many of the local third parties, though, oppose the plan.
Eliminating parties in elections would “be an open invitation for self-funded candidates, who do not go through primaries and dominate elections based on money,” Mr. de Blasio said. He said Mr. Bloomberg’s track record of spending tens of millions to win elections shows that “this is a clear and present danger.”
Dan Cantor, the head of the Working Families Party, compared eliminating parties from elections to “having teams without uniforms.”
“Parties and labels are important,” he added. “They signal to voters who stands for what.”
But supporters, including leaders of the city’s Independence Party, said that party politics had outlived its usefulness in city elections, and now blocked an estimated 800,000 unaffiliated voters from participating in primaries. In many races, especially for City Council, the primaries are a de facto general election, because the winner faces no serious opponent and cruises toward victory in November.
The Independence Party accounts for over 400,000 registered voters statewide, while the Working Families Party has over 30,000 registered voters in the state.