The most successful minor parties survive by simply endorsing one of the major party candidates for governor, in the hopes that 50,000 New Yorkers will vote for that candidate, but on a protest line. If the candidate has made, or is believed to have the potential to make, decisions in contradiction to the ideology of the minor party whose line he or she won, the minor party’s beliefs and purpose are compromised. Candidates for other races are in dire straits because, if it’s a close election, they may need a minor party endorsement to win. But the minor parties will hold them to stricter standards in these instances.
A bill in the Senate Rules Committee can help solve this situation. Senate bill 8007 will change the definition of a political party from a group whose candidate for governor gets 50,000 votes to a group that gets 50,000 votes for any of its statewide candidates. It seems reasonable to assume that in an election year, some of the candidates nominated by the two major parties will fall ideologically more in line with the views of one or more of the state’s minor parties — the Working Families Party, the Conservative Party,and Independence Party — than others.
If S8007 passes, the minor parties will have less riding on the race for governor, and thusly they will have more freedom to pick and choose their endorsements.