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Will OWR be a new “third” or minor party?

Not unless and until electoral rules change pretty fundamentally! Remember, we’re after real not fake political power and want to be constructive not harmful. So we don’t want to fall into the trap which current rules (written by the major parties, of course) force third parties into.

We don’t want to ask our supporters to “waste” their vote on candidates with no chance of winning, or risk “spoiling” an election by letting their first choice among candidates take enough votes away from their second choice to give the election to someone they really don’t want at all (think, in recent history, of Stein-Clinton-Trump or Nader-Gore-Bush). We also don’t want to spend our energy meeting all the onerous and discriminatory rules and requirements (also written by the major parties) of acquiring and defending a distinct minor party line on election ballots. So we’re not now even thinking of becoming a third party.

This said, we think democratic political parties can be very useful in organizing real public debate, and we’d like to be exactly the sort of organization that any party that took that function seriously would also want to be — rooted in some popular values, governed by its members, with a platform chosen by them, endorsing and helping to elect candidates based on their commitment to that program, and holding its candidates to that program once elected.

Building that sort of an organization, doing these kinds of things, is what OWR is centrally about. But we can do all this (while avoiding the costs of acquiring and defending a separate ballot line) by operating as a “social welfare” organization under IRC §501(c)(4), with members.

So that’s what we’re doing.

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