Dilemmas of Electoral Politics: The Working Families Party and the Greens in New York State

October 29, 2017

The US Left has long struggled with the problem of doing electoral politics in a “winner-take-all” voting system and has long debated how to relate to the Democratic Party and especially to the campaigns of progressive Democratic Party candidates.

This strategic question is especially pressing in states, like New York, that allow “fusion” balloting. In New York State, individual candidates may be endorsed by and run as the candidate of more than one party.

The Working Families Party organizes issue campaigns and also runs candidates for office, often endorsing Democrats who appear on the ballot as candidates also for the Working Families Party. The Green Party will not utilize fusion to cross-endorse Democrats. The Greens run their own candidates for statewide as well as local office.

In January 2017, Stephanie Luce, published an article on Medium assessing the role of the Working Families Party—along with grassroots mobilizations—in moving Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York to the left. Solidarity asked her permission to republish and also invited Howie Hawkins to comment. We are pleased to publish these two thoughtful pieces.

How to Make a Corporate Democrat Govern as a Progressive (at least some of the time): Andrew Cuomo, Zephyr Teachout, Bernie Sanders and the Working Families Party
by Stephanie Luce

Progressive Democrats Have Little Power Without an Independent Left by Howie Hawkins