Collection
Muni
Series
Miscellaneous
Episode
Workshop in practical politics, The role of minority parties in American Politics
Contributing Organization
WNYC (New York, New York)
AAPB ID
cpb-aacip/510-696zw19b2j
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Description
Episode Description
[Mr. Baron) brings up the topic: what is the role of minority parties in American politics. There are two schools of thought: 1. America is based on a two-party system and that other parties are a hazard to the free system of elections. All people can find expression of their political ideals in those two parties. 3. If we didn't have minor parties the history of the US wouldn't be what it is. Third parties are watchdog groups to ensure the public interest is heeded and that they do a public service. He introduces two people who are members of minority parties. He provides a background of minority parties first. The first important minority party was the anti-masonic party in 1826. They established nominating conventions, which were picked up by other parties. The 1840 Liberty party was an abolitionist party. They nominated James Burnie. It swung the election in Polk's favor. It established the principle of "balance of power." In 1848 the Free Soil party formed from the Liberty party. They swung the election to Zachary Taylor. In 1852, the Native American Party (AKA the Know Nothing Party) arose to exclude German and Irish immigrants. They were able to elect many public officials. In 1854 the Republican Party was formed. In 1864 Lincoln ran on the Union Party ticket against the "Old Guard" Republican Party. In 1872 there was the Labor Reform Party, a forerunner to the Greenback Party. In 1912, Robert LaFollette helped create the Progressive Party. This was notable for bringing the American Federation of Labor into politics. Baron speaks very positively of this organization. He quickly names several other parties before continuing to the Dixiecrat Party (AKA The States' Rights Democratic Party). He introduces the two speakers from the NY Liberal Party and Fusion Party, mooting whether their work should be encouraged or not. He presents, Michael Potter, "a man dedicated to good government." Potter talks about the question of the night: the role of minority parties. Before asking why they exist, "we must consider a few postulates." The Fusion Party is made of independent party that considers only municipal affairs. The postulates are: 1. The people will have the power to hand over the government to a representative government. 2. For an independent group to beat an entrenched organization you must understand how they work. 3. In experience, sporadic movements die out quickly and are ineffective because they die out quickly 4. Men and women who want to run for office must consider how much of their reputation they are willing to lose. Every 50 years an independent movement arises in New York politics to attempt to change conditions and want to take back government. He notes New York Mayor Fernando Wood form the mid19th century. He talks about the Proskauer Commission. After the Tweed regime there were investigations. There were also investigations from the senate - the Lexow Committee in 1894, the Mazet Committee of 1899. These investigations were independent movements fthat helped form the City Fusion Party. He talks about the formation of City Fusion Party in 1931. The police, judges, and lawyers were colluding. The Hofstadter Commission was formed and sent from Albany. This lead to the formation of Fusion movements to circumvent the machine. The Committee of 100 was formed (later 1000) and resulted in the Fusion party (colloquially the La Guardia Party). La Guardia was not the first choice, but he was dramatic enough to dramatize the situation. He notes the candidates (third party) who went against La Guardia. La Guardia noted the potential pratfalls to forming a standing independent movement. Potter note the fusion party's accomplishments, including a new city charter and La Guardia Airfield. He talks about the progress of the Fusion Party and the strength of the Fusion Party as an independent movement. Baron introduces Baron of the Liberal Party. Baron notes that the Liberal Party is the third largest party in the US (The democrats and republicans are the top two). He considers the independence of the parties. New York is unique in that it allows for more than one organized party to join behind one candidate. Other states can only do so only in the primary. Baron calls the Liberal Party a "welcome irritant." They are able to move skeptical voters. The Liberal Party strives to help shape the candidates of the two parties. Baron turns to the national picture. He notes that 40-45% of voters are committed completely to one of the two parties. He feels that the indecipherableness of the voter is a good thing. He talks of efforts to sway the vote, honestly and dishonestly. The Liberal Party is an off-shoot of the American Labor Party, which was overtaken by communists. The Liberal Party generally joins with fusion and republicans in the city and democrats in the national elections. He names democratic governors they have supported. They open the floor to questions. They talk about the question of the formation of party policies. The Fusion Party depends on public opinion through petitions. Potter notes the importance of the candidate, praising Mayor Wagner in particular. Murray Baron feels that Liberal Party's leadership and rank-and-file members interact a great deal. Mr. Baron is asked if the Liberal does more harm by putting up a candidate of its own rather than backing the lessor of two evils. He notes the 1952 New York gubernatorial election where they put up their own man, George Counts. In 1954 they were for Democrat Averell Harriman, who was the best democratic candidate. The broadcast ends abruptly.
Description
Sydney Baron and Michael Potter of City Fusion Party, and Murray Barrett, Chairman of N.Y. Liberal Party discuss the history of Minority and Third Parties in the United States and in New York Politics. They stress the role third parties have played in elections and in office.
Description
2 albums 4s. 16in.; R1985 and R1986
Created Date
1954-11-27
Genres
Event Coverage
Topics
Education
Subjects
Political parties--United States.; Political conventions; Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- ).; Liberty Party (U.S. : 1840-1848); Antimasonic Party; Free Soil Party (U.S.); American Party; States' Rights Democratic Party; City Fusion Party (New York, N.Y.); Liberal Party of New York State; La Guardia, Fiorello H. (Fiorello Henry), 1882-1947.
Rights
Owner/Custodial History: Municipal Archives; Acquisition Source: Municipal Archives; Terms of Use and Reproduction: Municipal Archives
Media type
Sound
Duration
00:00:00
Embed Code
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Credits
Host: Baron, Sydney
Speaker: Baron, Murray
Speaker: Potter, Michael
AAPB Contributor Holdings
WNYC-FM
Identifier: 150639.1 (WNYC Media Archive Label)
Format: BWF
Generation: Transcription disc
Duration: 00:00:00
WNYC-FM
Identifier: 150639.2 (WNYC Media Archive Label)
Format: BWF
Generation: Transcription disc
Duration: 00:00:00
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Citations
Chicago: “Muni; Miscellaneous; Workshop in practical politics, The role of minority parties in American Politics ,” 1954-11-27, WNYC, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 1, 2021, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-510-696zw19b2j.
MLA: “Muni; Miscellaneous; Workshop in practical politics, The role of minority parties in American Politics .” 1954-11-27. WNYC, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 1, 2021. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-510-696zw19b2j>.
APA: Muni; Miscellaneous; Workshop in practical politics, The role of minority parties in American Politics . Boston, MA: WNYC, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-510-696zw19b2j