Third Party Platforms

June 25, 1924

Report Outline
Principles Advocated by Minor Political Groups
Previous Wisconsin Platforms

Introduction

Independent political movements in the United States, notwithstanding an almost consistent record of failure in national elections, have frequently prepared the way for acceptance by one or both of the major parties of principles for which they have stood, and thus have exerted an influence upon governmental policy and action out of all proportion to their voting strength. Examples of minor party declarations which have been put into effect by the dominant parties, following the defeat of independent candidates at the polls, were cited in the recent report on “Third Parties Past and Prospective.”

In view of this record of the past, it becomes important—however much the voting strength of the prospective LaFollette movement may be discounted—to examine the ideas that will underlie this movement, as they have been expressed during the last two years in the declarations of various groups which are expected to give it their support. Such an examination should afford a fairly accurate picture of the principles which may invite acceptance by the major parties in future campaigns, or become the basis of a permanent third party, to be established after the election.

Demands of Minority Groups

Analysis and comparison of recent platforms of such groups as the Conference for Progressive Political Action, the National Farmer-Labor Party, the Socialist Party and other bodies of voters outside the dominant parties, reveals a substantial agreement upon the following points:

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