Whig Party Name May Again Appear on Ballots

The last time the Whig Party appeared on the ballot in any state was in Alabama in 1974, when its nominee John Watts ran for Lieutenant Governor. Watts and the Whig Party had also appeared on the Alabama ballot in 1970, when Watts ran for Governor.

But in 2009, it appears likely that a Whig Party candidate for New Jersey legislature will qualify. And in Florida, the ballot-qualified Florida Whig Party is already campaigning for its nominee in 2010 for U.S. House, 2nd district (Tallahassee area). He is Paul McKain. For more about the platform of the Florida Whig Party, see http://floridawhig.com. The party has been ballot-qualified since January 2007, but has never before run any candidates.

Although some news reports said that the Whig Party ran a candidate for Constable in Alabama in 2008, that candidate actually ran as a Democrat.


Whig Party Name May Again Appear on Ballots — No Comments

  1. As a resident of Tallahassee, I would love to campaign for Paul McKain. So since the MWP in FL is ballot-qualified, does that mean that there does not have to be a petition drive made for Congress?

  2. I just don’t understand some of these 3rd party candidates. There are several ballot-qualified 3rd parties in Florida embracing the political spectrum from extreme left to extreme right. And now here comes another 3rd party – the resurrected Whig Party (give me a break!). No wonder the general public thinks that most 3rd parties are a bunch of “kooks” and “nuts.”

    If Mr. McKain is serious, he ought to check out one of the existing 3rd parties that best fits his philosophy and run under that banner. If he can’t find one, run as NPA (or “No Party Affiliation”). In Florida, 3rd party candidates (including NPA’s) only have to plunk down their qualifying fee (unless they go the petition route) and if they do not have a primary challenge (for those who run under a party label), their name automatically goes onto the November General Election ballot.

    I’m not suggesting that all Libertarians, Constitutionalists, Greens, Reformers, Peace & Freedomites and all the rest should all join the same 3rd party (the AIP in California, for example)but I am saying that common sense should tell us that if we continue to split up the anti-Democrat/Republican vote 10 different ways, how do we ever expect to win?

    I trust Mr. McCain and other 3rd party candidates will get serious and start to think about this.

  3. @ 2.

    I agree. All the minor parties should run under a single “ballot access coalition” banner to minimize vote-splitting until saner ballot access laws are implemented. After that, they can go back to being Libertarians, Greens, etc.

  4. Stine makes a good point. But just like what is happening right now in the California AIP, the “big frog in little pond” syndrone will get in the way. In such a “ballot access coalition” under a single 3rd party label, there can be only one chairman or one nominee for Governor, etc. That’s the problem. No body wants to share the power or the nominations.

    It would work – if the annointed ones would cooperate. For example, let say you folks in California decided to use the AIP in 2010 as the vehicle for this coalition. You could nominate a “Libertarian” for Governor, a “Constitutionalist” for U.S. Senator, several “Greens” run for Congress. Let the “Peace and Freedomites” nominate a candidate for Attorney General and the “Reformers” nominate a candidate for Secretary of State, and so on and so forth.

    Such a ticket – but more importantly the idea of such a coalition of such diverse political philosphies – would “scare the hell” out of the
    the Democrats and Republicans.” But it ain’t gonna happen just for the reasons I’ve already made in this and other posts.

    But thanks Stine for having an open mind about it!

  5. In Florida, the filing fees are so high, it is unheard of for several different minor parties to run against each other for the same U.S. House seat, or for a seat in the legislature. So there is no need to think about getting all the minor parties behind a single candidate, at least for district offices. The probability is 99.9% that there will be only one anyway. In 2008 there wasn’t a single minor party candidate for any one of the 25 U.S. House seats in Florida, except that the Term Limits Party had a candidate in the 9th district.

  6. There is a petition in lieu of paying the filing fee. The fee is about $10,000. The petition to avoid paying the filing fee is 1% of the number of registered voters in the 2nd district. That would probably be 5,000 signatures.

  7. I just checked and the exact number is 4,698 signatures. So when do they let the petition drive start?

    P.S: Sorry if I am asking so many questions, but I am very excited to have a 3rd choice in the very area that I live in, especially to the point that I am considering helping Mr. McKain in a petition drive.

  8. Just what we do not need, actually – another bourgeois conservative political party.

    On the other hand, though, there is some poetic justice there. The Republican Party has been such a horrible replacement for the Whig Party (about the only thing that the GOP knows is warfare and the elimination of civil liberty), that the Whig Party is probably going to be given another chance.

  9. In response to those who seek to automatically cast the Modern Whig Party as “kooks,” perhaps you should do a bit more homework. This organization was founded by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. They value mainstream common sense and rational solutions ahead of ideology. They are essentially socially liberal but also tout fiscal responsibility and strong national defense.

    Here are some news reports on them just from the past few weeks:

    MAY 2009
    Arizona Daily Star
    “The Modern Whig Party is coming to Tucson… The party is progressive on social issues and conservative on government spending and efficiency.”

    MAY 2009
    WTFK 107.1 FM & WJNC 1240 AM
    The Modern Whig Party was featured on “Viewpoints” with Lockwood Phillips.

    MAY 2009
    KRXA 540 AM
    The Modern Whig Party was featured on “A Different Perspective” with Jack Hart.

    MAY 2009

    “Make no mistake. These aren’t a bunch of dreamers. They started helping veterans and their families and continued to do so, and now their message is going mainstream. They’re busy crafting a political movement they say is “… realistic, rational and places common-sense ahead of ideology.”

    Imagine that? Sounds like a party for the people. It also sounds like a party that could attract disillusioned moderate Republicans. After all, the Whig Party is where the Republican Party originated. I’ll bet some right-leaning Democrats will (or already have) found this middle-of-the-road party attractive as well.”

    MAY 2009
    Oregon Commentator
    “They’re back! The Whigs, that is.”

    APR 2009
    The News & Observer
    “Whigs Rise Again: Tired of Democrats and Republicans? Do Rush Limbaugh, Keith Olbermann, Ann Coulter and Rachel Maddow leave you cold? Well, it may be time to bring back the Whigs.”

  10. Vincent: That seems like a reasonable platform that would have appeal. I think taking the name Whig is a mistake, though. It unavoidably brings up a picture of someone wearing a powdered wig. There’s a reason companies spend a lot of money deciding on the name for a new product.

  11. Vincent still just doesn’t get it. There are plenty of other 3rd parties already existing which share the “values” that he listed as the principles of this new Whig Party.

    First of all, the term “Whig” is out of vogue. Ask the average man on the street and he’ll give you that “deer stare in the headlight” look. And some of them will actually think it is a party for “bald-headed” men. (I couldn’t resist myself here).

    But seriously, if there are those among returning Iraq veteras (as Vincent claims)who are “socially liberal but fiscally conservative” then doesn’t this sound like the Libertarian Party? Sounds like you already have a party for you. Why start another?

    This “new” Whig Party will be around about as long as the “Reform Party,” the “Patriot Party,” and oh yes, the “Veterans Party.” Remember those groups?

    But the real thing with those pushing this new Whig Party is again, that old “Big Frog in Little Pond” syndrone. If “I can’t rule, it then I’m gonna ruin it.”

    Get real Vincent.

  12. Richard, the major problem I find with your summation of the lack of need for all 3rd parties to unite under one generic 3rd party label (I admit, I’m prejudiced toward the AIP in California)is that on the ballot the “libertarian” candidate would still be listed as “Libertarian,” the “constitutionalist” would still be listed as “Constitutionalist,” etc.

    That’s the problem. When many voters see those labels that “scare” them, they shy away. The “Independent” label is a generic label that does not frighten voters. Candidates from one extreme of the political spectrum to the other have been elected under it for decades. Even now, 38% or percent or more of the American voters identify as “Independent” (or “independent” for those who insist such are not partisan).

    Any rate, the time has come for 3rd party candidates regardless of their philosopny to learn a little bit of old fashioned politics. You can’t get the attention of a voter if you’ve intimidated him with an affiliation label that sounds extreme or even “unAmerican.”

    As for me, I’m an “Independent” and all that implies.

  13. When Jesse Ventura was elected Governor of Minnesota, his label was “Reform Party”. When Lowell Weicker was elected Governor of Connecticut, his label was “A Connecticut Party.” When Joseph Lieberman was elected U.S. Senator from Connecticut, his label was “Connecticut for Lieberman Party”. When James Longley was elected Governor of Maine in 1974, his label was “Longley for Maine.” There is nothing magical about the label “independent”. People vote for a candidate they like and don’t worry about the label.

    When Audie Bock was elected to the California legislature in 1999 in a special election, her ballot label was “Green Party.” When she ran for re-election as an independent in 2000, she lost badly. People do respect minor parties, because minor parties are perceived to be people who would rather stick to principles, even if those principles are unpopular, than win. Voters perceive that someone who just wants a profitable career in electoral politics is someone who always runs as a Republican or a Democrat because that is the path to typical career advancement in electoral politics. People aren’t prejudiced against the label “independent”, but neither is “independent” any better than a minor party label.

  14. #14-Why would 2 candidates with deep fub=ndamental disagreements run on a single ticket simply because neither is a Democrat or a Republican? Say for example the Green believes climate change is a grave threat and we need to regulate greenhouse gases very strictly, while the Libertarian is against all environmental regulations. How do you reconcile those 2 positions? Simply put, you can’t. And putting them on a single ticket deprives the voter of the chance to support whichever of those positions he or she favors.

  15. Richard. You are right to a point and I should have qualified what I meant. The problem with most 3rd parties is that they push the party and not the candidate. Voters are leary of a candidate – especially if he or she is unknown and the party is pushing the party more so than the candidate. In the case of Jesse Ventura, HE was being touted -rather than the REFORM PARTY. The same was true of Longley in Maine, Weicker in Connecticutt, and Lieberman in Connecticutt. Voters “knew” who these candidates were and cared less of their label. Unfortunately, most 3rd parties do not have well-know candidates like a Ventura, Longley, Weicker, or a Lieberman.

    But I think you will have to agree that more candidates (even lesser known candidates) have been elected on the “independent” label than on a 3rd party label. If I were going to run for a major office and had a million dollars to spend on the campaign, I would NOT want a label that might have negatives or send the wrong message to the voters.

    One can’t go wrong with “independent.”

  16. How much money do the Whigs plan to raise for this? The average winning Congressional campaign cost about $1 million in 2008.

  17. Even though “An Alabama Independent” is a thoughtful person and writes well, I have to respectfully disagree with him (or her) on this one. What I think that we need is a left coalition (a la the Popular Unity Coalition of early 70’s era – and prior – in Chile). I do not want to support any bourgeois conservatives for public office.

  18. After 20 years of military service and 30 years of voting Republican, I’m really glad to see the Whig platform.

    Unlike the many third parties that focus on one issue, the Whigs seems to have found a reasonable spot on many issues that matter.

    I won’t align with the other third parties in order to be “anti-Democrat” or “anti-Republican.” I am “PRO-my country and the world.”

    With the current economic depression and political polarization wrought by the now irrelevant Cheney/Limbaugh party, now is the perfect time to form a new party.

    The Modern Whig Party may have legs.

  19. I am and was the member of the Modern Whig Party to run as a Democrat for County Constable. You will not see a third party on an Alabama ballot. The power parties had made the qualification process so heavily rigged that it is a virtual impossibility to qualify in Alabama as a third party for ballot purposes. At the time that I ran for office, and as far as I know now, it was and is a Modern Whig policy to carry your Whig principles to the ballot box under any party appropriate.
    A member in long and good standing of the Modern Whig party and one of it’s progenitors: The USAWhig party I qualified to run for Constable as a Democrat and won against a write-in candidate.
    While most third parties are single-issue parties or small groups with a personal axe to grind, the Modern Whig Party takes pride in it’s moderate position of pragmatism and compassion, generally leaving the esoteric minutae of local politics to local politicians familiar with local values. People do want some substantive change, not radical change. That is why Perot received 19% of the popular vote even after withdrawing from his presidential campaign.

    Hon. Kenneth C. Belcher; Constable, Beat 14, Lee County Alabama, Modern Whig

  20. The Modern Whigs are fake. They have no money and are not filing with the Federal Elections Commission. They have taken money and not reported it. The chairman is an ego maniac who appoints and fires state chairmen all the time. Watch the website (www.modernwhig.org) and you will see what I mean. Go to archive.org and you will see how they change all the time. The Modern Whig party is a Democrat Party front, part of the George Soros campaign to destroy the Republican Party. I have been tracking this Whig thing and the national party is a pack of liars. The Whig idea is good, middle of the road is good. Too bad a group of ding dongs are running the show.

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