Yesterday, I received by mail the Voters’ Pamphlet for Oregon’s November 3rd General Election – yeah! It’s a thick 167-page pamphlet, and since I’ve been out of the country more than here during the past 10 years, it was exciting. Hopefully, the ballot with follow without issue. I’m prepared to vote in person. Absentee voting and being abroad during past elections caused confusion.
2020 Oregon Ballot Measures
In additional to presidential, senatorial, congressional, and local candidates for office, there are four state measures on the ballot. They address a variety of issues from manufacturing psilocybin, to addiction/recovery services, political campaign contribution restrictions, and tobacco and e-cigarette taxes. I’ve started reading through the pamphlet. The first section contains Political Party Statements.
Statements Eight Political Parties
Eight political parties are listed in Oregon’s 2020 voters’ pamphlet, some new to me:
- Constitution Party
- Democratic Party
- Independent Party
- Libertarian Party
- Pacific Green Party
- Progressive Party
- Republican Party
- Working Families Party
In Oregon, political parties can file for “inclusion in the state voters’ general election pamphlet” by stating arguments for the “success of their party’s principles and the election of its candidates on a statewide or county basis. They may also make statements opposing the principles and candidates of other political parties”. Summaries of the five lesser-known political parties are listed below.
Non-Democrat or Republican Party Platform Statements
“The Constitution Party is pledged to defend the following three Principles, other principles and platform planks consistent with them, and only nominate candidates for public office and elect party officers pledged to the same:
(1) The Creator God in heaven, made known to us through the Holy Scriptures, rules in the affairs of men and is the ultimate King, Lawgiver, and Judge of all mankind. He is to be honored and His Word is to be heeded if we expect to receive His blessing on the works of our hands individually or corporately.
(2) The Family is the first and highest civil institution designed by God to propagate, educate, and nurture human life. Both Church and State are to support and defend that institution; and,
“Platform writers have to navigate the tension between candidates’ desire for a broad appeal to voters and interest groups’ insistence on explicit commitments to their goals.”
(3) God has assigned the first priority of civil government to protect innocent human life from conception to natural death, to protect freedom of conscience, and to protect private property. This is best served by the Constitutional Republic which our Founders gave us and which we are committed to restore.”
“The Libertarian Party of Oregon does not have an official platform. However, in accordance with the bylaws of the National Libertarian Party, all state affiliates must affirm the Statement of Principles found in the National Libertarian Party Platform,” expounding personal, economic, and securing liberties. This is their Statement:
“We, the members of the Libertarian Party, challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual.”
“We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives and the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in the manner they choose.”
“Governments throughout history have regularly operated on the opposite principle, that the State has the right to dispose of the lives of individuals and the fruits of their labor. Even within the United States, all political parties other than our own grant to government the right to regulate the lives of individuals and seize the fruits of their labor without their consent.”
“We, on the contrary, deny the right of any government to do these things, and hold that where governments exist, they must not violate the rights of any individual: namely, (1) the right to life—accordingly we support the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others; (2) the right to liberty of speech and action—accordingly we oppose all attempts by government to abridge freedom of speech and press, as well as government censorship in any form; and (3) the right to property—accordingly we oppose all government interference with private property, such as confiscation, nationalization, and eminent domain, and support prohibition of misrepresentation, robbery, trespass, and fraud.”
“As of September 2019, there were 224 state-level ballot-qualified political party affiliates in the United States.” BalllotPedia
“Since governments, when instituted, must not violate individual rights, we oppose all interference by government in the areas of voluntary and contractual relations among individuals. People should not be forced to sacrifice their lives and property for the benefit of others. They should be left free by government to deal with one another as free traders; and the resultant economic system, the only one compatible with the protection of individual rights, is the free market.”
Key values that motivate the Green Party Movement and define its platform include:
- Grassroots Democracy
- Social Justice and Equal Opportunity
- Ecological Wisdom
- Future Focus and Sustainability
- Respect for Diversity
- Decentralization of Wealth and Power
- Community Based Economics and Economic Justice
- Feminism and Gender Equity
- Personal and Global Responsibility
The Progressive Party was built on Theodore Roosevelt’s Square Deal domestic program. The party platform asserts that “to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day”.
Roosevelt tried to “reconcile labor and business through Progressive legislation. The Square Deal “exemplified his approach to domestic reform and focused on consumer protection, control of corporations, and conserving natural resources”.
Working Families Party concerns are “jobs, healthcare, raising the minimum wage, universal paid sick days, the student debt crisis, higher taxes on the rich, public education, and environmental and energy reform”.
Democratic, Republican, and Independent Party 2020 Platforms
After publishing this blog post, I decided to add blurbs on better- known Democratic, Republican, and Independent parties. It’s worth noting that political party “platforms“ aren’t necessarily the same as political party public “policies“. The subject is more complicated than I thought!
“As of September 2019, there were 224 state-level ballot-qualified political party affiliates in the United States. The Democratic Party and the Republican Party are recognized in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. They account for 102 of the 224 total state-level parties.”
- Protecting Americans and Recovering from Covid-19
- Building a Stronger, Fairer Economy
- Achieving Universal, Affordable, Quality Health Care
- Protecting Communities and Building Trust by Reforming Our Criminal Justice System.
- Healing the Soul of America
- Combating the Climate Crisis and Pursuing Environmental Justice
- Restoring and Strengthening Our Democracy
- Creating a 21st Century Immigration System
- Providing a World-Class Education in Every Zip Code
- Renewing American Leadership
- Rebuild the Economy and Create Jobs
- Eradicate Covid-19
- End Our Reliance on China
- Improve Healthcare – Lower Prescription Drug Prices and Healthcare Insurance Premiums, etc.
- Improve Education and Teach American Exceptionalism
- Drain the Swamp – Congressional Term Limits, End Bureaucratic Government Bullying of Citizens and Small Businesses
- Defend Our Police
- End Illegal Immigration and Protect American Workers
- Innovate for the Future – Space Exploration, Improved Infrastructure, 5G National Wireless, etc.
- Implement America First Foreign Policy – Stop Endless Wars, Get Allies to Pay Their Fair Share, Wipe Out Global Terrorists, etc.
- Defend American Values
“The Independent Party of Oregon favors reducing special interest influence over our government processes and providing incentives for small businesses to thrive and larger businesses to expand in Oregon in a way that returns more benefits to the public than it costs.”
Their stated philosophy includes five main issues:
- Reducing special interest influence over our state legislative process
- Increasing transparency in government and how our tax dollars are spent
- Protecting Oregon consumers, particularly from banks, insurance companies, and private utilities
- The need for a sensible approach to job creation and economic development
- Advancing the rights of Independent and non-affiliated voters
It will be another interesting election year!