Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Is the Right to Life Party in NY on its last legs?

The NYTimes (LRR) wonders:

The first four times that Right to Life Party candidates ran for governor in New York, from 1978 through 1990, they averaged 113,000 votes, 2.5 percent of the total — very respectable numbers for a minor party.Then the slide began. The party's nominees got 68,000 votes in 1994, 57,000 in 1998, and on Nov. 5 of this year, 43,000, less than 1 percent of the total. It was the first time in the party's history that it failed to reach the threshold of 50,000 votes that under New York law guarantees a party a row on the ballot in every election for the next four years.Failure to reach 50,000 votes has often been a death blow to small parties. It forces them to gather signatures for each and every race they hope to enter, an extremely labor-intensive and difficult process.

The article continues to look at various explanations and projections for the future, and ends with this very interesting and inadvertently self-damning quote from the head of NY's National Abortion Rights Action League:

Right to Life will not go away, Mr. Diem said, even if it means filing petitions every time one of its candidates runs for office.But Ms. Conlin said her group would be there every time, looking for a chance to challenge those petitions. "We are absolutely committed to keeping them off the ballot," she said.

Democracy, anyone?

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