Business Politics and Current Affairs

October 21, 2010

US Politics – Peace and Freedom Party

Filed under: US Politics — ispoli @ 10:28 am

Peace & Freedom Party

Founded in the 1960s as a left-wing party opposed to the Vietnam War, the party reached its peak of support in 1968 when it nominated Black Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver for President. Although a convicted felon, Cleaver carried nearly 37,000 votes (ironically, Cleaver ultimately became a Reagan Republican in the early 1980s – then a crack addict in the late 1980s – before emerging as an environmental activist in the late 1990s). Famed “baby doctor” Benjamin Spock – a leftist and staunch opponent of the Vietnam War – was the PFP Presidential nominee in 1972. Since then, the small party has largely been dominated by battling factions of Marxist-Leninists (aligned with the Workers World Party), Trotskyists and non-communist left-wing activists. The PFP today is small, with activities largely centered in California. In 1996, the PFP successfully blocked an attempt by the WWP to capture the PFP’s Presidential nomination (and a California ballot spot) for their party’s nominee. In a sign of the party’s serious decline in support, the PFP’s poor showing in the 1998 statewide elections caused the party to lose its California ballot status. Likewise, they were unable to regain official ballot status by successive failed petition attempts for the 2000 and 2002 elections. However, the PFP finally regained its ballot status in 2003 – and is already fielding candidates in 2004 for Congress and other offices.

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