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Strategy of the Labor Party
(as passed by delegates to the Labor Party's 1st Constitutional Convention — November 1998)
The Labor Party is unlike any other party in the United States. We stand independent of the corporations and their political representatives in the Democratic and Republican parties. Our overall strategy is for the majority of American people — working class people — to take political power. Within this framework of class independence, with the ultimate goal of achieving power, we accept the electoral tactic of running candidates. The Labor Party will run candidates for public office in order to elect representatives to positions where they can help enact and enforce laws and policies to benefit the working class. We will run at governmental levels where we can best advance the goals and priorities of the Labor Party. Unlike other political parties, public officials elected by the Labor Party will be accountable to the party membership and required to follow the positions outlined in the party platform. Although we accept electoral politics as an important tactic, we do not see it as the only tool needed to achieve working class power.
Unlike other political parties, the Labor Party will be active before, during and between elections, building solidarity in our communities, workplaces and unions. Labor Party candidates will be run only where our basic organizational criteria are met. The Labor Party will build into its electoral campaigns, and the periods between them, procedures to ensure political education and mobilization of the working class, further development of the party structure and growth in membership, and strengthened relationships to community and labor allies.
II. Labor Party Candidates
The Labor Party will support only candidates for office who are Labor Party members running solely as Labor Party candidates. The Labor Party will not endorse any other candidates.
The Labor Party is not politics as usual — we are a party of principle. Candidates shall be chosen by the members through convention at the appropriate level, not through primary. Once elected, officials are responsible to the party on core issues in the Labor Party platform. When issues arise that are not in the platform, officials shall consult with LP members for guidance. Elected officials who do not abide by the LP platform will not be allowed to run for re-election as LP candidates.
IV. State and Federal Laws
The Labor Party National Council will develop guidelines, based on legal counsel, to ensure that the Labor Party electoral campaigns meet the requirements of federal and state laws.
The LP National Council will appoint a diverse committee to review all applications for Labor Party electoral campaigns. This review process will allow for consultation and discussion between the Labor Party National Electoral Committee and the subordinate body applying for campaign approval. The decision of the Committee may be appealed to the National Council. The National Council may reserve final approval for itself. The Labor Party National Council shall issue in advance of each electoral season a clear statement of the types of districts that are a priority for LP electoral campaigns.
VI. Criteria for Running Candidates
The criteria are designed to ensure that Labor Party candidates can run credible campaigns to win office. A national committee of the Labor Party will review all applications for Labor Party electoral campaigns. In reviewing each application, the committee will use the criteria to assess whether a credible campaign can be run. An electoral effort will not be blocked based on any single item (included in A, B, and C) not being met if there are sufficient strengths in other areas to overcome particular shortcomings.
A. Labor Party Structural Issues
1. A chartered State Labor Party is preferred.
2. The proposed electoral campaign has the support of the state Labor Party. State organizations must use the national guidelines in evaluating campaigns.
B. Analysis of Electoral District
A political impact statement that includes the economics and demography of the target district, the resources and politics of the incumbent, the nature of the opposition, the history of recent elections, the current political issues in the district and the level of working-class activism. The statement shall address how the campaign fits national LP priorities.
C. Campaign Resources
1. Sufficient election volunteers to cover precincts.
2. Endorsing unions represent a significant portion of area union membership, sufficient to ensure that LP candidate will be seen as the labor candidate.
3. A significant number of LP members in the district, sufficient to indicate that we can persuade district residents.
4. Credible candidate, able to articulate LP program.
5. Campaign financing plan, including cash in hand.
6. Campaign committee reflecting the demographics of the district.
7. Campaign manager prepared to carry out the campaign.
8. Campaign plan that includes tactics and goals for growth of the party.
9. Endorsements or support from local community organizations. Local party structures and State parties should notify the national Labor Party at least one year in advance, when possible, when planning to run candidates.
LABORPARTY Email: firstname.lastname@example.org