Your Turn: What does the future hold for the Independence Party?

On Monday, we asked what Minnesota's Independence Party needs to do to regain its standing after losing its major party status when all its statewide candidates failed to receive 5 percent of the vote in their races.

These are the responses we received:

Stronger candidates needed

The Independence Party needs to have stronger contenders. I was happy to see a woman running, but that faded when there was no protest from the candidate after not being invited to participate in the debates after the first two.

There was probably some law or rule that forbid it, but there should have been some public protest to show some gumption. It was like she faded from sight. I have voted Independence Party for years, but this year felt like the party's heart wasn't into the election.


The party needs to work on the public's view that if you vote for an independent you are taking away votes from the Republican and Democratic candidates. So what? It would seem it would take away evenly without a big impact either way. This country needs a third party.

Floris Holderness



Party needs better focus

Most political parties, including minor ones, have an image such that even their enemies can describe them: the Republican Party hates the poor; the Democratic Party hates the rich; the Green Party hates industry; and the Tea Party hates everybody. None of these stereotypes is true, but one gets more than a glimmer of party recognition from each.

The Independence Party has plenty of good ideas but no image. Nothing comes to mind except Jesse Ventura. The party might pick one good idea and focus until it gains recognition. Project 515 helped to legalize gay marriage in Minnesota by being focused, and they weren't even a political party. Success on an important issue could build the Independence Party's brand and image.

Ron Deike




State effort will continue

The Independence Party of Minnesota is the leading alternative to the many shortcomings of the traditional two-party system. As a centrist, solution-seeking organization, the party represents the views of Main Street. We seek to provide authentic leadership to serve Minnesota's bright future.

Bolstered by the growing demand across this country for third-party alternatives, the future of the Independence Party is promising, despite the temporary loss of the status as a major party. The status quo political system provides a significant challenge to electing Independence Party candidates. We strongly support FairVote Minnesota and ranked-choice voting to achieve political reform.

Since the election, the Independence Party has developed a plan to attract nonpartisan officeholders to join and run for higher office. We are formulating a plan to regain major-party status by running a record number of candidates in 2016. And we are considering the possibility of affiliating with a national party so the Independence Party will be part of the presidential politics of 2016.

We have a newly organized Olmsted County chapter that is energetic and growing. The Independence Party has an important place in Minnesota politics. We continue to build the party base and will work to overcome obstacles until we find the right candidate at the right time to break through the barriers of the past in order to build a brighter future for Minnesota.

Mark Meyer


1st Congressional District Independence Party chairman

Lake Crystal

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