The Independent Party of Oregon (IPO) is Oregon’s 3rd largest political party with more than 100,000 members. The Party was founded in 2007 after Democrats and Republicans passed legislation that made it harder to run for public office and removed the word “independent” on all ballots and voter registration cards. In response to this new law, citizen activists collected 26,000 signatures during 2006 to form the Independent Party of Oregon.
The Independent Party of Oregon was created to provide ballot access to candidates who do not want to run as Democrats or Republicans, and to make our leaders more responsive to the concerns of our members. The IPO does not adhere to rigid ideology that characterizes many “3rd party” movements in Oregon and America and is not affiliated with any other party on any level (international, national, state). Instead, we recruit candidates from across the political spectrum. Candidates who are not members of the Independent Party are required to agree with the party’s agenda and are expected to champion one or more legislative goals of the party, as determined by the party’s membership.
Our party’s process for developing a platform is based on surveys of our members that occur as part of our statewide primary and during legislative years. For 2014-2015, the membership has adopted the following platform statement:
The Independent Party of Oregon favors reducing special interest influence over our government processes; increasing transparency in government, particularly with how our tax dollars are spent and how the public’s business is conducted in Salem; protecting Oregon consumers, particularly with respect to banks, insurance companies and private utilities; providing incentives for small businesses to thrive and for larger businesses to expand in Oregon in a way that returns more benefits to the public than it costs.
Hasso Hering, editor of the Albany Democrat-Herald, on June 10, 2010, described our platform:
These ideas have in common that they favor state politics in which the average citizens gain influence and the special interests especially the interests with lots of money have less. The details are open to debate, but thats not a bad program for which to campaign.
In 2010, the IPO made Oregon history by conducting its own primary election featuring more than 80 candidates, including Governor Kitzhaber and more than 50 state legislators. Here’s what the Eugene Register-Guard had to say…
No minor party in Oregon has ever conducted a primary election before. No party of any description in Oregon, major or minor, has conducted an election via the Internet. No Oregon party has ever conducted a primary election at its own expense. The Independent Party of Oregon is currently doing all three. The experiment could change both elections and politics in the state and beyond.
The Eugene Register-Guard editorial, July 11, 2010.
We support candidates who believe in the importance of good government and who are committed to restoring citizen control over our government processes. We are open to collaborating with members of other political parties in pursuit of these goals and encourage all people of good conscience to join us in that effort.