Now Playing:


Think Out Loud

Independent in Oregon

Pete Springer/OPB

Bob Pickard registered for the Independent Party of Oregon this year, one of a growing number of Oregonians who has made one of the state’s newest third parties, its largest. He used to be a Democrat. But you can’t tell too much from that. He also used to be a Republican. In fact, he served in the Oregon House of Representatives as a Republican about 20 years ago. He says it’s party politics he’s trying to get away from by becoming a member of the Independent Party. But he is excited about the party’s all-online primary —the first in the country — which wraps up on Friday.

But what does the Independent Party stand for exactly? If you’re looking for a party platform, you won’t find it, though you can suss out some issues from the party’s website. Most of the candidates running for the nomination are actually already nominees for one of the two major parties. So, that left us wondering, what makes a party, a party?

Are you a member of the state’s largest third party? Regardless of your party affiliation, would you be more inclined to vote for a candidate that had won the Independent Party nomination along with that of a major party? What role do you see third parties playing in Oregon politics?


  • Linda Williams: Chair of the Independent Party of Oregon
  • Bob Pickard: Independent Party member
  • Lori Steele: CEO of Everyone Counts
  • Paul Gronke: Professor of Political Science at Reed College
2010 election politics independent party minor parties third parties

More Think Out Loud

More OPB

Join the Conversation

Send Think Out Loud A Message