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Natural Law Party
Founded 1992
Dissolved 2004
Ideology Transcendental meditation politics, Center-left
International affiliation Natural Law Party
Website
natural-law.org

The Natural Law Party was a United States political party affiliated with the international Natural Law Party. Both were associated with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, leader of Transcendental Meditation movement. Maharishi holds the view that natural law is the supreme organizing principle that governs the universe. Adherents believe that all political problems can be solved through aligning one's self with the Unified Field of all the laws of nature.

The U.S. version of the Natural Law Party ran John Hagelin as its presidential candidate in 1992, 1996, and 2000. During the 1990s, the party also ran congressional candidates. During the 1996 election, the party ran hundreds of candidates for seats in the United States House of Representatives, against both Democratic and Republican incumbents. The most successful candidates were mostly in California, where many of them received about 3% of the vote, and Ohio where some candidates received 4% or 5% of the vote, and the candidate running against Democrat James Traficant, a conservative Democrat with no Republican opposition that year, received 9%. In South Carolina the party received 10% of the vote against Republican Floyd Spence who had no other opposition.

On March 31, 2000 the FEC certified primary season matching funds for John Hagelin, who was seeking the nomination of the Natural Law and Reform Parties. Hagelin was the second minor party presidential candidate to qualify; the first was Pat Buchanan. Ralph Nader eventually qualified as well.

Following Hagelin's and the Natural Law Party's failed attempt at a coalition with the Reform Party in 2000, the Natural Law Party ran its own ticket of Hagelin and Nat Goldhaber. The pair appeared on 38 ballots and received 83,702 votes or 0.1% of the total. This poor finish led Maharishi Mahesh Yogi to stop endorsing the Party and very few members renewed their membership in 2001. By 2003, the Natural Law Party had so weakened that it endorsed Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat, for President, rather than try to achieve ballot status for a candidate of its own, having lost all but 10 ballot lines.[1]

On April 30, 2004, the Natural Law Party officially disbanded its national organization, although a few state parties still remained active. The South Carolina branch of the party was taken over by the Green Party. However, several candidates were on the ballot in 2004 under the Natural Law banner, including Socialist Party Presidential Candidate Walt Brown. In 2006 the Idaho Natural Law Party merged with the new United Party, with the United Party taking over the ballot line via a name change. Only the Michigan Natural Law party remained as a ballot-qualified party.

On July 30, 2008, the Michigan Natural Law Party nominated Ralph Nader for president, ensuring the appearance of the Nader/Gonzalez campaign on the Michigan ballot.[2] The Mississippi Natural Law Party nominated Brian Moore for president.[3]

Many party activists have shifted their attention to a new group, the United States Peace Government.

Presidential Tickets

In 2004, The Socialist Party presidential ticket of Walt Brown and Mary Alice Herbert secured the NLP ballot lines in Delaware and Michigan. In 2008, Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez secured the NLP ballot line in Michigan, while the Socialist Party ticket of Brian Moore and Stewart Alexander secured the NLP ballot line in Mississippi.

References

  1. ^ "2004 Petitioning for President", Ballot Access News, 1 August 2004 (accessed 21 September 2008).
  2. ^ "Natural Law Party Puts Nader on Michigan Ballot ", Ballot Access News, 4 August 2008 (accessed 21 September 2008).
  3. ^ "Mississippi Natural Law Party Nominates Brian Moore for President", Ballot Access News, 6 September 2008 (accessed 21 September 2008).

External links

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