An Ordinary Person

So You Want to Change the System (Part 2)

September 4, 2009
1 Comment

This is a list of actions to take and organizations to join if one is interested in transforming American politics from two-party dominance. This list is pretty much one individual’s perspective—mine. I am sure others will have points to disagree with and will have items to add or subtract. I made this list primarily as a mental exercise to help myself think through some of the issues one faces as a citizen interested in participatory democracy and who finds the current political choices in mainstream American politics lacking.

This list is not meant to be exhaustive or comprehensive. It is designed as a starting point for discussion on answering the question “What can an individual DO about it?”

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Analyzing How the Independent Went Left by Going Right

May 11, 2009
2 Comments

I just checked out an interesting video at the Independent Voting web site titled “How the Independent Movement Went Left by Going Right.” It is an hour-long documentary of a speech political strategist Jackie Salit gave at the Committee for a Unified Independent Party (CUIP) conference in January 2009.

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Fusion Voting

July 4, 2007
1 Comment

Fusion Voting

From the TPM Cafe ,Dan Cantor of New York’s Working Families Party explains what Fusion Voting is and how it can benefit third parties.

We have run 3,000-plus candidates on our line since our founding in 1998, and have a solid field and local chapter operation in most parts of the state. But none of it would be possible without the “rules of the game” that make for a more hospitable environment for third parties.

Here is a response from the blog A New America.

If I read this right, this method sounds like a demographic tool to inform the winning candidate which supporters voted under which platform of importance. This is all fine and good, but the cynical part of my brain is asking how this would affect anything.

Here is an old blog post from MyDD

One system I’ve always been a huge fan of is New York’s fusion voting. For those of you unfamiliar, candidates in the state can run on multiple party lines. The state’s Conservative and Working Families Parties typically endorse the Republican and Democratic candidates, respectively, but have also been known to shake up elections by endorsing their own candidate.

Here’s an interesting discussion on Fusion Voting from the Working Families Party blog:

I don’t mean to be a bore, but third parties without fusion (remember – it was once legal in EVERY state) are just writing themselves out of politics. Run in a close election, and you spoil. Run in a safe Dem district, and you might as well run in the Democratic primary instead.

Liberal Arts Dude sez:
Fusion Voting has intrigued me since I read the book Spoiling for a Fight by Micah Sifry. The book gives significant attention to the Working Families Party and how the party has made successful use of the strategy of Fusion Voting in New York State.

I’d like to learn more, especially if there are any efforts to bring Fusion Voting to other states. Anyone out there have any suggestions on good sources of info?


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