Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Fusion Buzz

Discussion around Alyssa Katz's Nation story on fusion voting and the WFP is really percolating. Good post on MyDD from Scott Shields. Scott writes:
One system I've always been a huge fan of is New York's fusion voting... Why would anyone vote for a major party candidate on a third party line? Well, by supporting Eliot Spitzer as a Working Families Party candidate rather than as a Democrat, for example, voters send the message that the issues Working Families champions -- universal healthcare, a living wage, strong labor protection -- are very important to a significant segment of their base. It also gives independent voters an excuse to vote for major party candidates that they might not otherwise vote for... Fusion may not be a silver bullet. And it may not be a realistic proposal for every state. But it's an interesting alternative and one that I think reform-minded Democrats should give some thought to.

And he rebuts the argument that fusion could help the right as much as the left:
I can understand the concern about the right using fusion to their advantage as well. But with the Republican Party already skewing so far to the right, it's hard to imagine that a conservative third party could pull the GOP much further and still win elections. And to the extent that progressive third parties can support progressive Democrats, I'd argue that the risk is worth it.
Bravo to Scott for taking on this argument head-on. What else do folks think about this question?

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