Monday, December 8, 2008

United We Stand....

I read an interesting article in the Seattle Times this morning by David Sirota about the progressive victories that have occurred at the grassroots level around our nation. I did not know that 17 states won a Democratic trifecta, taking the governorship, state house and state senate. Wow! That makes me even happier to be living in Obamaland....

But this wasn't just a Democratic victory. In some states, like New York, these victories occurred because of the extensive, grassroots organizing of a new third party: the Working Families Party. This recent (1998) organization began in New York and has worked very hard to ensure that the voice of working families is heard by politicians, and what they want is "good jobs, fair taxes, good schools, reliable public transportation, affordable housing, and universal healthcare." This is known as a "progressive agenda." I guess there must be lots of progressives in the state of Idaho, as well as the rest of the nation, because those seem to the be goals that most Americans want. The Working Families Party secures these goals through electoral fusion.

Electoral Fusion is the process in which more than one party endorses a single candidate. When this happens, both parties are recognized on a ballot, each endorsing the same candidate. It is a process that is legal in only seven states, including Idaho. In effect, it brings together seemingly disparate people, albeit with similar wants and needs, in the effort to elect the candidate who is not just a Republican or Democrat but one who represents what working families want. This has produced numerous successes in New York and the party has branched out into other states, including Connecticut, South Carolina and Oregon.

It seems to me that Idaho has need of a working families party, or at least similar efforts to promote what most Idahoans want, like "good jobs, fair taxes, good schools, reliable public transportation, affordable housing and universal healthcare." Wait, Idaho has such a party, and it's the Idaho Democratic Party. I guess the major task in Idaho is convincing Republicans and Independents to participate in some "working families fusion" and vote for candidates who put people's needs before big business and personal values agendas.

As Patrick Henry stated in his last public speech, "United we stand. Divided we fall."

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