By Stephanie Luce
Despite our cynicism about electoral politics, the Left needs political parties. The Right’s rising power and momentum throughout the world gives us a stark reminder of the practical effects of our lack of a party of our own in the United States.Although it might feel like we’re starting from scratch, we can learn from real experiments. One example is Progressive Dane, a political party formed in 1992 in Madison, Wisconsin.
A New Party
Progressive Dane is named after Dane County, where Madison is located. The party began when Joel Rogers, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Dan Cantor, a longtime political organizer, put forward the idea of a “New Party.”
The New Party hoped to revive fusion voting as tool for building a party. Fusion voting allows a candidate to run on two ballot lines, allowing voters to vote for a third party without feeling that their vote for that party was wasted or a “spoiler” in the election, doing little to build a viable political alternative but helping bring a potentially worse alternative to power — dilemmas that otherwise plague third parties under the American winner-take-all system. This allows the party to work inside and outside the Democratic Party at the same time. Continue reading What Happens If We Win?