By Dale Lucht
Recently in a primary election in another state I heard the term electoral fusion or the fusion system. Basically, electoral fusion is an arrangement where two or more political parties on a ballot list the same candidate, pooling their votes for that candidate. For an example let’s assume that in 2000, Al Gore had been nominated by the Democrat Party and the Green Party. All votes for Gore would have been tallied and President Bush would probably not have been President.
Electoral fusion was once widespread in the United States. In the late nineteenth century, however, as minor political parties such as the Populist Party became increasingly successful in using fusion, state legislatures banned it. The Haves don’t like sharing with the Have-nots.
Currently there are 8 states that still allow fusion – Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Mississippi, New York, Oregon, South Carolina, and Vermont. I think that it is a great tool for honest elections. In my example of 2000, Ralph Nader ran as the Green Party Candidate. Suppose Al Gore was second choice of party members and they thought they could get out enough votes to prevent Bush-Cheney from being elected.
Can you imagine not having invaded Iraq? Can you imagine not having spent $557 billion on the war in Iraq? Can you imagine almost 4,500 Americans that didn’t die in Iraq? Can you imagine another 32,222 that didn’t get wounded in Iraq? Can you imagine another half a million Iraqis that might be allies or indeed they might have been enemies? At least they would be alive to make that choice. Add to all of this the interest on our war debt, that does not include VA benefits, and does not include the harm to our Psyche.
Of course all of this did happen. We also got Justice Roberts and Alito. With them we got the Citizens United decision.
When the twin towers came down in 2001 the terrorist won. The rich circled their wagons and protected their interests, and found ways to make more money from the fear the government acted on. Make no mistake about it, the government is acting out of fear. We can’t get on a plane without being scanned. We can’t make a phone call without it possibly being listened to. We as a nation have spent so much on security that it has almost bankrupted the nation. Remember FDR: “The only thing you have to fear, is fear itself.” Our President and Congress forgot that.
If you remember, in a previous issue I gave a history lesson on recessions and depressions. They weren’t caused by government spending but by rich individuals trying to get an edge on a market. Now who is making money on all the fancy new anti-terrorist equipment but the Military-Industrial Complex that President Eisenhower so eloquently warned us about? Is it any wonder that I am dissatisfied about our current political landscape? Can you imagine what we could have done for the average American with a $557 billion investment in our infrastructure, or health care, or environment?
Currently we are stuck with the political system we deserve. We deserve it if we don’t vote in every election, including primaries. We deserve it if we continually vote for politicians who promise much, but deliver little. We deserve it if we remain uninformed.
On August 12, 2014 there will be a Primary Election in Wisconsin. Please vote, because we do deserve much more.