(Fusion Voting) "New Jersey Centrists Seek to Legalize Their Dream: The Moderate Party"

NYT:
New Jersey Centrists Seek to Legalize Their Dream: The Moderate Party
A bipartisan alliance is trying to topple the state’s ban on fusion voting, a system under which third-party groups like the Working Families Party in New York have gained influence.

A new political party in New Jersey is hoping to disrupt that pattern by embracing the very technique that Justice Rehnquist scorned — fusion voting — with ambitions of taking the idea national. And while the party’s founders acknowledge that the chances of success may be low, supporters say they have identified a formula that offers greater promise than more sweeping but ultimately unworkable ideas for overhauling America’s sclerotic political system.

The party, led by a core of local Republicans, Democrats and independents alarmed by the G.O.P.’s rightward drift under former President Donald J. Trump, has given itself a name that makes its middle-of-the-road ideological positioning crystal clear: the Moderate Party.

The party’s goal is to give centrist voters more of a voice at a time when, the group’s founders say, America’s two major parties have drifted toward the political fringes. But unlike traditional third parties, the Moderate Party hopes to nudge the Democratic and Republican Parties toward the center, not replace or compete with them.

PVW said:

. But unlike traditional third parties, the Moderate Party hopes to nudge the Democratic and Republican Parties toward the center, not replace or compete with them.

Given the general drift to the right in both parties over the last 30 years, it is hard to see how a further move to the right by Dems would be desirable.


I like the idea of fusion voting in general. I'd regularly vote on the WFP line rather than the Democratic line when I lived in the city. If fusion voting is legalized in NJ, it could also be an opening for progressive groups that feel hemmed in by the two major parties.


Fusion voting doesn't really add much to election other than take up ballot real estate.  The real game changer would be ranked choice voting so that you don't end up with a spoiler.


Are voters clamoring for a party of candidates who don't feel strongly about any issues?


Do moderates actually have positions on things?


Tweaked the thread title (which I just took from the NYT article) as for me the hook was more the attempt to legalize fusion voting than whether moderates need their own party. The latter could be interesting to some posters on this board too, but I think the headline was a bit too narrowly pitched.


drummerboy said:

Do moderates actually have positions on things?

Moderates are the ones who fill out political alignment questionnaires with “neutral” and “somewhat dis/agree” all down the line.


ridski said:

drummerboy said:

Do moderates actually have positions on things?

Moderates are the ones who fill out political alignment questionnaires with “neutral” and “somewhat dis/agree” all down the line.

according to our pundits a "centrist" or "moderate" is an otherwise hard-line conservative who is pro-choice and supportive of LGBTQ rights. 


ml1 said:

ridski said:

drummerboy said:

Do moderates actually have positions on things?

Moderates are the ones who fill out political alignment questionnaires with “neutral” and “somewhat dis/agree” all down the line.

according to our pundits a "centrist" or "moderate" is an otherwise hard-line conservative who is pro-choice and supportive of LGBTQ rights. 

Like super Joe Manchin.


drummerboy said:

ml1 said:

ridski said:

drummerboy said:

Do moderates actually have positions on things?

Moderates are the ones who fill out political alignment questionnaires with “neutral” and “somewhat dis/agree” all down the line.

according to our pundits a "centrist" or "moderate" is an otherwise hard-line conservative who is pro-choice and supportive of LGBTQ rights. 

Like super Joe Manchin.

what was Rudy Giuliani, supposed "moderate" Republican if not a neo-fascist who believed in equal rights for LBGTQ people?


From that article -

One of the party’s co-founders is Richard A. Wolfe, a partner at the law firm Fried Frank and former small-town mayor who says he is repulsed by the Republican Party’s embrace of conspiracy theories and fealty toward Mr. Trump.

“Starting around 2020, my wife and I started to feel like the Republican Party no longer represented our views,” Mr. Wolfe said in an interview. “We started to get very uncomfortable with the extremism.”

But he could not bring himself to support the Democratic Party, which he views as too beholden to left-wing economic ideas and cultural causes.

Holy shite, that sets off alarm bells for me.


The progressive model has worked well in San Fran. Maybe roll that out nationally?


Smedley said:

The progressive model has worked well in San Fran. Maybe roll that out nationally?

And what exactly is the "progressive model" being used in S.F.?


drummerboy said:

Smedley said:

The progressive model has worked well in San Fran. Maybe roll that out nationally?

And what exactly is the "progressive model" being used in S.F.?

Could this frolic and detour just stop right now.  The thread isn't about "San Francisco" or "progressives vs. regular Democrats".  It's about what the OP said it's about.

I look forward to Mr. Smedley's new thread on San Francisco.


It's all over the news. If you need to catch up, start by Googling "San Francisco".


nohero said:

drummerboy said:

Smedley said:

The progressive model has worked well in San Fran. Maybe roll that out nationally?

And what exactly is the "progressive model" being used in S.F.?

Could this frolic and detour just stop right now.  The thread isn't about "San Francisco" or "progressives vs. regular Democrats".  It's about what the OP said it's about.

I look forward to Mr. Smedley's new thread on San Francisco.

Fine with me. But may I ask, why didn't you enact your cease and desist order prior to my post?  There were several previous posts as far back as 12 hours ago that strayed from the OP, that you didn't seem to mind. 


Smedley said:

nohero said:

Could this frolic and detour just stop right now.  The thread isn't about "San Francisco" or "progressives vs. regular Democrats".  It's about what the OP said it's about.

I look forward to Mr. Smedley's new thread on San Francisco.

Fine with me. But may I ask, why didn't you enact your cease and desist order prior to my post?  There were several previous posts as far back as 12 hours ago that strayed from the OP, that you didn't seem to mind. 

The posts were about defining a "moderate", that is, someone supposedly between a "D" and an "R", or between a "liberal" and a "conservative".


PVW said:

I like the idea of fusion voting in general. I'd regularly vote on the WFP line rather than the Democratic line when I lived in the city. If fusion voting is legalized in NJ, it could also be an opening for progressive groups that feel hemmed in by the two major parties.

I feel like fusion voting is one of those ideas that sounds better in theory than in practice. Didn't Ed Koch run in one election as the Democratic, Liberal AND Conservative nominee?


ml1 said:

I feel like fusion voting is one of those ideas that sounds better in theory than in practice. Didn't Ed Koch run in one election as the Democratic, Liberal AND Conservative nominee?

I think fusion voting best serves those who want to be officers in a political party. Once they get their fixed, predetermined slots on the ballot, who knows who they may offer their "line" to (see Ml1's example).


nohero said:

The posts were about defining a "moderate", that is, someone supposedly between a "D" and an "R", or between a "liberal" and a "conservative".

Anyone who is between a D and a R is a conservative.  The line between the two is somewhere to the left of Joe Manchin.


nohero said:

Smedley said:

nohero said:

Could this frolic and detour just stop right now.  The thread isn't about "San Francisco" or "progressives vs. regular Democrats".  It's about what the OP said it's about.

I look forward to Mr. Smedley's new thread on San Francisco.

Fine with me. But may I ask, why didn't you enact your cease and desist order prior to my post?  There were several previous posts as far back as 12 hours ago that strayed from the OP, that you didn't seem to mind. 

The posts were about defining a "moderate", that is, someone supposedly between a "D" and an "R", or between a "liberal" and a "conservative".

Please. The earlier posts were as off-topic as my post (admittedly) was. You just didn't mind them bc you agreed with them.


Smedley said:

nohero said:

The posts were about defining a "moderate", that is, someone supposedly between a "D" and an "R", or between a "liberal" and a "conservative".

Please. The earlier posts were as off-topic as my post (admittedly) was. You just didn't mind them bc you agreed with them.

I disagree with your claim about me, but I'm not going to get into a silly argument about what the other posts said.


The silliness was being fine with several off-topic yuks making fun of moderates but then tsk-tsking my post responding to them.   


Actually, since Smedley identifies as a moderate, we can test the premise of the moderate party right now -- would it make it easier for you to vote for a Democratic candidate if they were also running on the Moderate Party line?


I don't know if Democrats running on a Moderate line would actually mean winning or keeping more voters instead of losing them to Republicans, but if it did I think that would be a good thing.

Consider the current Senate. In an ideal world, the Democrats would have picked up more seats -- Maine and North Carolina, for instance, seemed like they were well within reach. A 52 seat majority is one where the BBB passes even with Manchin's opposition and Sinema doing whatever it is she does. And in a more than ideal world, instead of Manchin there's a Senator less beholden to fossil interests.

Looking at WV, though, that second scenario isn't likely any time soon - the choice there is Manchin or an actual Republican. And no, Manchin is not a Republican, which is the reason Justice Jackson is seated on the court and Sen. Schumer, not Sen. McConnell, is Senate Majority leader. For all the valid complaints about Manchin, there's a big difference between a 50 seat Democratic majority and a 49 seat minority.

What if Democrats did manage to get a few more seats, but those were from the kinds of candidates who would run on a "Moderate" line? Of course I'd prefer more straightforwardly liberal senators, but if actually becomes a choice between moderate/conservative Democrat, and a Republican of whichever ideology they'd like to claim, a Democrat is better.

All that being said, I really don't know if fusion voting really would make the difference between, say, a voter sticking with Malinowski or defecting to Kean. In any case, I can't see it hurting, and don't see a reason for fusion voting to be illegal.


Smedley said:

The silliness was being fine with several off-topic yuks making fun of moderates but then tsk-tsking my post responding to them.   

it's not making fun. It's just my observation that the word "moderate" or "centrist" is typically used by pundits and other political observers in a particular way. They use it as if you can add up a bunch of very rightward positions with a couple of socially left positions, and average them out. So that the likes of Rudy Giuliani becomes a "moderate" Republican. 

Fact is, the GOP has gone so far to the crazy white nationalist right, that anyone in the exact center between them and the typical Democrat is pretty conservative. 


PVW said:

Actually, since Smedley identifies as a moderate, we can test the premise of the moderate party right now -- would it make it easier for you to vote for a Democratic candidate if they were also running on the Moderate Party line?

I don't know, good question. Maybe? I think these ideas of fusion voting, and third-party stuff (like Andrew Yang is pushing), are interesting, and appealing conceptually. But I'm skeptical, because I've seen enough of these ideas never get off the ground -- our two-party system just seems too entrenched, for whatever reason(s). 

But keep in mind, I have voted Democratic for years, at least in national elections, so it's not difficult for me to vote Democrat. I'm dating myself here, but the first and only Republican presidential vote I ever cast to date was for Bush Sr in '92. 


ml1 said:

Smedley said:

The silliness was being fine with several off-topic yuks making fun of moderates but then tsk-tsking my post responding to them.   

it's not making fun. It's just my observation that the word "moderate" or "centrist" is typically used by pundits and other political observers in a particular way. They use it as if you can add up a bunch of very rightward positions with a couple of socially left positions, and average them out. So that the likes of Rudy Giuliani becomes a "moderate" Republican. 

Fact is, the GOP has gone so far to the crazy white nationalist right, that anyone in the exact center between them and the typical Democrat is pretty conservative. 

That depends on your definition of "typical Democrat."  If a typical Democrat is someone like Biden (over his career, not so much as President specifically), Obama, or Bubba, I agree with you. If however a typical Democrat is someone like Sanders, Warren, or AOC, then I disagree. And I would argue that the typical Democrat (if there is such an animal) has moved toward the latter camp in recent years.   


Smedley said:

ml1 said:

Fact is, the GOP has gone so far to the crazy white nationalist right, that anyone in the exact center between them and the typical Democrat is pretty conservative. 

That depends on your definition of "typical Democrat."  If a typical Democrat is someone like Biden (over his career, not so much as President specifically), Obama, or Bubba, I agree with you. If however a typical Democrat is someone like Sanders, Warren, or AOC, then I disagree. And I would argue that the typical Democrat (if there is such an animal) has moved toward the latter camp in recent years.   

If the scale has "crazy white nationalist right" on one side, then Biden, Obama, Bubba, Sanders, Warren and AOC are bunched up together on the other side, and the "exact center" certainly would be pretty conservative.

And depending on the issue, the most prominent example being health care, the names you list are all singing from the same hymnal.  The differences are mostly "how" and not "whether".

To keep it on topic - this is an example of the problem of discussing an appeal to "moderates".  What exactly is the group to be appealed to? I don't think the "fusion voting" proposal is a substantive solution to addressing the problem of finding voters for Democratic candidates.


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