Talk:Electoral fusion

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Electoral Fusion is Largely American Phenomenon[edit]

Electoral fusion is a largely American phenomenon. It shouldn't be "globalized" because, frankly, it doesn't apply. 72.24.231.159 02:42, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

It's the first time I encounter this term, but the concept is by no means American-only; in Argentina we see it all the time. What I'd like to understand is how this is different from the very common tendency of minor parties to form coalitions (either out of ideological coincidences or sheer convenience), and whether there could be a more neutral term to refer to it. In my dialect of Spanish, at least, I've encountered the term frentismo (lit. frontism) to name the tactic of minor parties, usually plus grassroots organizations, pooling votes and agreeing on candidates to fight the larger parties. I can also provide examples of minor parties allying with one major party to fight another major party. If "electoral fusion" is inherently US-centric, the article should say so, or it should be expanded and renamed. —Pablo D. Flores (Talk) 18:35, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
Electoral fusion is not the same thing as forming coalition governments in a Parliamentary system. The cross-nomination of a single candidate under Electoral fusion does not necessarily mean that two parties are participating in a broader coalition. It is more common for minor political parties to cross-nominate candidates of both major parties (Democrats and Republicans) than it is for them to endorse an entire major party's ticket or to engage in across-the-board Frontism with other minor political parties. For example, in Oregon, the Independent Party cross-nominated both Democrats and Republicans in 2008, but has never cross-nominated with another minor political party.

The reason that Electoral fusion is distinctly American is that the United States does not have a parliamentary system, in which governing coalitions are formed between parties after elections, and it does not have proportional representation or other similar arrangements that are characteristic of Parliamentary government. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Speralta (talkcontribs) 20:24, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

I think what Mr. Flores is talking about is not coalition governments but electoral alliances. In a coalition government each member of the coalition runs its own candidates and forms the coalition after the election. In an electoral alliance, the 2 or more parties act as a single party for the purpose of the election. The difference between an electoral alliance and fusion voting is that the latter is done on a candidate-by-candidate basis not on a whole party basis.Bostoner (talk) 02:13, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Comparisons with other voting systems[edit]

Fusion can produce a similar result to the use of either Runoff elections or Alternative Vote (ie, the Single Transferable Vote (STV) when used in single-seat races), in that two or more parties like-minded parties can assess their own first-choice electoral support from the results, while combining their strength to avoid letting their common opponent win through a split vote. Fusion is to Runoff and AV as party-list proportional representation is to Single Transferable Vote (STV) proportional representation in so far as the pooling of different parties' votes is accomplished under Fusion and party-list through deals made and registered before polling day by the political parties, but under AV and STV by decisions made by individual voters on polling day.
On the other hand, fusion or party-list both prevent the risk of "preference leakage", as sometimes occurs under AV/ STV in Australia and Ireland. For example, if the Green Party "directs preferences" to the Democrat or Labo[u]r Party, Green supporters voting under AV/STV are still free to - and a certain proportion, usually small but sometimes potentially decisive, will - vote [1] Green but give their second preference to the Republican or Conservative party instead. It is plausible, though hard to measure, that such Green supporters might refuse to vote Green altogether if fusion or party-list mean their vote benefits a Democrat or Labo[u]r candidate at the expense of their true second preference.

I removed the preceding text because 1) the material is unreferenced and seems a little essayish; and 2) seems to be based on a misunderstanding of the mechanics of electoral fusion, at least in the U.S. While parties may cooperate to elect a particular candidate, individual voters are under no obligation to vote for the party line. That is, any individual voter may mix and match votes for candidates from any party. As a hypothetical example, if a state Green Party ran a full slate of candidates for statewide offices, an individual voter from any party could vote for a Green candidate for one office, a Democrat for another and a Republican for yet another. The "fusion" is that of party resources in the campaigning phase as well as in voter mobilization. Of course, some comparisons/contrasts with other voting systems may be helpful, but need to be backed up with references. olderwiser 01:41, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

Of course, technically speaking, electoral fusion as it worked in the late 19th century is impossible in most U.S. states today. In traditional electoral fusion, a single candidate would be nominated as the candidate for multiple parties. If I understand correctly, the candidate name would be listed on the ballot for each qualified party. Thus a voter could vote for John Doe as the candidate of the Democratic Party or as the candidate of the Green Party. All of the votes for the individual would be counted for the individual, regardless of the party. olderwiser 01:46, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

I have to question whether it was really pertinent to say that "Republican-dominated" state legislatures passed laws against electoral fusion. Most of the Northern states were Republican a century ago, but notice that fusion was disallowed in most Southern states as well, where Democrats governed. Worry about populists wasn't confined to Northern politicians. So unless you have real evidence that Democrats didn't indulge in the same practices, please stick to neutral language. -- Anon. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 64.69.127.135 (talk) 20:10, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

This article is confusing[edit]

Maybe it's because I'm not familiar with some of the intricate details of the US nomination process, but I find this article terribly difficult to understand. It seems to be wandering between:

  • Two parties formally having a separate existance and fielding notional joint candidates but in practice being a single entity (basically the UK Labour - Co-op arrangement)
  • Two parties in temporary agreement fighting the election as a coalition running joint tickets (e.g. the Australian Coalition fought the last general election with a mix of some lower house seats with Liberal candidates only, some with National, some with candidates from both parties and a couple with candidates from a fused territory party, whilst for the upper house there were some joint tickets for the Senate)
  • Two or more parties formally agreeing not to contest particular seats to give each other free runs
  • Prominent members of one party of significant numbers endorsing a rival party's candidates
  • The US practice where the nomination system is much more regulated and public, leading to candidates being nominated on multiple slates

...and if you don't really understand how the US nominations system works it's hard to comprehend that.

Does anyone feel able to try rewriting the article to try and separate out the various arrangements, since pooling the vote with two places on the ballot paper is a very different thing from a candidate with one place having several parties backing him. Timrollpickering (talk) 12:20, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Lists grouping for the Brussels regional elections (Belgium)[edit]

For the proportional regional elections in the Brussels Region, several lists can formally declare a "lists grouping" before the elections (this time May 21 for the June 7 elections). In concreto, it means that the seats are alloted to the "lists group", and then divided among each list inside the group. Theoretically, it would allow a list group to attain the minimal 5% of the votes while no separate list of the group would have attained 5%. More practically, it is used (and was designed) for the grouping of Flemish democratic parties (which have 17 reserved seat in the regional parliament) against the Vlaams Belang (far right): the grouping prevents votes to be "lost", either because one of the grouped lists doesn't attain the 5% level, or because list A needs 1,000 votes for a seat and gets 1,700, the 700 would be "lost" but with the grouping votes are globalized. So, if list B has 1,300 votes and lists A and B are grouped, list B gets a one seat and list B two (this is summarized and oversimplified, but it reflects the general meaning of the system). Such list grouping has no ideological funding, in 2004 and 2009 the Flemish list group includes (right-wing) liberals and Christian Democrats, (social-democratic) Socialists and the Greens against the (far right) Vlaams Belang and (populist right) Lijst Dedecker. The only French-speaking list group is however clearly mor ideological, with three far left lists, one of them already a grouping (on a same list) of 4 far left parties. I'am afraid there is no source in English about this, in French there is an article today: Les groupements de listes et l’échec d’un “vote utile” atypique. The official document is also online. --Pylambert (talk) 20:22, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Controversial White Supremacist David Duke[edit]

...as if there's any other kind of white supremacist. Also, I'd like to see a bit more elaboration than "many prominent Republicans". — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.232.27.11 (talk) 21:08, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

See Also - Tax Choice[edit]

Recently I added tax choice to the see also section of this article but it was removed by Orange Mike. He removed it because he felt that tax choice was "totally irrelevant". What the two subjects have in common is that they are both strategies for dealing with the two party system.

Unfortunately, the electoral fusion strategy is pretty much a dead end given the outcome of the Supreme Court case of Timmons vs Twin Cities Area New Party. Therefore, the See Also section of this page should contain leads to other possible strategies...one of which is tax choice. Clearly...if taxpayers were allowed to directly allocate their taxes then a lack of pluralism (political philosophy) wouldn't be much of an issue. If you have any objections to the addition of tax choice to the see also section then please feel free to share them. If not then I'll re-add it to the see also section. --Xerographica (talk) 23:55, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

The only similarities are philosophical; this article is about voting technology, not about how to achieve a philosophical goal. While I might agree with you in some abstract sense, the assertion that the two are related is very much original research and synthesis on your part. --Orange Mike | Talk 04:28, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
The see also policy clearly states that a link in the see also section only has to be peripherally relevant to the article's topic. Therefore, the WP:OR concern isn't even applicable. Please undue your removal of the link. --Xerographica (talk) 04:47, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm with Orangemike -- the connection here is extremely weak, and the concept of tax choice is not really related to the concept of electoral fusion, even if the proponents of both have similar philosophies. --JBL (talk) 14:21, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
If the means AND the ends were exactly the same...then it would be the same exact concept. Electoral fusion and tax choice do not have the same means...but their ends are similar enough that people interested in electoral fusion might also be interested in tax choice. Why would you want to prevent readers from exploring similar topics? If the see also section was jam packed with topics that were more closely related than tax choice is...then I could understand your objection. But as it stands the see also section is a ghost town. There is no prime real estate to fight over. Does that mean that just any topic can move in? No...but I don't see the value of trying to scare off peripherally relevant topics. --Xerographica (talk) 19:20, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
I afraid I don't really see much similarity in either means or ends. olderwiser 19:33, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
I already described what I see...so please describe what you see. What do you see as the ends of electoral fusion? --Xerographica (talk) 19:58, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
Tax choice is a method of distributing revenue. Electoral fusion is a method by which parties choose representatives for election. These things are only as related to each other as every governmental function is related to every electoral system. If there were a category Category:Strategies for dealing with the two party system then perhaps both of these articles would belong to it, but that's not saying much. --JBL (talk) 20:04, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
Xerographica, you said: Clearly...if taxpayers were allowed to directly allocate their taxes then a lack of pluralism (political philosophy) wouldn't be much of an issue. What seems clear to you seems a non sequitur to me. Further, statements such as Unfortunately, the electoral fusion strategy is pretty much a dead end given the outcome of the Supreme Court case of Timmons vs Twin Cities Area New Party. Therefore, the See Also section of this page should contain leads to other possible strategies...one of which is tax choice. suggest that you see Wikipedia articles as a platform for promoting a position. WP readers looking for information about electoral fusion are not necessarily interested in tax reform. They might be, but they might simply be interested in different electoral systems. olderwiser 20:15, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

Don't both methods threaten our two party system? --Xerographica (talk) 20:20, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

This has already been addressed by both of us. You're acting as if you're confused about what an encyclopaedia is for. --JBL (talk) 20:34, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
You didn't answer the question. --Xerographica (talk) 20:37, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
You also seem confused about what the purpose of a talk page is -- we're not engaged in a political debate, and I'm under no obligation to respond to your question (which is a nonsequitur). Not every two things that threaten the two party system should be cross-linked in a See Also. --JBL (talk) 20:44, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
The point is that both methods have the same objective of promoting pluralism. This is what makes tax choice relevant enough to be listed in the see also section of this article. --Xerographica (talk) 20:49, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
I don't know why you think saying the same thing repeatedly while ignoring the content of responses is a good idea. --JBL (talk) 21:32, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
(ec) I don't know enough about tax choice to comment on that, but the objective of electoral fusion is not pluralism. That may be a concomitant effect, but fusion is/was a strategy for multiple parties to support persons of compatible interests in elections. I.e., the objective is to be successful in elections, pluralism is not the direct goal. And in any case, it is getting close to a soapbox to make such synthetic connections between articles that don't have reliable sources supporting such connections. olderwiser 21:34, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
Electoral fusion would give third parties more power...which is why it could potentially undermine our two party system. Giving more parties more power is the definition of pluralism. In a tax choice system...each taxpayer would directly allocate his own taxes. What's the point of joining a party when you can choose which government organizations you can give your taxes to? Each person would in essence be their own completely unique political party. That's why tax choice is the epitome of political pluralism. Do I have any reliable sources that draw this connection? No...I do not. Does this mean that as editors we can't make informed decisions based on our thorough understanding of both topics? No...it does not. I might be entirely and totally wrong though...it sure wouldn't be the first time. If the consensus is against me...then so be it. But if the consensus is against me because the majority fails to demonstrate a thorough understand of both topics...then...well...shenanigans. --Xerographica (talk) 22:03, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a soapbox to promote particular synthetic conclusions. olderwiser 22:08, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment Historically at least the point of electoral fusion was to remove the dominance of one-party. It came about because there was not a viable two-party system, but at least in the case of Michigan and some other northern states in the late 19th-century, Republican domination with those opposed to it not being able to coalesce around any one idea. It was not about "threatening a two party system" because there was no two-party system to threaten.John Pack Lambert (talk) 00:43, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
So if it's not a threat to the two-party system...then why outlaw it? --Xerographica (talk) 00:48, 13 February 2013 (UTC)