Spoiling for a Fight: Third-Party Politics in America

Spoiling for a Fight: Third-Party Politics in America

by Micah L. Sifry
     
 

ISBN-10: 0415931428

ISBN-13: 9780415931427

Pub. Date: 02/28/2002

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

More Americans now identify as political independents than as either Democrats or Republicans. Tired of the two-party gridlock, the pandering, and the lack of vision, they've turned in increasing numbers to independent and third-party candidates. In 1998, for the first time in decades, a third-party candidate who was not a refugee from one of the two major parties,

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Overview

More Americans now identify as political independents than as either Democrats or Republicans. Tired of the two-party gridlock, the pandering, and the lack of vision, they've turned in increasing numbers to independent and third-party candidates. In 1998, for the first time in decades, a third-party candidate who was not a refugee from one of the two major parties, Jesse Ventura, won election to state-wide office, as the governor of Minnesota. In 2000, the public was riveted by the Reform Party's implosion over Patrick Buchanan's presidential candidacy and by Ralph Nader's Green Party run, which infuriated many Democrats but energized hundreds of thousands of disaffected voters in stadium-sized super-rallies.What are the prospects for new third-party efforts? Combining the close-in, personal reporting and learned analysis one can only get by covering this beat for years, Micah L. Sifry's. Spoiling for a Fight exposes both the unfair obstacles and the viable opportunities facing today's leading independent parties. Third-party candidates continue be denied a fighting chance by discriminatory ballot access, unequal campaign financing, winner-take-all races, and derisive media coverage. Yet, after years of grassroots organizing, third parties are making major inroads. At the local level, efforts like Chicago's New Party and New York's Working Families Party have upset urban political machines while gaining positions on county councils and school boards. Third-party activists are true believers in democracy, and if America's closed two-party system is ever to be reformed, it will be thanks to their efforts

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415931427
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
02/28/2002
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.40(d)

Table of Contents

Author's Note and Acknowledgments
Introduction1
Sect. IChallenging the Duopoly
1The People Want More Democracy19
2The Moment Is Ripe43
Sect. IIOrganizing the Angry Middle
3Mad as Hell, Used and Abused65
4The Rise (and Fall) of the Reform Party85
5Getting Past Perot110
Sect. IIIOrganizing the Left
6Compost Rotten Politics145
7Nader's Gamble175
8The Duopoly Strikes Back199
Sect. IVOrganizing from the Bottom Up
9A Safe Way Out of the Box?223
10The Little Third Party That Could258
Sect. VThe Future
11The Prospects for America's Third Parties279
Notes311
Index355

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