(excerpt from) onthewilderside.com
The pointlessness of fusion parties like Working Families
by Ian Wilder / September 16, 2009
OK, so an acquaintance in the death penalty abolition movement asked me to take a look at Richard Aborn, who was running for Manhattan DA. Aborn already had the Working Families line. Working Families represents itself as the progressive party in NY, and Aborn was being represented as the progressive candidate for Manhattan DA. Aborn was also in the Democratic Primary for Manhattan D.A., which was won last night by Cy Vance Jr.
According to the AP article, Aborn “said he will support the Democratic nominee“ So what’s the point of getting the Working Families nomination? Is it just a second line to be thrown away if the first line does not come through?
Now, to me, the whole point of an election is that it is one of the few chances to influence public policy in a political world dominated by corporate money. This is especially true in the Manhattan D.A.’s race which is one of the safest place for an incumbent in the country. The current officeholder was in the position for 35 years. Once a new Manhattan D.A. is elected, there will be little pressure on him to engage in public policy debate.
Not that there is much pressure on Vance now that he has won the Democratic Primary, which in Manhattan is tantamount to winning the general election. Which makes it especially galling that the Working Families nominee has bowed out.
By not continuing to pressure Vance from the left with the platform provided by a general election candidacy, Aborn has lost the major opportunity to affect the public policy that comes out of this election. A public policy agenda that could potentially be set for the next three decades.