A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens begins thus:
IT WAS the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way- in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
A tale of two CTs:
In the first Connecticut: Joe Lieberman lost the Democratic Party primary election in 2006 but won re-election in the general election as a third party candidate under the party label “Connecticut for Lieberman”. Lieberman has been officially listed in Senate records for the 110th and 111th Congresses as an “Independent Democrat.” He is one of the very few members of Congress elected in recent years as anything other than a Democrat or Republican, and was seriously considered for the 2008 Republican VP nomination after running for VP as a Democrat in 2000.
Lieberman got to the Senate by defeating Lowell Weicker in 1988. In 1990, Weicker became one of the very few Governors elected in recent years in any state as anything other than a Democrat or Republican, under the banner of “A Connecticut Party.”
And, as of last year, independents accounted for 42.5% of registered voters in the state, with only 36.8% registered Democrat and 20% registered Republican.
Clearly, independence from the Democratic and Republican Parties is strong in this Connecticut.
The other Connecticut has closed primaries. Thus, almost half of all registered voters will be ineligible to vote in the major party primaries, whose nominees will therefore be decided by a fraction of a fraction of registered voters. The Democratic and Republican nominees for numerous offices will be lucky to garner the support of even 10% of registered voters in their respective primary races.
Because of this, Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz urged unaffiliated voters across the state to enroll with the Democrat or Republican Party, prompting a formal complaint of electioneering by independent candidate Daniel Reale. That complaint may be joined by the Green Party and received publicity from Free and Equal.
This other Connecticut was one of only five states (plus DC) to keep the Libertarian Party off the ballot in 2008.
And, in this other Connecticut, when the 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals recently reversed federal Judge Stefan Underhill’s decision, a reversal that will allow minor parties to have to meet a more difficult standard to gain public campaign finance funding, it proved to be a major disappointment for both the Green and Libertarian parties in Connecticut. According to Ballot Access News,
That decision said it is constitutional for a state to make it completely impossible for the nominee of a new party, or an independent candidate, to obtain any public funding at all, even if that new party nominee or independent candidate raises a large number of small private contributions. At the same time, the same law gives very big amounts of public funding to any nominee of a party that had polled 20% for Governor at the last election, if that nominee raises a large number of small private contributions.