Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Thoughts on Fusion/IRV and 3rd party candidates

Well I finally have some time to write and I have had some thoughts bouncing around my head for a while about 6th CD here in MN.

Now I put a lot of time into the race trying to help El get elected.  It wasn’t easy especially as I was in a cast for the end of the race (that is a story for a different time).  I neglected real life somewhat and am still really far behind schedules.  However, this race went awry due to the Anderson effect.

If you aren’t from the midwest you probably have no clue what I am talking about.  We midwesterners are funny folk in that we like names that are familiar like Anderson, Carlson, Johnson, Olson.  These names due better in elections than less scandinavian sounding names.  (Do minnesotan’s think that names that sound upstanding like an Anderson will lead to upstanding government).

You might try to tell me the Anderson effect is imaginary, or that it is confined to this race as El wasn’t the most savory of guys (he was a lobbyist prior to this election).  However IP candidate last year only got 7.6% of the vote compared to Anderson’s 10.04%.  Also the former state auditor campaigned not as her married name Pat Awada but as Pat Anderson-Awada.  Also in 1998 a surprise victory in the AG race went to a republican named (you guessed it) Anderson.  This isn’t a phenomenon just on state level races.  A few years ago a person named Carlson did fairly well in a Minneapolis school board race where she had stopped running 3 weeks after the filing deadline.  She didn’t win, but she did beat out several actively running candidates (including the  republican endorsed candidate).  Given that Tinklenberg is not a name like Anderson (the same goes for Bachmann) the result isn’t unbelievable.  The fact that Anderson did so well despite not really doing much of any campaigning (he raised $200 total for the campaign) shows that there was something beyond party appeal here.

Given the fact that the third party in MN consistently tilts races towards the republicans what can be done.  The first solution is fusion voting (similar to in New York).  This allows for cross-endorsing and would have improved the odds for El to win (as he would have been on the IP line as well).  This would allow for a greater distribution of opinions as there would likely be a left wing party that would cross endorse on state and federal races and would run against the democrat-farmer-labor (moderate left) party in progressive strongholds like the 5th CD.  Likewise centrist parties like the IP would become more powerful as their endorsement would be worth something.  The negative is that the right wing would grow more powerful as well as they could push themselves even farther right.

The second solution is Instant Runnoff voting.  This is coming to the city of Minneapolis in 2009.  You can look up more about it yourself.

The final solution to this is to hope that the DFL can redistrict the hell out of our state in 2010 (they are 3 house races away from being able to push through what ever they want if they can act as a unifed party.

I am too lazy to add many links but here is a key one:

anderson effect



  1. spacemanspiff

    I remember Todd Beeton getting on you about the links (back in the day).

    I hope you get free time soon because these diaries are missed.

    Haven’t seen you crank out an epic old school Student Guy diary yet, but I’ve got my fingers crossed.

    This does come very close though.

    Great read and I don’t even know who you are talking about. ; )


    Those that don’t remember (or never read him).

    Student Guy was THE blogger over at MyDD. Back when the place was jumping and diaries got hundreds of comments. No small feat.

    One of the main reasons I started commenting after lurking for years was cuz of SG.

    I’m sure others will agree with me on that one.

    Do you have the different types of trolls diary anywhere?

    Post that as a Lounge diary here if you do.

    People need to read that.

    Hope to see you around more!

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