The difficulties of the two-party system are becoming so cumbersome as to make administrating the American state a quagmire. Even the illusion of a mandate or consensus is difficult to maintain when nearly every election is a 49-51 split; or the 'big tent' of the two-parties becomes so big as to include contradictory answers on how to govern within the same platform.
The most recent issue of Labor Notes contains an article about the 'Working Families Party' in Oregon, a 3rd party made up of local unions and community groups, and an overview of 'Fusion Voting'.
"Electoral fusion is an arrangement where two or more political parties on a ballot list the same candidate, pooling the votes for that candidate. Distinct from the process of electoral alliances in that the political parties remain separately listed on the ballot, the practice of electoral fusion in jurisdictions where it exists allows minor parties to influence election results and policy by offering to endorse or nominate a major party's candidate."
Could re-legalization and re-normalizing electoral fusion on a national scale reinvigorate electoral mystifications in the US?
So far the targets of electoral fusion have been on the working class (particularly the white working class, especially union members):
In December 2005, the South Carolina Labor Party announced that it would seek ballot status in South Carolina and run a candidate in the 2006 legislative elections. Labor Party News quotes Leonard Riley, President of the Charleston International Longshoremen's Association Local 1422 as saying, "Given the results of the past few elections, I think the workers of South Carolina would jump at the opportunity to consider a Labor Party which would guarantee an uncompromising voice for working people on their issues." Although South Carolina law permitted electoral fusion, the Labor Party pledged not to endorse candidates of any other party.
Party officials acknowledged that the choice of South Carolina may seem unusual. The state has the second lowest concentration of union workers in the United States. However, party officials said that the relatively high unemployment rate, the decline in the textile industry, and the indifference of the state Democratic and Republican parties to the interests of working people, African-Americans and women created a political space for the Labor Party. "