Declarations of Independence

Regular readers here at Poli-Tea are certainly familiar with Derek Viger of The Maine View, perhaps from our first discussion of the possibilities for a moderate centrist party, or his recent guest post on the Maine 2010 gubernatorial election, in which he profiled Independent candidate Alex Hammer. Derek has now joined up with the Hammer campaign. In the announcement, he writes:

Today Independent candidate for Governor Alex Hammer has asked me if I would serve as the Internet Director for his campaign. After careful consideration I accepted. I am honored to contribute to Alex Hammer’s campaign. With so many candidates already in the running, I have accepted Mr. Hammer’s offer because I believe he will deliver something the other candidates will not. Alex Hammer brings knowledge of business and technology to the 2010 gubernatorial campaign that I am proud to represent. Mr. Hammer has the know-how, ambition, and leadership to move Maine out of these economic doldrums and into 21st century prosperity. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments on our various internet endeavors, or if you would like to volunteer your talents to Mr. Hammer’s campaign.

It is a virtual truism of contemporary politics that perception is reality. The first phenomenological hurdle that must be overcome by any third party or independent campaign in our duopolized political system, is the perception that such campaigns do not represent a viable alternative to the preferred candidates of the duopoly parties. However, though cynical partisans and duopolist ideologues are often quick to argue that third party and independent campaigns are doomed to failure, or result only in spoiled elections, the recent history of the governorship in Maine proves them wrong. Two of the last five governors in the Pine Tree State have been Independents: Angus King and James Longley. This fact, of itself, changes the political calculus of the current race, such that what would otherwise appear "impossible" according to the usual rules of duopoly ideology becomes a distinct possibility. Beyond the advantages that would be afforded to the people of the state, a successful Independent campaign for the governorship of Maine in 2010 would furthermore confound the readers of entrails and tea leaves in the national political press, looking for bellwethers of the 2012 elections. I'll certainly be following this one closely here at Poli-Tea. And congrats to Derek! I'm looking forward to seeing where he takes The Maine View and the Hammer campaign.

Update: It appears Derek will no longer be directing Alex Hammer's internet campaign "due to an irresolvable conflict of interest."


Mike said...

Yes, I agree -- a third party is possible and viable -- and independents could start winning more elections. The naysayers are most likely worried.

d.eris said...

They seem always to be worried, it is one of their primary motivating factors.

derek said...

In Maine they are very worried. The cynics say an independent will never get elected. They even are trying to block legislation here in Maine to make it easier for people to vote their conscience.

Alex can win this election in Maine, as other independents have in the past. We need support from everywhere possible.

I thank you D for your continuing support. I am proud that there are people out there who still fight for what's best for citizen's rights with every tool they have!