Thanks, Martha Abbott!

I think we should take a moment to commend  Martha Abbott for taking one for the team; the “team” being Vermont’s best interests. Today’s Free Press carried a gracious “My Turn” by the withdrawn Progressive candidate for Governor, including the following comments:

I will decline the Progressive nomination for governor, a nomination I sought in order to ensure that the Progressive Party would not have a candidate in that race this year.  Someday there will be a voting system that will give Vermonters a real choice between more than two candidates in the general election.  But we are not there yet.  We have a lot of work to do together.

As an unaffiliated, small “p” progressive, do I hear an “Amen” from anyone in the choir?

About Sue Prent

Artist/Writer/Activist living in St. Albans, Vermont with my husband since 1983. I was born in Chicago; moved to Montreal in 1969; lived there and in Berlin, W. Germany until we finally settled in St. Albans.

24 thoughts on “Thanks, Martha Abbott!

  1. if Abbott didn’t want to really run for governor, she shouldn’t have put herself up there just to be an obstructionist. She knew she wasn’t going to really be running from the get go.

    Instead of pushing progressives (small ‘p’) to become “better Democrats”, she should be pushing the Democratic Party towards finally delivering on IRV.

    As a (temporarily) capital ‘P’ and small ‘p’ progressive I’m disappointed.

  2. I appreciate that the Progs won’t have a candidate in the race for Gov, and thank Martha Abbott for her action.

    However, isn’t the Prog-Dem split in Vermont getting a little old? And aren’t the grandfathers of the split both Senators right now? Why can’t Sen Leahy and Sen Sanders get together and issue a call for a merger of the Progs and Dems, and in fact broker a deal for both State Committees to sign off on?

    Face it, the real reason the Prog’s exist is not out of some principled stand on policy differences, but because the Dems in Vermont in the 1960s, when Burlington began to be infiltrated by hippiedom, were really the Rockefeller wing of the VT Republican party, which totally controlled the state.

    I mean, read our election laws. They are so much about how parties operate because the legislatures that wrote them were 95% GOP trying to put in place rules that would prevent hegemony through cronyism. They weren’t to strengthen a two party system in the state: they are designed to prevent a clique from dominating a party using smokeroom deals.

    Party rules that sought to strengthen a two or multiparty system would (a) require party identification at registration (b) conduct closed primaries (c) give nominating power to the state committees with primaries only if alternate candidates could produce signatures.

    Anyway, back to why Progs even exist. When Bernie moved to Burlington, there was no room for a Bernie in a Phil Hoff Democratic party. It’s not that he was a lefty Dem, it was that the Dem party in Vermont was basically a conservative Dem party because they were liberal refugees from a GOP that had nominated Nixon to run against Kennedy.

    When the longhairs showed up in town, the political game was GOP vs liberal-GOP-calling-itself-Dems: no wonder the Progs got started!

    In the rest of the state, this wasn’t the case. Progressives everywhere else are Dem activists and don’t quite understand why Progs exist in Vermont.

    Anyway, seeing this recount fiasco unfold I am reminded again that party organizations aren’t taken seriously by any of the candidates of any parties. The few of us, Dems and Progs, who actually give a damn about the parties themselves should not be diluting our impact by dividing our loyalties between D and P.

    Just my $0.02. I may be wrong.

    F. X. Flinn

    Quechee

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