Archive for October, 2007

Minority Representation in Hartford

I feel the need to clarify something from Monday’s post. The headline of “Ned Lamont Endorses Democratic Challengers,” though technically accurate, did not account for the fact that one of the candidates endorsed by Lamont is running as a member of the Working Families party. Joe Dinkin’s comment succinctly explains the importance of the Working Families Party candidates in Hartford:

Just thought it was worth pointing out — Luis Cotto, candidate for Hartford City Council, is not running as a Democrat, but as the candidate of the Working Families Party.

[…]

The Dems can only win 6 of the 9 seats on the Council because of ‘minority representation.’ And we think that the three Working Families Party candidates – true community activists fighting for good jobs, good schools, affordable housing, and a clean and healthy environment) will represent Hartford from those other three seats much better than the Republicans would.

I did not know that Hartford had a measure in place to ensure that there would always be at least two party representation in city government, and I kind of like the idea. I’m really a bigger fan of a proportional representation system, but only if it were to be implemented from top to bottom, which will never happen.

But in Hartford, the six seats reserved for the majority will be held by Democrats, leaving the three minority seats up for grabs by all other parties. I happen to agree with Dinkin that the best case scenario in this situation is for the minority representation seats to be held Working Families Party candidates.

Though I’m a partisan Democrat, I like the idea of having the WFP holding some power in Hartford to help bring the Democrats closer in line with progressive values, and given the choice I think its better for Democrats to be in a situation where they must compromise with the WFP rather than the GOP.