Why Can’t Progs and Dems Just Get Along? | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Why Can’t Progs and Dems Just Get Along?


Published November 19, 2008 at 4:33 p.m.

In the most recent election Democrats and Progressives slugged it out (at least electorally) in several House races throughout the state — with one particularly charged race in the Queen City.

These races opened up some old wounds, and as a result many Vermont voters, post-election, still want to know whether the parties can work together, or if they'll remain stuck in a time-warp circa 1981.

Here are a few questions I've heard since the election:

  • Should the two parties merge?
  • Should the two parties create a joint primary system, perhaps utilizing IRV?
  • When they do compete, can they do so civilly?
  • Has the Democratic Party become a more comfortable home for progressives?
  • Has the Progressive Party run its course?
  • Should Progressives run in Democratic primaries (or vice versa)?

In the interest of promoting a dialogue about these issues, Seven Days is hosting a public forum. I'll be moderating a conversation with two Democrats and two Progressives on Dec. 4th at 7 p.m. in the Main Street Landing Film House in Burlington.

As of now, our four panelists will be:

  • Rep. Johanna Leddy Donovan, D-Burlington
  • Jane Knodell, City Councilor, P-Ward 2
  • Jake Perkinson, Chairman, Burlington City Democrats
  • Rep. David Zuckerman, P-Burlington

There is plenty of seating at the FIlm House (see the photo), so bring a friend and your questions (no rotting fruit or veggies please). The first part of the forum will feature questions I put to the panelists, and the rest of the questions will come from you, the audience.

Feel free to email me questions in advance as I would be happy to ask yours if you can't make it. You should also feel free to leave them in the comments section of this post.

As with the event, I'm looking for spirited, but civil, debate and discussion.

We're also hoping that Channel 17 will be onhand to film the event, and possibly broadcast it live on Burlington Telecom.