Monday, May 10, 2021


Unbeholden to Party

Despite the last few remnants of a warm summer breeze, autumn in New England is here and, almost on cue, the cultural iconography we’ve come to expect—catchy political lawn signs and billboards—dot our Yankee landscape. Yet as the leaves begin to fall and some signs uprooted (or perhaps even stolen), our Nov. 3 choices dwindle as well, trapping us in an ever devolving loop of two-party thinking, a dualistic, tribal paradigm.

Yet with our withering sense of empowerment, we dutifully drag ourselves down to the polls to partake in the annual spectacle of American elections, New England-style. Or perhaps, we default to mail-in ballots, and thus give credence to pervasive theories of stolen ballots, lost mail, or tampered votes.

However, at least here in the General Assembly’s House District 35, we have three choices, all of whom are seemingly knowledgeable and committed to making our district better represented in Hartford, especially in the wake of State Representative Jesse MacLachlan’s alarming departure.

But my support goes to the Green Party’s nominee, John May. John’s grave concerns over Governor Ned Lamont’s increasing executive powers and John’s commitment to small businesses might traditionally align him with our most conservative friends and neighbors, yet John’s devout support for renewable energies and fair elections call attention to John’s progressive tendencies. Call him working-class, bridging the best of our two major parties while remaining unbeholden to party mandates and commands. To me and many others, John is a seemingly perfect fit for the independent streak that is District 35.

Whoever is fortunate to win this election, however, must pledge to propose immediate legislation for ranked-choice voting. It’s working in Maine and remains a highly popular ballot initiative in Massachusetts. Third-parties cannot continue to be seen solely as spoilers.

Eric Bergman

Clinton Green Party Co-chair Eric Bergman serves on the Town Council.