4 thoughts on “Political parties in Amherst”

  1. Good one Bob. You remind me that the Founders had little interest in parties, thought them a bad thing, until they had to run for office…

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  2. As you write, it can be better to have organized PACs – with their required transparency regarding supporters and donations – than not. I did find it interesting that this piece describes the platform for the Progressive Coalition of Amherst, but not the platform of Amherst Forward, writing instead that Amherst Forward “continues to play an organizing and information role for many voters and activists.” I think that an “organizing and information role” describes the work and goals of many PACs, including both Amherst Forward and the Progressive Coalition of Amherst locally. It is of course somewhat obvious, but worth noting as well that the information, data, and analysis that PACs share reflect their priorities and biases, so should be considered in that light. Non-partisan organizations are also important sources for information. I count the non-profit, education-focused arm of the League of Women Voters (LWV)among them and in Amherst, the League publishes voter guides and holds candidate nights to help inform voters. The LWV also has a branch that takes stances on political issues the League considers important.

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  3. Great explanation of the importance to town politics of organized groups with recognizable labels. Political parties and PACs appear to be offensive to some people but they are helpful in framing choices, holding elected officials accountable and mediating the growing complexity and diversity of Amherst. Thanks for writing this.

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