chapter  4
The Prohibition of Fusion
ByBernard Tamas
Pages 19

Chapter 4 investigates the argument that the prohibition of fusion, or the co-nomination of a single candidate by multiple parties, undermined third parties. This chapter demonstrates that these legal changes could not have caused the decline of third parties because fusion was never a widely used strategy except for two elections since the Civil War: 1872 and 1896. The chapter argues instead that fusion is mostly a co-optation strategy employed by the major parties when third parties are already strong. It does not strengthen third parties, and therefore its prohibition did not damage them.