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Nonpartisanism is a lack of affiliation with, and a lack of bias toward, a political party.[1]

While an Oxford English Dictionary definition of partisan includes adherents of a party, cause, person, etc.,[2] in most cases, nonpartisan refers specifically to political party connections rather than being the strict antonym of "partisan".[3][4][5]

Historian Sean Wilentz argues that from the days of George Washington's farewell address, to Senator Barack Obama's speech at the Democratic national convention in 2004, politicians have called upon Americans to move beyond parties. Wilentz calls this the post-partisan style, and argues that "the antiparty current is by definition antidemocratic, as political parties have been the only reliable electoral vehicles for advancing the ideas and interests of ordinary voters".[2] in most cases, nonpartisan refers specifically to political party connections rather than being the strict antonym of "partisan".[3][4][5]

In Canada, the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories and the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut are the only bodies at the provincial/territorial level that are currently nonpartisan; they operate on a consensus government system. The autonomous Nunatsiavut Assembly operates similarly on a sub-provincial level.

India

In India, the Jaago Re! One Billion Votes campaign was a non-partisan campaign initiated by Tata Tea, and Janaagraha to encourage citizens to vote in the 2009 Indian general election.[citation needed] The campaign was a non-partisan campaign initiated by Anal Saha.

Philippines

In the Philippines, barangay elections (elections for positions in the barangay or village) are nonpartisan. The certificates of candidacies, which the candidates sign under oath, say that they are not a member of any political party.[6] The nonpartisanism of barangay elections have been challenged lately, though, as some candidates are members of political parties.[7]

In India, the Jaago Re! One Billion Votes campaign was a non-partisan campaign initiated by Tata Tea, and Janaagraha to encourage citizens to vote in the 2009 Indian general election.[citation needed] The campaign was a non-partisan campaign initiated by Anal Saha.

Philippines

In the history of Milwaukee, the "Nonpartisans" were an unofficial but widely recognized coalition of Republicans and Democrats who cooperated in an effort to keep Milwaukee's Sewer Socialists out of as many offices as possible, including in elections which were officially non-partisan, but in which Socialists and "Nonpartisans" were clearly identified in the press.[17] (Such candidates were sometimes called "fusion" candidates.[18]) This lasted from the 1910s[19] well into the 1940s. (The similar effort in 1888 to prevent Herman Kroeger's election as a Union Labor candidate had been conducted under the banner of a temporary "Citizen's Party" label.[20]) During the period of Socialist-Progressive cooperation (1935-1941), the two sides were called "Progressives" and "Nonpartisans".[21]

See also