Cooperation VS Conflict: The problem with our political system

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Adam1605, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. Adam1605
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    Adam1605 Rookie

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    When our founding fathers constructed our constitution they did so as a real body of politicians. They were far from a homogeneous body working towards the same ends in for our political system. The disagreements between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton throughout the founding of our country should be sufficient evidence of this.

    One thing they seemed to agree on was that 'factions' or political parties would be detrimental to a successful, effective, and prompt Democratic government. Yet either their lack of cooperation, even at the Constitutional Convention, or there lack of foresight kept them from developing a solution to this essential problem. The founding fathers themselves would fall victim to 'faction' and from that point on Political Parties were ingrained in our political system.

    I make this observation with out the intention of vilifying the framers of our Nation. It was through no fault of their own, but rather because of an essential flaw in our electoral system, that Parties developed.

    The problem with a two party system is that it is by nature a system of conflict. When one party is in power it is in the other parties interest to block every move their opponent tries to make. That way, in the next election, they can point to their opponent's ineffectiveness as a rationale for why they should be voted into office. The result is a government filled with bitter rivals who are more interesting in fighting each other than in serving the people. Because of this our government is increasingly ineffective, out of touch with the American people, and unpopular with it's constituents.

    Single Selection ballots and all or nothing Legislature elections are the root of the problem.

    Most Americans take it for granted that elections are a single choice between candidates. You cannot vote for Obama and McCain. There is an alternative. Instant Run Off voting is a process through which voters rank order their choice in candidates. When the ballots are totaled (if no candidate has a majority of 1st place votes) the candidate with the fewest 1st choice votes is eliminated in the first round. In the second round if no candidate has a majority of 2nd place votes, the candidate with the fewest 2nd place votes is eliminated. The process continues until a final candidate is selected. This candidate is not necessarily the candidate with the greatest number of 1st place votes, but he will always be the candidate most preferred by the country as a whole. This allows third party candidates a much better chance of winning. Our current system produces a candidate that (more often than not) 51% of the population adores and 49% abhors. Instant run off voting produces a candidate that more of the country is happy with.

    The second necessary change is proportional electoral rewards. If a Presidential candidate wins 51% of the vote in a state he should be awarded 51% of that states electoral votes, rather than all of them. For the house of representatives voting by district should be abandoned in favor of voting as a state and proportionally dispersing seats. If Democrats win 55% of the votes, Republicans win 35%, and a Third Party wins the remaining 10%... the democrats get 55% of the seats, republicans get 35%, and the Third Party gets 10% (or the closest approximation there of).

    The result would be a government in which smaller party candidates had a better chance in gaining office. Because of this government would be transformed from a system based on conflict to one based on cooperation.

    In a 3 or 4 party government no single Party can gather enough votes to pass legislation on its own. They must build a collation with one or more of the other parties to build sufficient political power. You then have a government in which the goal is working together and in which candidates for reelection are judged based on what they have accomplished instead of how little there opponent has.

    Does a government that is more active, more cooperative, and better able to change as the will of the people changes sound appealing?

    What do you think?
     
  2. Oddball
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    Oddball BANNED Supporting Member

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    When the "choice" is between death by firing squad or death by hanging, "choice" is a dead letter.

    The only option that isn't an option is to opt out.
     
  3. bucs90
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    bucs90 Gold Member

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    We can't have multiple parties. Only 2. Why? If there were 6, then when 1 was in power, the others would start forming alliances with the minority or majority. Eventually, the alliances would be stronger than the individual parties themselves, thus, eventually a 2 party system. Just like we have caucuses within each party, that would be the end result.

    But I love partisanship. It keeps the government from swinging too far right or too far left. When the government is cooperating, all that happens is the people get screwed, and there is a greater chance for government to obtain far too much power.

    Hence, I say screw the left!!!!
     
  4. Adam1605
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    Adam1605 Rookie

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    You're missing the point. First, it would not revert to a 2 party system. The 2 party system is a function of our institutions. If you change the make up of the system you change the products of it.

    Second, a 2 party system doesn't allow for adequate progress by either side because they are perpetually blocking each other. What you get is stagnation.
     
  5. Oddball
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    Oddball BANNED Supporting Member

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    Gimmie stagnation over the "progress" offered by the political class.
     
  6. Adam1605
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    Adam1605 Rookie

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    You know I think the rationale behind statements like that is the problem. Your derogatory reference to "progress" shows a very jaded and bias view of the world.

    I'm not referring to a Liberal progressive state. I just believe that the government should be able to change as the times change. That could be social policy, economic policy, or foreign policy.

    I don't think anyone is so naive as to believe a government can prosper or even survive without changing with the times.

    We need a government to pass laws that matter. In our current system when we are lucky enough to get anything passed at all it is usually a watered down version of a bill that fails to achieve it's goals. This is because legislatures need to make so many concessions to garner support that you lose key elements of a bill.
     
  7. cad
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    cad Active Member

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    "True, the rotation of power inevitably results in stops and starts and policy zigzags. Yet for all its inefficiency, it in the end creates a near miraculous social stability by setting down layers of legitimacy every time the opposition adopts some of its predecessor's reforms -- while at the same time allowing challenges to fundamental assumptions before they become fossilized.

    So, in the middle of the current food fight, as the plates and the tarts and the sharper cutlery fly, step back for a moment. Hail the untidiness. Hail democracy. Hail the rotation of power. Yes, even when Democrats gain office" Krauthammer

    Townhall - Charles Krauthammer - In Praise of the Rotation of Power - Page 2
     
  8. Oddball
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    Oddball BANNED Supporting Member

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    All gubmint can do is force people to do or not do this or that.

    Hate to break it to ya, but progress doesn't come from the barrel of a gun.
     
  9. Samson
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    Samson Póg Mo Thóin Supporting Member

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    Yeah, Dude's a damn jaded @#%$%%#$^.:doubt:

    Here, Dude, have a Coke:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. MaggieMae
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    MaggieMae Reality bits

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    Finally, somebody who actually 'gets it' -- Bravo.

    I'm also of the belief that the reason some of the clauses in The Constitution are so ambiguous, and the reason the USSC rules, is because the founders were well aware that time didn't stand still, that modernization must be considered, so many of the more important tenets were intentionally written in a broad sense, with the future in mind.
     

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