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Fundamental Party Reform...

flacaltenn

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The two party system lacks stability, principle, and accountibility. While the entire country is mired in debate about "party politics", no one seems happy with the quality, character and actions of our elected officials. We lament about how they are arrogant and unresponsive to our issues.

The underlying reason for this is that 2 choices is NOT enough. We currently have a clear example of why that is a primary failure of the system. Certainly Barack Obama is not going to face a serious Democratic contender. The only choice for the party faithful is to vote a message that "we love you -- and we want we to continue". The Dem party knows that the faithful are choiceless. They EXPLOIT the lack of political choice by "triangulation" or "running to the middle" when convienient. Thats why LYING is so acceptable in politics.

Beside the limited message that can be sent to an incumbent, you have the spectacle of "safe seats".. Seats that have been so gerrymandered, that there is virtually no chance for the opposing party to prevail. Last time I checked (back in about 2004) about 20% of House seats went up for election LITERALLY UNCONTESTED. And in about another 20%, those seats were contested, but with NO HELP from the opposition Party. This leaves the minority party in that district -- who may represent as much as 45% of the voters completely disenfranchised.

A third failure of the 2 party monopoly is the inability to represent the full universe of issues that voters are concerned about. From an engineering point of view, 2 parties represent a left-right line of philosophy in which ANY candidate can find shelter during an election by running to the center of that line. It gives us a government that fails to acheive philosophical goals even WHEN one party has complete control of the Fed govt. Throw in a couple principled "extreme" parties, and suddenly candidates can't count on those votes whilst they pretend to be something that they are not during an elecction cycle.

By "extreme" I mean --- Why SHOULDN'T there be more declared Socialists like Bernie Sanders? He's a HIGHLY respected member of the Dem party. Why SHOULDN'T there be more Libertarians like Ron Paul? Why not Greens, Constitutionalists, and squishy-washy Independents? Don't let these 2 party clowns play your vote. Don't let them take it for granted. And stop REWARDING the incompetent incumbents simply because they are on the RIGHT team (or the LEFT team).

To get there -- we simply need to release the monopoly grip on ballot access. It takes several million dollars to get on 50 state ballots for a "start-up" party. Lots of lawyers, court time, salaries for petitioners involved. And getting a candidate on the state ballot doesn't neccessarily mean that the PARTY name will also appear. The Dem/Reps have erected a huge barrier to ballot access. Let's tear it down.
 
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whitehall

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Look on the ballot flack. 3rd parties are all over the place as they have been for the last hundred years.
 

Wiseacre

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Great, I get to choose from 3 or 4 or 5 assholes instead of only 2. There are countries in the world that have a dozen or more political parties, it don't help.

You want solutions, I got 2 for you:

1. Campaign finance changes, nobody gets more than $500 in donations and it has to funnel through an independent private company first to track where it came from.

2. American voters are going to have to start paying attention and holding their elected reps accountable. So far, we ain't doing it.
 

Unkotare

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We are NOT a parliamentary system. There are loads of parties in the US, but it will always settle into a basic liberal/conservative contrast with two major parties representing a wide range of views. People like to shout "third party! third party!" but they don't think about what they are saying.
 

Unkotare

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Great, I get to choose from 3 or 4 or 5 assholes instead of only 2. There are countries in the world that have a dozen or more political parties, it don't help.

You want solutions, I got 2 for you:

1. Campaign finance changes, nobody gets more than $500 in donations and it has to funnel through an independent private company first to track where it came from.

2. American voters are going to have to start paying attention and holding their elected reps accountable. So far, we ain't doing it.


#1 there is really no such thing as "an independent private company," and you can't overturn the 1st Amendment so easily.

#2 Good point
 
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flacaltenn

flacaltenn

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Great, I get to choose from 3 or 4 or 5 assholes instead of only 2. There are countries in the world that have a dozen or more political parties, it don't help.

You want solutions, I got 2 for you:

1. Campaign finance changes, nobody gets more than $500 in donations and it has to funnel through an independent private company first to track where it came from.

2. American voters are going to have to start paying attention and holding their elected reps accountable. So far, we ain't doing it.

I think it does help in other countries. Often coalitions have to be formed to satisfy majority requirements. Socialists get to hold Labor accountable when they lose their principles. 2 parties on the right work the same way.

I also think that ISSUES would be debated in more detail. Because neither of our 2 parties want's to directly address tax reform or Soc Sec fixes. But a principled 3rd party beating on the issue could have the same effect as the "Tea Party" (which isn't a party but a mere caucus) has had on fiscal issues..

I like your 1st suggestion -- but the 2nd one ain't gonna help Democrats in 2012 who want a change or a Republican in a heavy blue district who doesn't have a candidate because the Party wrote them off and spent campaign cash elsewhere where they could win..
 
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flacaltenn

flacaltenn

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Look on the ballot flack. 3rd parties are all over the place as they have been for the last hundred years.

For Federal elections, you have to either run as Independent or mount an expensive ballot access initiative. You generally WILL see a Libertarian on all 50 state ballots, because that party is proud of constantly jumping thru the hoops to get there. Independents can run without ballot access, but it does not build a party character and identity and these guys can be mother-rapers or circus clowns and just show up on the ballot. Doesn't provide a consistent context for the voters to identify with.

But other than those 2 -- FEDERAL elections are carefully cordoned off by present ballot rules. You will find a Socialist on maybe 4 state ballots, and an occasional Constitution or Green candidate on 6 or 8 state ballots, but those efforts are largely symbolic.
 
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flacaltenn

flacaltenn

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Republicans vs the Tea Party

The ideal two party system.


:clap2:

Or Dennis Kucinich in the "Peace Party" versus the Dems? Why the heck not? Is there a real difference in FOREIGN policy right now between the 2 choices that we got? Absoeffinlutely not.. What if the Dems HAD to be responsive to their folks that have been beefing about Iraq for about 20 years now???
 
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flacaltenn

flacaltenn

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Wouldnt work, those "two parties" would only represent 15 to 19% of StateSide voters.

:eusa_angel:

They don't NEED to win.. They only need to hold voters that have principles from being absorbed by parties that have no principles. That way -- if the Dem/Rep want to win -- they're gonna have to COMPETE for your principled vote.. Or risk losing to the other "bad choice".

In a hot 3 or 4 way race -- there's always a chance to get another Bernie Sanders or Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich..
 

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