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Decrypt
11-07-2006, 01:58 PM
NOTE: This is not a "let's bash America" thread. It's not a "You goddamn yanks are the cause of all of the world's problems" thread. It's about the pros/cons of a two-party system, and my views on what could be a very powerful and appealing third party. If you want to whine about how America ruined your life and is the Great Satan, please do it in another thread.

During the last few weeks, I've been bothered more and more by the lack of quaility candidates running for office. Today, at the polls, it made me sick. I looked over the ballot and realized that in the 5 or 6 real races (ones like the clerk of courts running unopposed don't count), I could only endorse one candidate, and even then only mildly. There were a few incumbents worth voting against, but in most of those cases, the guy running against him was just as bad; sometimes they're worse.

If it wasn't for a constitutional amendment on the ballot, I may not have bothered voting at all - the mostly OK candidate is never going to be ousted from office anyway; I don't think I saw a single ad for his opponent - and Wisconsin TV is nothing but political ads running up to an election. The elections around here have been particularily nasty this time around. Most ads don't even tell you what "their guy" is for, just how awful the other guy is. I probably say this every election, but I think this has been the dirtiest election cycle I can remember.

As I see it, there are two main themes to political issues: fiscal and social. I find that many people are fiscally conservative, yet socially liberal. These people, including myself, are forced to choose which of those two are more important in a given race. There are many parties that claim to fit this description, but two main problems inhibit their rise to power.

First, minor political parties have a bad habit of infighting. Divisions over one issue can lead to the party splitting up or stalling as the party leaders fight for power. See the Reform Party for just how bad it can get.

Second, they also tend to be a bit extreme. Take the libertarians, for example. Being fiscally responsible is one thing, abolishing all labor laws is quite another. Personal freedoms are great, but I think most people have a hard time voting for someone who's party endorses legalization of all controlled substances.

What America needs is a viable third-party that is:
a) Fiscally responsible (smaller, more efficient government)
b) Socially liberal (smaller, less intrusive government, more personal freedoms)
c) Mid-to-centrist on both a) and b)
d) Not run by nut-jobs

If a party like this got on it's feet, I think we'd see moderates from both sides run to it, and America would be better off with a third voice in the debate.* It would build momentum if the party members could work together in spite of minor differences, and put together a platform that those of us who are sick of choosing between the lesser of two evils can really get behind and get excited about. Political apathy is rampant; I believe part of that is caused by years and years of inept/corrupt candidates, many of whom are chosen by commitee.


Would you like to see a similar party, or do you prefer the two parties we have now? How about a third party with a completely different platform?


* Debate in the theoretical sense, most of them suck at it. Have you ever watched C-SPAN when they're filming Congress? Most of these people can hardly argue themselves out of a paper bag, yet we're paying them to debate potential laws and policies that will govern our lives.

Kennedy
11-07-2006, 02:11 PM
d) Not run by nut-jobs
Webster: Politician (defn): nut-jobs/lawyers that cannot do anything else.

I disagree with you, however, about not Governing our *freedoms*/morals. If no one steps up to the plate to try to guide us in the right direction, we possibly could end up with total anarchy. Most people, IMO, cannot govern themselves in a logical manner. Today, it seems, the moral fiber of the US has fallen to pieces. If we don't have rather strict policies/laws holding most people in line, then we will see more and more unethical behavior. I do not, however, think that 99.9999...% of our politicians are capable of guiding us when they themselves cannot even control their own behavior. Think about one former President who said "Yes, I smoked pot, but never inhaled". What type of example is that for the rest of the nation?

divineleft
11-07-2006, 02:19 PM
It would be great, but the only reason there are two parties is because our government is a corporation, not a democracy. Technically, yes, it is a democracy, but it's one within a corporation. It's run by those who have money and they only pass on power to other elites.

Our government will do nothing about it because they are in the loop. They like things the way they are. The only way to fix it is to spread the word among the people and try to bring awareness to how this country is becoming less of a democracy.

edit:

Webster: Politician (defn): nut-jobs/lawyers that cannot do anything else.

I disagree with you, however, about not Governing our *freedoms*/morals. If no one steps up to the plate to try to guide us in the right direction, we possibly could end up with total anarchy. Most people, IMO, cannot govern themselves in a logical manner. Today, it seems, the moral fiber of the US has fallen to pieces. If we don't have rather strict policies/laws holding most people in line, then we will see more and more unethical behavior. I do not, however, think that 99.9999...% of our politicians are capable of guiding us when they themselves cannot even control their own behavior. Think about one former President who said "Yes, I smoked pot, but never inhaled". What type of example is that for the rest of the nation?
If it's not done now, then when? We're only digging a deeper hole.

The "right direction" is totally subjective.

BobMcGee123
11-07-2006, 02:39 PM
If we don't have rather strict policies/laws holding most people in line, then we will see more and more unethical behavior


Wow. Do you realize that the definition of what is morally 'right' and 'wrong' is often completely arbitrary? I'd really love to find out what your political standings are on things such as abortion, affirmative action, homosexual marriage, workers rights and labor laws, etc.

Your remark about clinton smoking pot only works if you believe that smoking pot is wrong, not just illegal but morally wrong.

Salem
11-07-2006, 02:39 PM
Politics is the conjunction of two words
poly - meaning many.
ticks - meaning blood sucking parasites.

:D

In feudalism, it's your count that votes.

Decrypt
11-07-2006, 02:42 PM
Kennedy: I don't go so far as the Libertarians in that the government should have no say in the personal liberties of the populace. I do think that in many social issues, the government should stay out. What goes on inside the home (barring personal injury, etc.) is none of the government's (or your neighbor's) business.

Take the constitutional amendment on the ballot in Wisconsin today:

"Marriage. Shall section 13 of article XIII of the constitution be created to provide that only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state and that a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state?"

Though it was hyped as the "gay marriage ban," it also affects substantially similar arrangments made by unmarried individuals - straight or otherwise. This may make it more difficult for couples who do not wish to be legally married, but would like the same treatment as far as asset allocation, pensions, etc go. If the amendment passes, and I think it will, people that are unmarried will be given, as far as the state is concerned, the same considerations as two strangers. Why the distinction? Two people committed to each other for life in their heads and hearts are committed in that way whether or not they told the state about it.

That, in my mind, is the kind of thing that the government needs to stay out of. The deregulation of "personal liberties" can go too far, and some regulation is needed to maintain order. Where the line is, I don't know...


The "right direction" is totally subjective.Absolutely.


if you believe that smoking pot is wrong, not just illegal but morally wrongGreat point. I think the "line" is somewhere in that sentence.

Salem: Poly-ticks, that's awesome. I can't wait to tell my dad that.

maxorator
11-07-2006, 02:47 PM
You could always say "They are doing it all wrong!", but could you do better?

divineleft
11-07-2006, 03:02 PM
You could always say "They are doing it all wrong!", but could you do better?
Me? Better than them? Of course not. At least not alone. But, almost any group of intelligent people with a motive to better our country, rather than expand power as much as possible, could do it better.

maxorator
11-07-2006, 03:08 PM
Where would you get intelligent people?

Usually intelligent people don't want to mess with politics (there are some exceptions).

Kennedy
11-07-2006, 03:10 PM
The "right direction" is totally subjective.
The "right direction" is clearly visible AFTER the fall of a nation. Rome, for example, didn't take the "right direction", however, general consensus of the day was that they were. Objectively speaking, history notes that any nation that begins to loose it's moral integrity will collapse. This is a biblical principle too, but maybe I should not say this. -- and yes, I, being from the south, have deep religious roots.

As far as having the law to observe only marriages between 1 man and 1 woman, this will cut out a whole bunch of tax dodging. IF two people "want to spend the rest of their lives together" but don't want to get married. . . this is not logical. Why would a couple, whose intentions are to live their lives together, not marry? The typical excuse is "I don't want to marry becase I don't want to get a divorce". That is on the level of "I don't want to look for a job because I have a fear of rejection". Again -- NOT LOGICAL.

divineleft
11-07-2006, 03:17 PM
The "right direction" is clearly visible AFTER the fall of a nation. Rome, for example, didn't take the "right direction", however, general consensus of the day was that they were. Objectively speaking, history notes that any nation that begins to loose it's moral integrity will collapse. This is a biblical principle too, but maybe I should not say this. -- and yes, I, being from the south, have deep religious roots.
The right direction is obviously the one that will lead us away from complete deterioration. That's a given (unless you like anarchy). I'm talking about the direction of our country (the righter direction if you will), not the path that will lead us away from anarchy.


As far as having the law to observe only marriages between 1 man and 1 woman, this will cut out a whole bunch of tax dodging. IF two people "want to spend the rest of their lives together" but don't want to get married. . . this is not logical. Why would a couple, whose intentions are to live their lives together, not marry? The typical excuse is "I don't want to marry becase I don't want to get a divorce". That is on the level of "I don't want to look for a job because I have a fear of rejection". Again -- NOT LOGICAL.
I'm not even going to address this.

divineleft
11-07-2006, 03:24 PM
Where would you get intelligent people?
What?


Usually intelligent people don't want to mess with politics (there are some exceptions).So you're saying that every leader, government official, president, activist, prime minister, ect. was for the most part stupid? I'm not sure I understand this generalization.

Kennedy
11-07-2006, 03:41 PM
>I'd really love to find out what your political standings are on things such as abortion
Against.

>affirmative action
Against.

>homosexual marriage
Against.

>workers rights
For.

>labor laws
For.

divineleft
11-07-2006, 03:45 PM
I honestly couldn't care less. What do your views have to do with the political parties of the us?

Mario F.
11-07-2006, 03:45 PM
Two-party system have their advantages. I'm not shocked at the prospect. After all, even traditional multi-party Europe is moving to a two-party system. If not on the ballots, definitely on the polls.

What shocks me is that we replaced one power for another. In a way, there's not much of a difference between a 13th century society and a 21st century one. We just replaced one power for another. Monarchy for democracy, and in the background really rulling the country, the economic power when before there was the church.

Anyways, on the particular case of US, I don't think its in the best interest of either Democrats or Republicans to have a third party comfortably install themselves in their midst. Any third solution to their bipolar view of America has to be unviable, weak and not representative. Political parties are protective by nature and definition. No matter the usual "democratic" speech.

Another problem is that even the most moderate (or cautious if you like) thinker of us are usually bipolar in our views of what is right or wrong. Everything in fact is usually presented in the form of Aye or Nay. Democracy has a very hard time dealing with "yes but", "no but", and third solutions. How many referendums about important and key matters pertaining to society do you see being presented to the population as something more than simply "For" and "Against".

Isn't it possible to agree with some reservations? To not agree with something and yet see the merits of some points? Certainly! If anything, I think future, hopefully more advanced, societies will look at us with the same romantic smile we now reserve to primitive societies of the dark ages.

Anyways, a third party doesn't fit in this world on two colors sponsored by Sony. And even if it somehow makes its way, it will too fail to come to terms with its ideology, adopting extremist positions here and there simply to find himself a nice comfy spot on the polls. After all it can't be too equal to any of the major parties. It will be consumed by them otherwise because it threatens to take a part of their votes.

Sentral
11-07-2006, 03:56 PM
I hate government! I want Anarchy. Sadly, that will never happen :( It would be fun for a while, don't you think?

Decrypt
11-07-2006, 04:18 PM
Why would a couple, whose intentions are to live their lives together, not marry?In the case of heterosexuals, there are many reasons. In many cases, taxes are higher for married people than if they are single and file separately. In others, they don't feel the need for a formal social rite proclaiming their decision. In the end, what business is it of yours, mine, or the state's why they don't?
In the case of homosexuals, because they're not allowed to. Why shouldn't they be allowed to suffer like the rest of us? :p

What Mario says about the power of economics is an excellent and interesting point, but economics are at least influenced by the populace, whereas the church was more authoritative. If you're conscious of where you spend your money, you can (very slightly) influence the economic landscape.

As far as being good for the Democrats or Republicans, I think it's safe to say that neither wants a third party. Part of the problem with both parties is that they're too concerned with gaining and keeping power. That's important when you want to accomplish things, as it's hard to push your agenda when you're in the minority in a two-party system. However, a third, centrist party can bridge the gap. Even without a majority, a party that bridges the gap between the other two becomes powerful in it's ability to swing votes one way or another.

Take today's Congress for example. The Republicans control Congress with a healthy majority. A conservative agenda has been pushed in Congress ever since they held both the White House and Congress. Much ado was made over Bush finally using his first veto in 6 years, and that's a testament to the fact that the Democrats were in such a minority as to be unable to pass most (all?) legislation adherent to their platform! With a centrist party also in the mix, some votes may have been changed, and both parties would have to come to the middle more often with their bills. Instead of waiting for a stranglehold on power in order to advance their agenda, both parties could continually accomplish some goals by cooperating with the third party.

The fact that both the Republican and Democratic parties would oppose a third party so vehemently is just more reason we need it. Both parties, IMO, would rather go through this power cycle, wasting time and money, than work with an outside group and have to make a few concessions. They both want absolute control over the government, and we all know how that saying goes.


Anarchy...would be fun for a while, don't you think?No.

twomers
11-07-2006, 04:23 PM
Ha, my posts of late seem to be rather patriotic:

In Ireland it's a multi party system, but one could, to a good engineering approximation :), class them as a two party system because of the ways in which they handle power. There is one large party who if they get a large enough ratio of votes could 'lead' the nation alone, and there are another group (group of political parties, no other party really comes near their numbers), who if they get enough seats could share power between them. I think it's been like that for pretty much all of Irish political history, but I wouldn't trust my history knowledge much. Also, the big party sometimes share power with a very small party to get the majority when the runnings are close. I wouldn't be surprised if this kinda thing happened all over the world to be honest ... not sure how great a system it is, but ... I guess it works ... sometimes.

BobMcGee123
11-07-2006, 04:30 PM
and yes, I, being from the south, have deep religious roots.


What a surprise. You know, I think the "right direction," in a historical context, for any government has been to ensure that religion does not make its way into public legislature.



Why would a couple, whose intentions are to live their lives together, not marry?

What if they are of the same sex? What if you want to marry more than one person? Who is to say what is "right" and "wrong" with respect to these questions? Not everybody takes the christian bible seriously or accepts jesus as their savior into their hearts.



I'd really love to find out what your political standings are on things such as abortion
...

So basically what you have been saying is that the "right" direction we need to be moved in, as a nation, is the same right-wing ultra conservative agenda that we've already got in congress right now?

You are so caught up with thinking that your own personal views are 'correct' that you are an unobjective righteous silly person. In My Humble Opinion.


My only defense of the two party system is that, well, it makes it easier to get things done. When you start splitting up a congress or parliament into many parties/factions it makes it that much harder to capture a majority. The largest party isn't necessarily the majority of the vote! The cost is that it is less representative (less democratic).



Instead of waiting for a stranglehold on power in order to advance their agenda, both parties could continually accomplish some goals by cooperating with the third party.

This is actually kind of what I was talking about in favor of the two party system: it becomes a controlled dictatorship for a while. One party gets to pass what it wants, the country tries it out, then the country can choose to keep it or toss it. Throwing more parties into the mix, while technically being more 'fair,' also hinders actually getting stuff done.

Govtcheez
11-07-2006, 05:27 PM
> Why would a couple, whose intentions are to live their lives together, not marry?

No one seems to be asking the more obvious question here, which is "Why the hell is it any of your business?" (edit: Except that Decrypt did - sorry about that)

edit: You think the only reason someone wouldn't get married is because of fear of divorce? You're delusional.

twomers
11-07-2006, 05:47 PM
>> No one seems to be asking the more obvious question here, which is "Why the hell is it any of your business?"

>> In the end, what business is it of yours, mine, or the state's why they don't [Get married]?

You're dead right, Gov.

I think marriage is a public statement of someone's commitment (and all that jazz), to somebody else ... Tax reasons may not make it ... profitable, but fear of disappointment or separation I think is the greater reason why many couples don't venture. And of course that whole commitment thing can be scary :) I'm no where near consideration of the 'm' word (it's scary to put yourself and that word in the same sentence), so this is just speculation. I guess some older more experienced member would have a more insightful interpolation.

manutd
11-07-2006, 06:03 PM
For me at least, living together all your lives and not marrying is rather...anticlimactic.

Govtcheez
11-07-2006, 06:29 PM
Oh, well in THAT case

VirtualAce
11-08-2006, 12:04 AM
The best way to solve the marriage dilemma is to let them do it. 80% of the hetero's want nothing to do with marriage and 60% of the homo's (sorry but that's the correct scientific term) want it.

Give it to them and then you will solve the problem. :D

I think the real reason behind it has nothing to do with morals and more to do with the fact that our current court system is already flooded with family law cases and allowing this would just bring in thousands and thousands more.

But I'm in favor of a thirdy party. The Republicans have nothing to do with the common average everyday U.S. citizen. The Democrats equally have nothing in common with us. Both parties are sorely out of touch.

One party wants to favor big biz and give them a helluva lot of tax breaks as 'incentives' while the other one wants to protect the trees in Alaska.

Let's get a party that cares about what most of America is. Workers trying to make ends meet so that their families or for those who are not attached - so that they can live a decent happy life.

Let's talk about real issues. Why are so many good paying jobs in factories, offices, and other businesses just being handed out overseas? (no offense to countries intended, but it's a problem here) It's not just blue collar being affected anymore - it's everyone who works for a living. Why do we see places like Kelley Services, Volt, and other places literally taking over the computer programming, engineering, manufacturing, techinical, and trade jobs? Why is it that you can no longer expect to join a company and stay with them for life? Why is it that our companies on one hand are saying they are barely making it and yet the next quarter saying they broke some ancient profit record and sales are better than ever. Something there just doesn't make sense. Companies are making more than ever before and yet are paying less than ever before.

We have moved from a country where you could find a job and stick with it and reap the benefits to a place where you gather a set of skills and then use them at companies at various times in your life - none of which will ever take care of you in retirement.

We've moved from a place where 401K once used to be for 'savings' but now has been replaced with 'retirement' because companies don't want to foot the bill anymore.

We've got the best healthcare in the world and the best medical technology yet no one here can afford it. Therefore it's useless in most instances.

We've got colleges charging a ........load of money just to attend their school and yet they teach you next to nothing practical about your career path and insist on teaching you some abstract principles in the hope you will somehow filter through it all and be able to apply it to life.

That's some of the problems I see in America and yet none of our current parties seem to give a crap about any of them.

I say it's way past time for a party that represents the common citizen regardless of their color, race, creed, income, religion, etc, etc. Our current two are so out of touch they don't deserve to be in office.....none of em.

taelmx
11-08-2006, 12:28 AM
Its all Bush's fault. :(

g4j31a5
11-08-2006, 05:08 AM
Well I'm not an American but I think politicians are basically the same all over the world. They think only about their party and themself. There's only a few nationalist that have a good intention to make the world a better place to live. And that few people also usually didn't last long.

taelmx
11-08-2006, 09:39 AM
They care more about getting elected so they can do these things. The tax increase stuff is probably because they want to "do more" and throw our tax money away to rebuild things and preserve other thing. I'm not a political person.

g4j31a5
11-08-2006, 01:36 PM
They care more about getting elected so they can do these things. The tax increase stuff is probably because they want to "do more" and throw our tax money away to rebuild things and preserve other thing. I'm not a political person.

So true. That's why I bring my lucky coin to the election booth and tossed it to see who gets selected by "The God of Lucky Coins". Didn't matter who gets selected cause I just thought that he / she will be the same with the rest of 'em anyway.