Can The Internet Destroy The Two Party Political System?

from the worth-a-shot? dept

Two things it pays to be a bit skeptical of when it comes to politics in the US: any claim that the internet somehow changes everything (this applies to more than just politics) and any claim that there's a way to work around the two-party system. We've all seen how well third parties have worked lately in Presidential races, where they've done little more than act as spoilers. However, a new group is trying to shoot down both of these theories by organizing an internet-based campaign to focus on the issues that actually matter to most people (rather than the few polarizing issues the press loves to focus on). The goal is to find a 2008 Presidential candidate who transcends a party label while actually offering ideas and policies that the majority of American agree with. In other words, a fantasy that sounds good in the movies but probably doesn't exist in real life. It does involve some serious political insiders, and the goal sounds admirable in many ways. However, by this point, it's pretty clear that any idealistic political concept will get totally obliterated once run through the traditional Washington DC process. Perhaps this group will prove us wrong, but it's hard to see how a bunch of DC insiders will be able to suddenly jump on the internet in an attempt to avoid the typical political dance of the two party system.


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  1.  
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    dorpus, May 31st, 2006 @ 3:45am

    The Great Two Party System

    The US is one of the lucky few democracies where serious political parties wield the power. In too many other democracies, the legislatures are filled with ridiculous "Green" or "UFO" parties, and people just treat politics as entertainment. The U.S. did elect Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor, but they had the good sense to bash the hell out of him for his poor performance -- in other countries, when celebrities like that get elected, the media gives them the red carpet treatment. Our politics has a lot of mudslinging, but it beats the hedonistic alternative.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2006 @ 4:46am

    Arnold and a poor performance? For what? Trying to bust the corrupt teachers unions? California probably best exemplifies the failings of democracy - people are too stupid to know the issues they are voting on, and elected officials are too corrupt to accurately effect the changes people need.

     

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    Nathan, May 31st, 2006 @ 4:59am

    Technology could play a role here if people get fed up enough with the current parties in power. Alan Greenspan predicts there will be a major third party candidate within the next two (or maybe three) presidential elections. I hope he's right...

    Unfortunately people have not realized our current two party system represents two sides of the same bad coin.

     

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    mike, May 31st, 2006 @ 5:01am

    propaganda

    I guess the author didnt watch the last election from online. Both parties, and several of their "action groups" are very well net-aware, and active. There isnt anything that this group is doing that hasn't already been done. What are they talking about, really? Marketing? Market research? Well-built propaganda? Is this really new because its on the internet?

    It just seems to me that the author is selling a pre-bubble internet business model, or is saying "You put up a page and everyone in the world comes, and your mlm works". This stuff has already been done.

     

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    Third Party Candidate, May 31st, 2006 @ 5:35am

    Ahhh the two party system...

    Ahhh the two party system...

    One wants to control your wallet- the other wants to control your mind.

    Whats not to love?

     

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  6.  
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    Jack, May 31st, 2006 @ 5:41am

    My fingers are crossed

    It's about time that someone or some organization challenges the current corrupt two-party system. Speaking of red-carpets, the U.S. voters continually give up their votes along party lines regardless of the candidate or his/her platform. It's the old: "I don't like him, he's dumb, but he's a Republican so I'm voting for him". It's a joke and we all know it.

    One of the best things that can happen to this country are to abolish the 2 party "system" and to actually elect smart, inspiration people into office. To vote on ideas instead of colors (think red vs. blue). Voting for colors is for pre-schoolers. Voting on ideas is for adults.

     

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    TomforPres2020, May 31st, 2006 @ 5:56am

    The problem with a third or non-party candidate

    Now don't get me wrong, I'm the first to admit that the Republican and Democratic parties are essentially the same and that whoever takes office from either one is usually as corrupt as the one before him. I would love to see someone not from those parties take office. The problem arises when that president then has to deal with Congress. How many thrid party congressmen are in power? Is there any way that president is going to get any initiatives passed without having to compromise them in order to get the majority in congress on his side?

    A good example of this is Jimmy Carter. His energy plan was far reaching and even addressed some of the issues that we are just starting to tackle today. He wasn't even a third party candidate, but he just wasn't interested in playing Congress's politics. They simply chewed up and spit out his energy plan. If you look at the books, yeah he got an energy plan passed, but it wasn't anything like it was when it began.

    So assuming we ca get someone from a third party in the White House, how do we prevent Congress from turning him or her into a four year lame duck?

     

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    Brendan, May 31st, 2006 @ 5:58am

    even if

    Even if a third party president somehow beat the media, bypassed getting frozen out of the debates, through the diebold voting machines, and into office, i bet congress would stonewall anything he/she tried to do to protect their 2 party system

     

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    Wolfger, May 31st, 2006 @ 6:00am

    Dorpus

    Are you being incredibly sarcastic, or what? Your content indicates that you are, but your tone says otherwise. I'd like to know what other democracy out there elects celebrities, and then continues to treat them like celebrities. The USA has Regan, Ahnold, Jesse the Body, Clint Eastwood, Sonny.... I think being a celebrity is more important to voters than any kind of political resume is.

     

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    Roy, May 31st, 2006 @ 6:18am

    Voting for colors

    > "Voting for colors is for pre-schoolers."

    Too true, but when and where in the past two Presidential elections was the choice being made cast in anything but Red vs. Blue? Ergo, the ruling elite views us "plebes" as pre-schoolers.

    Actually, it's not just the past two elections. The citizenry has been at best an afterthought for closer to 50 years, as the ruling elite have moved to concentrate their power. And make no mistake, it is all about power. Money is merely the scorecard. But the problem with abolishing the 2-party "system" is that it would disenfranchise the current holders of the reins. In politics, no one ever volunteers to give up their power.

    Does this mean the current system is irretrievably broken? Perhaps. The next election cycle will be interesting, if only from a clinical perspective. If the current meltdown continues, I think we'll move closer to one of those cusps they talk about in Catastrophe Theory. That could prove to be interesting (in the Chinese sense of the word).

     

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    malhombre, May 31st, 2006 @ 6:26am

    Re: The problem with a third or non-party candidat

    Yep, the issue is congress, not just the prez. If voters tend to elect congressional and senatorial candidates who will bring THIER pork home, who will espouse only their own regional religious/conservative/liberal/corporate agendas, the president is caught doing a song and dance trying to gain a foothold among the lawmakers. To an extent, that is good but taken too far it makes everybody ineffective and wastes a lot of resources.
    Remember - every pork barrel project was backed by someone we voted for. Every a'hole that jumps in bed with the RIAA is the same.
    So when we vote for our regional reps, we have got to know where they stand and how effective they are in a large group of discordant interests.
    When you young people vote, do it right. You might get to start down the road to changing the system.

     

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    Spyke Jhones, May 31st, 2006 @ 6:27am

    Respectable candidates

    When will we see a known quantity, mainstream face leading a third party? I would love to see the moderates from both parties form a third party.

     

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    PolarFlame, May 31st, 2006 @ 6:29am

    A few steps further

    Why not take it a few steps further and get rid of representative government completely? I mean the internet can allow all people to vote on any subject in a very short amount of time after discussing a subject on some national forum where the login is your SSN and DoB, though you can create an alias to avoid direct persecution for radical ideas. Anyone with a SSN can post regardless of sex, age, ethnicity, or creed.
    A voting time can be announced and all elligeable voters (people that have proven that they are intelligent enough to understand issues only) can log on and add options to vote on before that time, and point and click on a form and submit their choice to a local server, which will count votes and at the end of the the voting time it will send its vote count to the main server which will add up all the local servers' votes and change the webpage to show the result.
    I know there are a few kinks to work out in regards to human nature, but at least this system would have a lot less corruption after explaining some social psychology to the forum readers. This is without a doubt a radical idea, but it's worth considering, so tell me what you think.

     

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    Nevermore, May 31st, 2006 @ 6:36am

    I guess if the coup d'etat hadn't happened on November 22, 1963, and the military industrial complex hadn't siezed control of the government ...

    If the 2000 Presidential election didn't show that the voting constituency has little say on the process ...

    If we weren't fighting a "war on terrorism" in Afghanastan and Iraq which, in truth, is nothing more than military intervention for oil company interests ...

    We might see that the 20% of the voting public they hope to deceive will end up financing another rich, white, Protestant male who will talk about truth, justice and reform while actually being in the pocket of the same interests currently in power.

    In the highly unlikely chance that Unity08 actually does more than split the vote ensuring another Republican victory, it will be a convenient way to end the facade of a two-party system and inform Americas that you either join ranks with the other brown-shirts under the Carlyle Group flag or face the consequences.

    Take the blue pill: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8260059923762628848

     

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    Tempest, May 31st, 2006 @ 6:40am

    Wolfger

    Italy elected a porn star....That's the first to come to my mind.

     

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  16.  
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    Ben McNelly, May 31st, 2006 @ 6:48am

    Short Answer...

    No.

     

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  17.  
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    Ryan, May 31st, 2006 @ 6:56am

    why a 3rd party won't win

    It's not possible for a 3rd party to win ever.

    Lets picture the parties as convience stores.. and the "voters" as houses on a street. Assume people will shop at the store closest to their house. (ie, people will vote for the views closest to theirs)

    You get something like this:
    _______A______B_______
    ______________________

    (houses are on bottom, A and B are the stores.. they're cloesr to the center because they compete for those in between)

    Now, where would a 3rd party go?

    __C____A_____B______
    ____________________
    would only succeed in taking votes away from A and allowing B to win... Likewise if we placed C on the right

    ______A__C__B______
    ___________________

    would take equal votes away from both, and really have no impact..

    As long as the issues of elections are 2-sided (the left and the right, pro abortion, anti abortion, pro war, anti war, pro stem cell, anti stem cell etc).. there can only be 2 parties.

     

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    Disgruntled Voter, May 31st, 2006 @ 6:59am

    Re: Ahhh the two party system...

    Funny I always got the idea that both want control of your wallet and both want control of your mind. They just want each of them for different ends. Then, the longer I am alive the more I am convinced the ends aren't all that different either.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2006 @ 7:00am

    polarflame
    people are dumber than you give them credit for. plus hackers could tear the system apart in hours.

     

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  20.  
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    Disgruntled Voter, May 31st, 2006 @ 7:03am

    The only way....

    The only way this will ever be fixed is a move to a Parliamentary system. If we vote for partys to represent us, then at least we would have some semblence of representation. Let libertarians vote libertarian, let greens vote green, etc. Then everyone is represented according to his percentage of the population agreeing with him.

     

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  21.  
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    Tyshaun, May 31st, 2006 @ 7:23am

    The problem isn't the two party system...

    The poblem with politics in the US has nothing to do with the two party system as much as it does the rich party system. If you take a look at the platforms of the Republicans and Democrats you'll realize that on paper they represent most of what people want. The problem isn't the ideology, it's the execution.

    The biggest problem is that politicians, on both sides, are generally a) rich and come from a "big business" background OR b) career politicians who see reelection as employment and not as a mandate to change public policy for the public. Take either group a) or b) and you have a situation where the politicians either jump in bed with the corporations to protect and grow their own interests OR jump in bed with whoever can give them the most campaign money or guaranteed votes. The bottom line is, there is no impetus to make sweeping legislative reform for the good of the voting public, because for the most part the voting public is too fragmented to represent a large majority on any issue or too dissafected about the system to care enough to vote at all.

    Anyway, sorry to sound so pessimistic but the solution doesn't lie in multiple political parties but in mobilizing voters. When politicians see (through the vote) that people are watching what they do, and do care, you will magically start to see better legislation from both sides of the isle. Hell, Iraq has better voter turnout than we do! Israelis complained when they only got 69% turnout for the last elections for prime minister and we were impressed with voter turnout in the 40-50% range.

     

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  22.  
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    Chad Baber, May 31st, 2006 @ 7:33am

    Internet elections, good or bad?

    While the concept of complete democracy appears good, there is a concern that is the center idea behind a popular novel published in the mid 1960s called "The 480", by Ledrer and Burdick (I believe). The premise of the book is that there are 480 socio-economic classes that comprise the entire electorate. The book is fiction but describes how a candidate was "manufactured" to appeal to the broadest set of members belonging to these socio-economic classifications. A avery large computer was used to simulate responses to stands taken on specific issues and then these responses were "tuned" to make the candidate electable.

    If the elections were completely open then I suspect that the lack of a hystersis effect would make this scenarion even easier to implement than it is today.

     

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  23.  
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    Pedren, May 31st, 2006 @ 7:39am

    Why do we need them?

    A party does nothing more than force everyone who holds even a few ideas with that party to vote for their canidate, even if they don't agree with their overall platform. As a result the only thing that would truely work get this country back int eh hands of the people,other than a civil war(BAD), would be to get rid of the party system and allow everyone's ideas to be heard on a person by person basis, a system like polarflame's might actually be a good idea as it would probably have the best security of any system in the world, and as for the technologicly impaired, they would mostly be dead by the time this system would be put in place.(2035 at the soonest)

     

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    Patrick Mullen, May 31st, 2006 @ 7:41am

    Didn't Howard Dean already try this?


    Yeahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

     

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  25.  
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    Junyo, May 31st, 2006 @ 7:42am

    If people voted on more than one or two issues; if people voted w/o using party affiliation as a guide; if people voted for policy rather than persona; if people educated themselves on the issues then maybe we'd have a better system even with two parties.

    The two party system is intentional you know. The Framers wanted government to moderate toward a centrist position and not be a million 'flavor of the month' parties forming unstable coalition governments and collapsing regularly. Want to see how well that works? Look up Italian political history.

    That said, people get the government they deserve. A guy even mentions the possibility of increased taxes, deregulating/regulating abortion, any one of a dozen hot buttons, and he doesn't make it out of the primaries. We reward people for having no discernable stand on anything, and punish them for ever having done or said something substantive that anyone can find fault with. And now we're in the information age, where records can be researched (or if need be fabricated) and distributed, sans context, instantly. Then we bitch about the bland milksops that we get as choices, because the one right that we'll always retain in America is the right to bitch, whether we're prepared to fix the problem or not. And now these idiots want to leverage the power of the internet to synergis grassroots paradigms, or some such nonsense. I liked it better the first time... when it was the Reform Party. At least Perot was entertaining, in a 'do we really want to give a crazy Texan the nuke codes?' sorta way (Hold on a second... Dammit!). This is just a bunch of wankers who, having mastered email, have just realized that this Interweb thingamajiggy could be huge. Their guy will be just like the other guys, only more like you, and with a mailing list. With an iPod, or a Blackberry, or whatever other device/prop/totem their consumer research tells them will convince the target demo(s) of his hippness/virality/electability.

     

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  26.  
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    Kayne, May 31st, 2006 @ 7:48am

    Not the

    This sounds like a great idea on the surface, particularly if the spoiler candidate is conservative or runs libertarian. That would help steal votes from the Republicans in 2008, instead of recent spoiler candidates who have taken votes away from the Democrats. That's probably the BEST that could come from this initiative.

    The problem here is not the "traditional Washington DC process". The Electoral College is the reason that the best thing third-party candidates can aspire to is being spoilers. There's a lot of discussion on "red state/blue state" and about how the Presidential candidates wil target "swing states". Here's how the Electoral College works:

    • Step one: each major political party holds a nominating convention. At that State-level convention, 'electors' are elected.
    • Step two: the electors are thus Democrat or Republican.
    • Step three: on election night in November, the major media outlets will track how many electoral votes each Presidential candidate has won. These map directly to the number of electors. Remember, there are only Republican and Democrat electors.
    • Step four: in December, the electors will meet and pull a lever or perform some other odd ritualistic behavior indicating which candidate won their state.

    We won't see a viable third party candidate until the Electoral College is removed from the process. Considering that the candidates who win are part of that process, it's unlikely that they'd be in favor of removing that process. Just adding "the internet" isn't going to make the Electoral College go away.

     

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  27.  
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    J, May 31st, 2006 @ 8:01am

    Re: The Great Two Party System

    No mate, no. The 2 "serious political" parties you hold so dear are merely different sides of the same old scuffed coin. Put the Dems in power, and it'll corrupt them. Put the GOP's in power, it'll corrupt them (and how!). So round and round you go. Meanwhile, your "third" party, the lobbyists, rake in all the proceeds with none of the responsibility. You NEED at least one more party, and probably more than that to give people that are mighty disillusioned with the mutual backslapping that goes on in DC a voice. A clear voice too. And a voice that is neither GOP or Dem, but sane.

     

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  28.  
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    I, for one, May 31st, 2006 @ 8:03am

    Two parties?

    There are two parties? I think you're being optimistic.

     

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    The Truth Beacon, May 31st, 2006 @ 8:07am

    Re: The Great Two Party System

    1) Schwarzenegger has performed admirably, especially considering the consequences. The people who have performed poorly are all of special interest groups, unions etc.

    2) There is no idealistic system or candidate, no matter how you want to think. Democracy is anything but ideal, regardless of how it may be the best situation for freedom. The reason for this, is there is corruption and selfishness even in the most altruistic conservative. Liberals are just as closed-minded as they think Conservatives are. Republicans and Liberals are one in the same these days, and every person is after thier own views and their own interests.

    Summary - the reason there hasn't been an ideal situation yet is because there will never be an ideal situation. The reason - what to you is ideal is most likely the exact opposite for me, just as my ideal is likely to be the opposite of yours.

    So, all of you need to stop your bitching and just do your best to make your views the ones that win.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2006 @ 8:11am

    Thoughts

    > California probably best exemplifies the failings of democracy

    California probably best exemplifies the failings of the human race.

    > Republican and Democratic parties are essentially the same and that whoever takes office from either one is usually as corrupt as the one before him.

    I used to think that, too. But George Bush is evil in ways that no president before him was. Clinton lied about having an affair with a woman. Bush lies about torture, murder, genocide, and many other war crimes. That's not normal political evil, that's Nazi evil.

     

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  31.  
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    Edward Prosienski, May 31st, 2006 @ 8:46am

    Re: Two Party system

    People are, at least I am, already fed up with the current two party system! There is little if any truth to be found anymore as each side, from the moment of electrions finals, is doing there best to discredit the party in power. The country is the loser as the efforts seldom are more for the benifit of the county as opposed making "our side" look good!

     

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    Jeff R, May 31st, 2006 @ 8:50am

    Re: Not the

    It's not the Electoral College itself that's the major roadblock, but the "winner of the state popular vote gets all of the state's electoral votes" that is.

    One method would be to allocate the electoral votes instead at the congressional district level. Consider a mytical state with 30 electoral votes, meaning 28 congressmen and 2 senators). Each congressional district could have their elector based on the popular vote in just that district.. (and then the two senate votes to the overall popular vote winner in the state).

    Or, you could do raw proportion of the popular vote.. same mythical state, three canidates of 33% each would get 10 electors each..

    However, since those in power now are the ones who would have to change the rules, and they won't do that since it would cost them power, it will never happen.

     

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    Constitutional Advocate, May 31st, 2006 @ 8:51am

    How about this?

    A constitutional ammendment that limits ALL federal elected officials to a single term in office?

     

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    Ed Pro, May 31st, 2006 @ 8:58am

    Re: How about this?

    Not good! IF we got someone we want to keep, it's too bad to throw him out of office without a chance for reelection.

     

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    The Truth Beacon, May 31st, 2006 @ 9:02am

    Re: Thoughts

    California - Especially San Francisco - most certainly do personify the failings of the human race.

    >>I used to think that, too. But George Bush is evil in ways that no president before him was. Clinton lied about having an affair with a woman. Bush lies about torture, murder, genocide, and many other war crimes. That's not normal political evil, that's Nazi evil.

    When are you going to realize that GWB DIDN'T LIE. Even Saddam thought he had WMDs. There is no form of genocide going on, we aren't rounding Iraquis up and killing them in internment camps. Flushing someone's Koran down a toilet - which was proven to be a false accusation - is not torture any more than the California education so vehemantly fighting against Christianity and heterosexuality. Nazi evil is Saddam - is GWB really that bad? I have yet to see any American summarily executed by the state because they had extramarital sexual relations or are homosexual or non christian.

     

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    Constitutional Advocate, May 31st, 2006 @ 9:03am

    Re: Re: How about this?

    If there is someone which we want to keep, who is dedicated to public service anyway, then all they need to do is run for election to a DIFFERENT office. Nothing wrong with "coming up through the ranks" is there? That is how the rest of the world would build a meritocracy.

     

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    The Truth Beacon, May 31st, 2006 @ 9:06am

    ONE GOOD SOLUTION

    I think we should stop paying politicians alltogether, then it will become a labor of love rather than a means for a paycheck.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2006 @ 9:09am

    Re: A few steps further

    I predict the candidate with the most votes would be First Post!!!1

     

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    Enrico Fellini, May 31st, 2006 @ 9:10am

    #35 - You said: "I have yet to see any American summarily executed by the state because they had extramarital sexual relations or are homosexual or non christian."

    Is that what it's going to take? That's when your warning bell is going to sound?

    Indeed?

     

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    Pongidae, May 31st, 2006 @ 9:13am

    Re: Dorpus

    Ok you have 5 celebrities in your list as politicians since 1980, ranging from President to Mayor. Are you kidding that we in the USA only care about celebrity? How many politicians have been elected in the last 26 years in any position from mayor up to president? A few hundred thousand, a million, more? In the grand scheme of things that is know as a representative sampling of the public, a percentage of celebrities vs. total population of the country. Wolfer, your and idiot stay on topic, just because a person "enjoys" a certain amount of celebrity doesn't mean they don't have good ideas of shouldn't run for office.

    The actual issue is that we actually treat out politicians like celebrities rather than the public servants that they are. Unfortunately because of this our "servants" have forgotten this as well.

     

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    me, May 31st, 2006 @ 9:14am

    Re: The problem with a third or non-party candidat

    if the prez truly epitimized the will of the people and the congress gets in the way, vote their asses out when elections come due and send the message that the trend will continue until the parasites get it.

     

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  42.  
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    Joe Smith, May 31st, 2006 @ 9:20am

    You get what you deserve

    People get the governments they deserve. The real problem is that voters generally refuse to vote for politicians who tell them the truth. That is why most governments are stuffed full of pathological liars.

     

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    Daniel (profile), May 31st, 2006 @ 9:30am

    This is NOT a third Party!!!

    Didn't anyone look at the original article? This is NOT an effort to create a third party, It is simply an effort to acknowledge that the two parties are really just two faces of one party, unify them and save us the worry of having to pick in an election - we simply elect the "bipartizan" candidate.

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    Mitch the Bitch, May 31st, 2006 @ 9:39am

    Re: The problem with a third or non-party candidat

    Jimmy Carter was far and away the worst US president in history. Everything he did was ideological and without sense. His nominee's to the judicial system are still wreaking havoc in the USA. The 9th circuit ct of appeals is the perfect example of what a moron Carter was/is.

    Habitat for humanity my arse. Habitat for fat lazy scumbags that can't think or act like humans and think the US taxpayers owe them a free ride.

    It's about time the USA gets back to personal responsibility and indivdualism instead of socialism/communism. Those ideas from the 60's have nearly destroyed the USA.

    Enough is enough.

    The media will NEVER allow a thrid party. As soon as they (Dems/pubs) as a group realize the threat all of a sudden we have all sorts of bipartisan agreement. Ross Perot wasnt crazy but as soon as both parties realized the threat all of a sudden the media gaurd dogs focused on him like wolves on fresh meat driving him away.

    As mentioned in the OP all Perot ended up doing is putting the scumbag womanizer Clinton in office and we can clearly see what a failure that was.

    It's called "Divide then Conquer". This phrase has been around for a very long time. We've been divided and they know it's a weakness of human nature and they fully exploit that weakness at every opportunity.

    Mitch

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    Michael, May 31st, 2006 @ 9:46am

    Re: The problem with a third or non-party candidat

    I believe that our constitutional system of representative democracy more or less precludes ever having a viable political system with more than 2 parties at a time. Our system will never be like a parliamentary system, which is designed to form governing coalitions through the legislative process rather than through the direct elections of a president. We like our system of electing the president, but we need to realize the downside that it means we'll never have a 3rd party prez who will ever be able to do any good.

    (I certainly think it's possible that a 3rd party prez will be elected someday -- I also predict it will be either the biggest disaster we've seen, when the president has absolutely no political power over a congress dead set against the idea, or else the candidate will quickly realize that he/she is really just a Republican or a Democrat in the end and more less move to that side of the floor even without telling us. Witness Jesse Ventura, the erstwhile independent who was a Republican in disguise by the end of his tenure.)

    (I allow for the fact that the Whigs were the 2nd party at one time, superceded by the Republicans, but that was more a matter of musical chairs than a temporary rise of a viable multi-party system. Given the entrenchment of today, I doubt that even that switch from one party to another could take place.)

     

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  46.  
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    Glenwood, May 31st, 2006 @ 9:50am

    Re: A few steps further

    Get rid of representative government?!?!? Are you kidding me? The politicians are corrupt and self serving but the people CANNOT understand all the subtleties in a problem in order to solve it! People are self serving and they would vote without full understanding of the possible consequences. It would be a nightmare...that said, we need to find a way to get rid of pork, lobbyists, corrupt politicians, etc... like one term politicians at each level?

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2006 @ 9:52am

    jimmy carter "energy plan"

    His "energy plan" that was praised earlier is garbage. I decided to see how long it would take me to debunk a statistic.

    From a speech he made in 1977: "The world now uses about 60 million barrels of oil a day and demand increases each year about 5 percent."

    from the US DOE: "In the International Energy Outlook 2005 (IEO2005) reference case, world demand for crude oil grows from 78 million barrels per day in 2002..."

    according to carter the world should be consuming 203Mln barrels per day at that rate of growth.

    But of course we're not. Because every such "plan" is predicated on alarmist nonsense.

    (took me about 30 seconds to research)

    Naturally, this doesnt debunk his plan. It merely puts another hole in the already intrinsically tattered credibility of a political "energy plan"

     

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  48.  
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    Mitch the Bitch, May 31st, 2006 @ 9:59am

    Re: Re: The problem with a third or non-party cand

    This is where youre wrong. Nobody I know ever voted for Teddy (I need a drink) Kennedy yet the ENTIRE USA suffers the consequenses of this murdering drunks ideology of self interest.

    Seriously, why should I suffer because the NE is full of dipshit scumbags?

    Maybe it's time for "The South to rise".

    Mitch

     

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  49.  
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    Pongidae, May 31st, 2006 @ 10:09am

    Re: Re: Re: The problem with a third or non-party

    There are just as many "dipshit scumbags" in the south, GWB anyone, no need to rise and have a different "dipshit scumbag" rule the day. We are an equal opportunity "dipshit scumbag" country. :)

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    johhny, May 31st, 2006 @ 10:16am

    Re: Re: Thoughts

    All world leaders lie, ours are no exception, Democrat or Republican. The portrayal of Iraq as a threat to the U.S. (through mentioning "mushroom clouds," "Saddam Hussien," and "9/11" together and often times in the same sentence) was ridiculous then and now. Our own intelligence services conluded as much, along with the correct prediction that the invasion of Iraq would INCREASE the risk or "terror." Do some research and you'll see that the preponderance of intelligence is overwhelmingly contrary to the cherry picked analysis jammed in our faces by the president, Congress and the media (prior to invasion of course). Only the most partisan soul could not at the least condemn this as misleading.

    The key is to watch what they do and the results, not what they say. Using this approach, Bush, like many presidents before him, is guilty of the "Supreme international crime of agression" which "precipiates all evil that follows."

     

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  51.  
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    anonymous coward, May 31st, 2006 @ 10:34am

    a third party increases the chances of at least of the contestants for that political office being intelligent and honest by 1/3. doesn't mean it will happen, but i'll never complain about having an additional choice.

     

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  52.  
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    Mitch the Bitch, May 31st, 2006 @ 10:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Thoughts

    Attempting to show Sddam in a good light proves youre the problem not the solution.

    Anyone with even the slightest amount of common sense knows for certain Saddam had WMD. We found some as well just not th estockpiles. Ask th eKurds about Saddam's WMD. Oh you cant cause they are dead... Fool!

    The UN and it's band of cronies in France Germany Russia China broadcast the date of invasion weeks in advance. Dont you think Sadddam knew his "ace in the hole" would be the NO WMD story blasted to the free world?

    Of course he knew.

    Mitch

    Youre just a Kool-Aid drinker that spends way to much time at the DailyKOS and not enough time working for your family..

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Tashi, May 31st, 2006 @ 10:36am

    All these posts seem to point to one thing... America is not a democracy, and the people are not as free as the ideaology would have them believe.

     

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  54.  
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    PolarFlame, May 31st, 2006 @ 10:45am

    Re: Re: A few steps further

    Glenwood, there are is something you should notice about the way I worded my proposal to get rid of representative government. I said the elligeable voters are only those that can prove that they understand the problem at hand. That implies some sort of comprehensive test available to anyone (hey, if a 14-year-old is much wiser than an idiot 40-year-old, why let the 40-year-old vote but not the 14-year-old?).
    And here are the pros to the idea: no one can be bribed since there would be way too many people to try and bribe, and the voters are anonymous. This means that no small organization can be completely self-serving like Congress is. The people won't have to get in contact with some high up guy and try to persuade him, realize he wants money, and then just sulk that they elected him in the first place but would have too much trouble getting rid of him. This leads to a much more flexible and adaptive government. The people can finally be proud of their government for it trully serves them.
    The cons as I see them are that anybody trying to get their own laws passed might try to hack the servers, but hacking into the government already happens, so it's not going to get worse.
    The system still may have some flaws, but less than the two-party system.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2006 @ 10:53am

    Re:

    All these posts seem to point to one thing... America is not a democracy, and the people are not as free as the ideaology would have them believe.

    No that is wrong. The American people are exercising their democratic right to elect bad, untrustworthy government.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2006 @ 11:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Thoughts

    Attempting to show Sddam in a good light proves youre the problem not the solution.
    What statement portrayed Saddam in a good light? Saddam was and is a monster, like many, many world leaders. The only difference in how our media portrays them is based on who's "our guy" and who's not. Clinton once decribed the monster running Indonesia as "our kind of guy."

    Anyone with even the slightest amount of common sense knows for certain Saddam had WMD. We found some as well just not th estockpiles. Ask th eKurds about Saddam's WMD. Oh you cant cause they are dead... Fool!
    I won't try and guess how much "common sense" I have, but Saddam probably had at least some remnants of his WMD programs since we gave them to him (back when he was "our guy."), however that was not the assertion; the crime was potraying a beaten down, weak nation on the other side of the world as some threat to the United States. As I said, do some research about what the CIA and DOD thought about the "threat" from Iraq. Saddam and OSB were both monsters, but they were completely different kinds of monters and hated each other. Maybe I am a fool-- all should do their own research let the hard evidence speak for itself, but I will offer that namecalling shows a weakness in argument, character and critical thinking skills.

    The UN and it's band of cronies in France Germany Russia China broadcast the date of invasion weeks in advance. Dont you think Sadddam knew his "ace in the hole" would be the NO WMD story blasted to the free world?
    I suggest you do some of your own research into what was going on leading up to the invasion. The truth is out there.

    Youre just a Kool-Aid drinker that spends way to much time at the DailyKOS and not enough time working for your family.
    LOL! You forgot to get Michael Moore and PETA in there somehow. I don't know what the "DailyKOS" is but I work very hard for my pitance, as I would guess you do, too. I will offer you a suggestion-- flog the message mercilessly, but to flog the messenger only hurts your credibility.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Intergalactic Hussy, May 31st, 2006 @ 12:39pm

    When will someone finally step up and tell the truth; admit at least half of everything they push is bullshit?

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Johnny, May 31st, 2006 @ 3:27pm

    Re:

    When will people stop whining, start educating themselves and taking responsibility for their government? Bullshit won't go away, but a minimal amount of research and digging will at least prevent us from being led around by manufactured causes so transparent that a child could debunk them. It does not matter anymore what one's "beliefs" or affiliations are, we are all being willingly manipulated and fleeced. Willful ignorance- is there a greater crime?

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2006 @ 6:19pm

    Re: The Great Two Party System

    Are you on drugs? Or have you never left USA?

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    EdB, May 31st, 2006 @ 6:28pm

    Re: Not the

    The electoral method is absolutely NOT the problem! Imagine if the US went with something as abysmally stupid as "popular vote"... Candidate A says "vote for me and I'll eliminate taxes for everyone who lives in a city with a population above one million and make all the hicks cover the difference". He wins based purely on numbers, but the entire midwest secedes. Successfully of course as we've got most of the guns. Big guns I mean - military hardware.

    Jeff R is much more on track with corrective actions to the electoral system. Specifically partial electors for each candidate winning enough of the state's popular vote to garner at least one elector. The oddball who gets .2 percent of the popular vote would not get an elector of course, and fractions round like they taught us in elementary school. We would still maintain the idea that each State gets electoral voters based on both existence as a state and population, but we would end up with an electoral vote that more closely represents the will of the people. One other required step is death by hanging for an elector who doesn't vote exactly the way his or her state told him or her to vote.

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    EdB, May 31st, 2006 @ 6:39pm

    Re: How about this?

    How's about a single consecutive term? That we we'll replace you and maybe bring you back next time around.

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2006 @ 6:59pm

    parlimentary system is not required for the US to

    The democrat party started gerrymandering districts in the 80s that were hundreds of miles long and as wide at some points at the painted yellow line down the center of a highway... all so they could group people with similar views with a slight 50.5% majority. A plan could be put in place to group people into districts based on how they register with the governement to allow Greens and Libertarian registered people to be grouped into a district. In most places, they have to be geographically contigious districts, but that is only one court order, or one law away from changing.

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2006 @ 7:06pm

    Re: The only way....

    Not the only way. A parliamentary system would require a consittutional ammendment. Freeing Gerrymandaring from geography, and making it dependent on non-geographical factors is another way.

    Let the voters create and join districts just as they can create newsgroups or blogs.

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2006 @ 7:07pm

    Re: The only way....

    Not the only way. A parliamentary system would require a consittutional ammendment. Freeing Gerrymandaring from geography, and making it dependent on non-geographical factors is another way.

    Let the voters create and join districts just as they can create newsgroups or blogs.

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2006 @ 7:13pm

    Re: A few steps further

    Nice Utopian idea.... but we need one-world governement first. :) Seriously, your idea assumes we are the only country in the world. We are not. Having everyone involved in every decision means that there are no "experts" and part timers can make the best decsions. While I am a Libertarian and in favor of much smaller government, I beg to differ. It is akin to playing poker for money, and always showing your hand while the others do not. Our government has classified far too many decisions and far too much information, but this is the real world and there is a need to keep some things private. There bonefide reasons we wear clothes and don't live in glass houses.

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2006 @ 8:13pm

    Re: Thoughts

    >>I used to think that, too. But George Bush is evil in ways that no president before him was. Clinton lied about having an affair with a woman. Bush lies about torture, murder, genocide, and many other war crimes. That's not normal political evil, that's Nazi evil.

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2006 @ 8:34pm

    Re: Thoughts

    >>I used to think that, too. But George Bush is evil in ways that no president before him was. Clinton lied about having an affair with a woman. Bush lies about torture, murder, genocide, and many other war crimes. That's not normal political evil, that's Nazi evil.

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2006 @ 8:35pm

    Re: Thoughts

    >>I used to think that, too. But George Bush is evil in ways that no president before him was. Clinton lied about having an affair with a woman. Bush lies about torture, murder, genocide, and many other war crimes. That's not normal political evil, that's Nazi evil.

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2006 @ 8:36pm

    Re: Thoughts

    "I used to think that, too. But George Bush is evil in ways that no president before him was. Clinton lied about having an affair with a woman. Bush lies about torture, murder, genocide, and many other war crimes. That's not normal political evil, that's Nazi evil. "

    I hate to say it, but no other president ever acknowledged that any of that even existed. This is probably the first war that the public has had this much access to information as quickly as we get it now from Iraq, Cuba, and other locations. The fact that you hear about it now only means that the media has their cameras and microphones in the way of national security.

    There was one other war where reporters got in the way... that was the last time we went to Iraq and Dan Rather met a SEAL team on the beach they were about to insert on. So much for that mission. No offense, but if I were on teams, I would have taken out all of the reporters, and destroyed all of the equipment under the flag of national security.

    If you want to get into NAZI evil... Lets get evil. I don't think you understand what it takes to get some of these people to talk. If you sit there and have a nice grown-up conversation over a cup of tea or coffee, with a nice trimmed flower arrangement on the table, you will never get any info... as a matter of fact, you will probably be killed when the person reaches over the table (because you were nice enough to take off the cuffs) and rips your throat out.

    Enjoy that thought... because after he killed you and all of your team mates, he takes the pictures of your families and your ID cards with home addresses and SSNs on them and goes to the US to find and kill all of the families he can find from the info he collected. I'm sorry, but I would rather torture them to death and get info that leads to the capture of another person looking to kill all of us. But what do I know... I'm still alive after 3 wars and countless warless actions.

    De Opresso Liber

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    PolarFlame, May 31st, 2006 @ 10:48pm

    Re: Re: A few steps further

    #65, Though you make an excellent point, some of it has been covered by my original proposition: I said people must have a valid SSN and DoB to log in to the website. That would take care of those issues that are known to the public (e.g. cloning, abortion, same sex marriages, social security, etc.). As for the confidential information, if America has info on things like UFO's I think the world has a right to know, and if we destory ourselves from that knowledge, then the human race deserves that end. By having an open forum (I guess there has to be a way to force people to read/hear comments that most people think are very important) people that show they know what they're talking about will be read more than others, and radicals that call themselves experts can be argued with on the spot rather than letting them continue on preaching unchallenged. Issues like having a military power and what to do with WMD's can be voted on more fairly, and with a system that actually listens to the people, America will actually be a country worth fight ing for.
    Another concern I just realized might eventually come up: if you think someone who knows your SSN and DoB will log in as you and vote for something other than your own choice, you can create another password. The system only allows one vote per SSN per issue, unless the issue is brought up again at a later time.
    If there are any more concerns please don't hesitate to present them. Like I said before, my idea has some kinks to work out, and it would require a lot of planning in order to get the best of human nature and the state of the world, but it is potentially a better system than most that are used in the world today. Oh, and the idea can definately be used by all other countries, considering that $100 laptop they're working on.

     

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  71.  
    identicon
    HillyBillyReformer, Jun 1st, 2006 @ 12:38am

    Third Party? We need at least a Four Party System.

    The Republicans need to divide into GOP and Christian Right. The GOP would be the GOP of old, '50s and '60s, while the Christian Right or CRP, would be the mainstay of the likes of Robertson.

    The Democrats would be the Democrats of Clinton, conservative by former Democratic standards of FDR, JFK, and RFK. (I know he had a conservative congress but still more current conservative Democrat than Liberal.)

    The Left should have a combined Green-Social Democrat, GSD, EU style party. It would pull the true liberals and Greens into a 'Socially Acceptable' Left. Not to far left to alienate current Liberals but not so far right as to spoof the Greens as inconsequential. A serious attempt to prevent E3, Eco Extinction Event, with money making businesses fueling the Green Revolution. Capitalism at it's best; not worst. With concern for the suffering poor of America at the heart of it's social conscience. With FDR and LBJ solutions for the needy. It's the needed party of the future, if there is to be a future for Mankind.

    Last: Maybe even a Populist Party like Perot's former attempt to get a third party. It might even produce a new Teddy Roosevelt.

    It would require a new election process of either 2 elections or a process between parties of alliances to get a marjority. The primary could determine who runs in the run-off, final election, or as stated, alliances forming a majority. If that doesn't work then the run-off is essential.

    Until there are real choices to be decided upon, our democracy will remain a straw democracy. EU has adapted to democracy much better than the US where we have become the 'Best Democracy Money Can Buy'.

    How to get the entrenched powers to allow other choices to be made?
    Reform is certainly preferable.

    Sincerely,
    Mr. Ozark

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Greg, Jun 1st, 2006 @ 4:39am

    Re:

    Sounds like you are the stupid one.

    The country as a whole has failed when it comes to knowing the issues, voting, and not making politicians accountable for their actions.

    Wake up and be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

     

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  73.  
    identicon
    eeyore, Jun 1st, 2006 @ 6:57am

    why third parties fail

    Third parties fail in this country for one simple reason: they all shoot for the top spot. Ralph Nader and Jesse Jackson (among many others) don't want a pedestrian seat in congress or even the senate; (though Jesse campaigned for a senate seat for Washington D.C. so he could run) they all want to be president. And without the backing of a major political party no one ever will be. And no one is ever going to vote for a candidate who has not either help high political office (i.e governor or senator) or was a high-ranking military officer, though that is no guarantee of success anymore.

    The Green party et al could affect change if they endorsed and supported some candidates for congress. If a third party held five or six seats in the house they might could prevent a majority by either party and could carry some clout. But as long as they shoot for the top spot, they'll just screw up the electoral vote by taking votes away from legitimate presidential contenders.

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    Jeff R, Jun 1st, 2006 @ 8:23am

    Re: ONE GOOD SOLUTION

    I don't see how that could help at all -- most of the politicians are already millionares who spent a lot of their own personal money to get elected -- and ALL of them spent far more in their campaigns than the office will pay during their term (although most of that is usually donations).

    I would think that would increase the problems as only the rich could afford power.

     

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  75.  
    identicon
    Jeff R, Jun 1st, 2006 @ 8:27am

    Re:

    Of COURSE it's not a democracy. It never has been.

    The United States of America is a Constitutional Republic. We endow power (with limits) into various elected representives who then are charged with running the country within the duties and limits of their offices.

    If we were living in a democracy, we would all be voting on individual issues and bills, not on which representative to elect..

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    Lila, Jun 5th, 2006 @ 10:50am

    Third Party

    If all the of you who have such a negative opinion of our two party system would shut your computers down and get out and work for a party either one of the two we now have or start a new one maybe you would not have so much to complaine about. A third party will not win on the internet, Howard Dean's campaign proved that.

     

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  77.  
    identicon
    Dave, Nov 17th, 2006 @ 9:23am

    Re: Third Party

    I have come to agree with the 2 party system. It seems to balance the corruption possible with a single strong party, and a multi party system seems to create too much spoilage.

    Are there any ideas on how we can pick our party and work with it to keep it honest and heading in the right direction? How can we collectively get the party to work on issues that matter to us?

     

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  78.  
    identicon
    Lauren, Feb 2nd, 2007 @ 6:48pm

    Re: Internet elections, good or bad?

    It surprises me that you still think your opinions count. Bill collectors are still calling me, 30 years later, looking for you.
    Your opinion is worthless.

     

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  79.  
    identicon
    Lauren, Feb 2nd, 2007 @ 6:54pm

    Re: Internet elections, good or bad?

    BTW, you still can't spell and you are much better off keeping your opinions to yourself. After all, you do carry STDs and you manage to keep that a secret.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    identicon
    Dan Ciaramella, May 22nd, 2007 @ 6:58pm

    Can The Internet Destroy The Two Party Political S

    YES it can Destroy The Two Party Political System.
    money is not necessary. grass root volenteers ARE the only way to get the most people involvd.
    there is a need to generate a list of people that are like minded on this most important issue facing what is left of the USA.
    People might email or IM others on the list to exchange ideas. and there should be a group of volenteers that would accept emails discuss them and send out a flyer to all on the list with a question agree ( ) or disagree ( )
    or neither ( ) a long with comment and other imput on each question.
    publish the list and keep it updated every week.
    if it will be run anything like that ...COUNT ME IN
    watch out for the party moles that try to infiltrate and mess it up... real name city and state with email address should be required.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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