Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Political Parties

I got to reading about the woes of the Democratic party and the splintering of the Republican party and wondered if what we need is more viable political parties. It's clear the Republican party is split among the moderates, the (true) conservatives, the single-issue folks, and the libertarian factions (why they aren't actually with the Libertarian party escapes me as they obvious fit better there than with the Republicans). And it's more than clear (if that's possible) the Democrats are split among the progressives, the (true) liberals, the moderates and the conservatives, and a host of smaller or lesser factions.

What we need is a real multiple political party system where neither has the majority and both of the big parties have to negotiate and compromise with other parties for a majority. And this will probably remove any threat of a filibuster as none would have 41 votes to threaten a filibuster. It would truly bring democracy to the House and Senate and truly give people more power to be properly and appropriately represented in Congress.

This would also really hamper lobbyist and special interests. They couldn't just buy one or both parties to have a majority if not all of them as many industries, corporations and special interests have done (eg. any but mostly health insurance companies, energy companies, financial services companies and banks, etc.). They would have less power with the lesser parties as those have to stay close and true to their base.

And it certainly would add spice to the campaigns, giving voters more real candidates than two corrupt one we currently have now up for election or already elected. I realize this has been tried, eg. Green Party, Libertarian Party, etc., and pretty much failed to draw enough followers, supporters and voters. But some candidates, eg. Ross Perot, proved it's viable as a candidate. It only needs to sustain a party with the candidate after the election.

But it does require being elected than just siphoning votes from the big parties. And we have seen this in Congress with independents (Joe Lieberman doesn't count as he defected out of spite and really is a closet Republican). But what if there were say 12-15 true independents or other party Senators or say 25-30 Representatives? It would change the politicial dynamics in both but more so the Senate.

This is what the Tea Party tried to do, but it was secretly funded by a handful of rich individuals (much to their blindness of the reality of their own party) and absorbed into the Republican party to keep the Republicans from losing seats in the Senate to the extreme elements in their own party. You can bet if any TP is elected they'll be told where their allegiances are (the Republican party who paid the bills) and what the party line is for their vote.

The Libertarian party has tried for decades to be a voice but their message is too strict since it's the mantra. Too many people just find them politicial offensive despite liking some of their positions on the issues (hell, even I like some of them). What's needed is a slightly wider audience party of say moderates or conservatives from both parties. Kinda' shave off those in the two parties into new ones.

This will allow the other Democrats and Republicans to follow their real values and views without conflicts within their own party. As someone said, managing Democrats are like herding cats. Well, if those cats were say two or three parties, then each could puruse their own agenda and then force everyone to negotiate and compromise.

As much as you may not like this, and you probably hate the examples, it's almost the standard political system in western European countries. Look at the recent election in Britain. Look that the German system with half a dozen parties with 3-4 with some measure of power (eg. Green party). It's doable and workable, and at least worth the test here.

We the people need real representation than just the scam and sham we have now. The numbers support several parties beyond the two bad ones we have now. And it sure would make it more democratic. Messy but at least more exciting and I think better and working again than the gridlock we have now.

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