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(The Week)   Why America needs thousands of political parties, not just a R-epugnant or D-efunct party   ( theweek.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, George W. Bush, intellectually moribund party, American Solidarity Party, defunct Royalist Party, American immigration law, moral necessity, long self-indulgent parading, middlebrow intellectual journalism  
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1015 clicks; posted to Politics » on 09 Feb 2018 at 8:05 AM (23 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2018-02-09 03:37:31 AM  
I'd suggest that instead of thousands of smaller parties, the EC needs to go away, proportional representation needs to be installed on both the federal and state level, and the cap of the number of members in the House needs to be increased.

But that's me.
 
2018-02-09 05:38:40 AM  
It could work but only with a run-off type election of the top two or three candidates after the first vote.  Otherwise, it could be manipulated something fierce...
 
2018-02-09 05:43:08 AM  
Our style of government and our first-past-the-post voting system are archaic.
 
2018-02-09 07:43:28 AM  
How about NO parties.  Tribalism is what's tearing this country apart.  Better to all be on the same team and let your own personal ideologies do the talking.
 
2018-02-09 07:53:36 AM  
If we got our own Lord Buckethead, it would definitely be one of the more sane candidates.
 
2018-02-09 08:00:10 AM  

FatherChaos: How about NO parties.  Tribalism is what's tearing this country apart.  Better to all be on the same team and let your own personal ideologies do the talking.


Even if you outlawed political parties, there'd be political parties.

And in our system, likely about two.
 
2018-02-09 08:06:16 AM  
Yes, truly what America needs is more chaos.
 
2018-02-09 08:08:02 AM  

FatherChaos: How about NO parties.  Tribalism is what's tearing this country apart.  Better to all be on the same team and let your own personal ideologies do the talking.


Good idea.  Once there's no political parties, I have a plan for how to get elected.  See, it costs money to campaign, so let's get together a group of us to pop it resources so that one of us can get elected.  That'd give us an edge.
 
2018-02-09 08:08:28 AM  
A viable third option would be a nice start.
 
2018-02-09 08:09:36 AM  

Relatively Obscure: FatherChaos: How about NO parties.  Tribalism is what's tearing this country apart.  Better to all be on the same team and let your own personal ideologies do the talking.

Even if you outlawed political parties, there'd be political parties.

And in our system, likely about two.


Exactly. The rules of the game encourage there to be 2 parties. When everything is decided by simple majority, it makes sense to coalesce into 2 parties in order to make it as easy as possible to get to that magical 50%+1. That's true in legislatures, it's true in voting districts, and it's true for presidential elections.
 
2018-02-09 08:12:02 AM  

shastacola: Yes, truly what America needs is more chaos.


And more theoretical discussions about things that aren't even remotely politically possible.
Those are good, too.
 
2018-02-09 08:15:12 AM  
I would say there are roughly 6 real political parties in the US, and much like Wales or Quebec, they function as semi-autonomous sub-regions within the larger political body.

I think that if we started with "Rank your candidates based on preference" as the initial change to the system, those 6 parties would become more distinct as they break off from the main mass.  Coupling this with an end to the electoral college would also be wise.

We could then replace the Senate with a parliament where you vote for a party and percentage of votes translates to percentage of seats.

Those two things would lead to a much more representative government and allow the parties to be less random with what they chose to care about.

Presidential primaries would then have to be handled.  Can't have Iowa and New Hampshire being this weirdly powerful.  Having a lottery for which state is the first primary holder would be key, maybe weighting states that have inexpensive media markets to allow for more dark horse candidates within the already fractured parties.

Maybe touch up campaign finance law so that people can only lend money to candidates they are able to vote for so that rich people don't get to donate money to every race in America.  And disallow PAC's and corporate donations entirely.
 
2018-02-09 08:15:12 AM  
Duverger's Law says what?
 
2018-02-09 08:15:44 AM  

FatherChaos: How about NO parties.  Tribalism is what's tearing this country apart.  Better to all be on the same team and let your own personal ideologies do the talking.


Yeah, why should we have political parties? It's not like every truly representative government has formed political parties.

People need to get their heads out of their asses and stop with these post-partisan fantasies. We will ALWAYS have parties. The issue i how to structure the system so that those parties serve the interests of the people.
 
2018-02-09 08:17:41 AM  

bigfatbuddhist: It could work but only with a run-off type election of the top two or three candidates after the first vote.  Otherwise, it could be manipulated something fierce...


Introduce a melee elimination round
 
2018-02-09 08:17:42 AM  
Elimination of electoral college
Elimination of PAC's
A massive reduction in the amount of time a candidate can campaign. Like, 6 months, max.

Replace debates with duels.
Summary execution of any elected official caught lying.
 
2018-02-09 08:17:58 AM  

jso2897: shastacola: Yes, truly what America needs is more chaos.

And more theoretical discussions about things that aren't even remotely politically possible.
Those are good, too.


Every time the Republican party farks up, which is every time they get power, we see these articles from conservatives about how much the parties suck, like clockwork. It's the "both sides are bad "argument from a different angle. Same shiat, different day.
 
2018-02-09 08:18:28 AM  

Chris Ween: A viable third option would be a nice start.


Gary Johnson was the most viable third party candidate since Ross Perot.  And he was extremely likeable.

But I'd love to have a system like France has.  Put all the candidates on one ballot, narrow it down to two with no write-ins, and let's see.  I had the option to vote for Gary Johnson in 2016, so I did, and I was in a swing state.  If you'd narrowed it down to two, I'd have begrudgingly hit the button marked Hillary, because I hate Comrade Drumpf worse.
 
2018-02-09 08:18:32 AM  

HedlessChickn: I'd suggest that instead of thousands of smaller parties, the EC needs to go away, proportional representation needs to be installed on both the federal and state level, and the cap of the number of members in the House needs to be increased.

But that's me.


There is no reason why your town council candidates, county sheriff, state senators and presidential candidates be aligned along the same lines, apart from the convenience of having "straight party" tickets at the voting booth,  which allows grossly incompetent people to be put in position of f power simply because they fly the R or D flag.
 
2018-02-09 08:19:38 AM  

bigfatbuddhist: It could work but only with a run-off type election of the top two or three candidates after the first vote.  Otherwise, it could be manipulated something fierce...


Why does it work in most other countries around the globe but couldn't in the US?  Is it American exceptionalism?
 
2018-02-09 08:19:50 AM  
Author hasn't yet studied contemporary Italian politics.
 
2018-02-09 08:20:46 AM  

bluorangefyre: Chris Ween: A viable third option would be a nice start.

Gary Johnson was the most viable third party candidate since Ross Perot.  And he was extremely likeable.

But I'd love to have a system like France has.  Put all the candidates on one ballot, narrow it down to two with no write-ins, and let's see.  I had the option to vote for Gary Johnson in 2016, so I did, and I was in a swing state.  If you'd narrowed it down to two, I'd have begrudgingly hit the button marked Hillary, because I hate Comrade Drumpf worse.


He was the least controversial of the candidates last time...and he's a moron. But experienced moron.  And likeable.

I voted for him knowing he would not usher in the apocalypse...which was my main presidential vote motivation
 
2018-02-09 08:22:10 AM  

bluorangefyre: Gary Johnson was the most viable third party candidate since Ross Perot.  And he was extremely likeable.


What's Aleppo?
 
2018-02-09 08:23:20 AM  
Until you want to amend the constitution to reshape the executive and legislature into a parliament, it's not going to happen. Even with instant run-off or ranked choice ballots.

The reason is the two main parties have already choked off ballot access and campaign finances to the point where, even if there wasn't a third party dominated by boneheads like Jill Stein, it can't get any money and can't get on all 50 state ballots for all elections.
 
2018-02-09 08:24:08 AM  
It's an illusion. The only difference is whether the negotiation happens before the election within the parties or after the election between the parties. Everyone still gets a seat at the table. It's not like Dennis Kucinich and Jim Webb would EVER be in the same party except in a case where there's only one major liberal party.
 
2018-02-09 08:25:04 AM  

Anastacya: If we got our own Lord Buckethead, it would definitely be one of the more sane candidates.


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vermi​n​_Supreme

Free pony for everyone doesn't sound bad at this point.
 
2018-02-09 08:25:08 AM  

verbaltoxin: bluorangefyre: Gary Johnson was the most viable third party candidate since Ross Perot.  And he was extremely likeable.

What's Aleppo?


A type of Dog food.
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-02-09 08:26:59 AM  

Boo_Guy: verbaltoxin: bluorangefyre: Gary Johnson was the most viable third party candidate since Ross Perot.  And he was extremely likeable.

What's Aleppo?

A type of Dog food.
[img.fark.net image 507x403]


Heh .

"So Gary, how do you feel about the election results yesterday?"

"That was yesterday?"
 
2018-02-09 08:27:31 AM  
That was the dumbest smart-sounding thing I've read in a long time.
 
2018-02-09 08:27:37 AM  
Personally, I'd like to see five or six viable parties competing.  If you told me dozens of parties were a good idea, I might smile and nod.

But thousands?  I can't imagine how that would help anyone.
 
2018-02-09 08:28:23 AM  

verbaltoxin: bluorangefyre: Gary Johnson was the most viable third party candidate since Ross Perot.  And he was extremely likeable.

What's Aleppo?


A popular dog food, but that's not important right now.
 
2018-02-09 08:28:43 AM  
Le Sigh. In a first-past-the-post district-based electoral system, any third party will always be a spoiler. Proportional representation or runoff balloting and you might get more options, but until that happens, don't think that wishing will make it so.
 
2018-02-09 08:29:03 AM  

Chris Ween: Boo_Guy: verbaltoxin: bluorangefyre: Gary Johnson was the most viable third party candidate since Ross Perot.  And he was extremely likeable.

What's Aleppo?

A type of Dog food.
[img.fark.net image 507x403]

Heh .

"So Gary, how do you feel about the election results yesterday?"

"That was yesterday?"


My favorite part of the Aleppo bit was Gary's impotent rage later. He was soooo mad he whiffed on an easy geography question on national TV.
 
2018-02-09 08:29:03 AM  

bluorangefyre: Chris Ween: A viable third option would be a nice start.

Gary Johnson was the most viable third party candidate since Ross Perot.  And he was extremely likeable.

But I'd love to have a system like France has.  Put all the candidates on one ballot, narrow it down to two with no write-ins, and let's see.  I had the option to vote for Gary Johnson in 2016, so I did, and I was in a swing state.  If you'd narrowed it down to two, I'd have begrudgingly hit the button marked Hillary, because I hate Comrade Drumpf worse.


So because you don't understand how our electoral system actually works, you voted for Trump. Great job.
 
2018-02-09 08:29:09 AM  

Boo_Guy: verbaltoxin: bluorangefyre: Gary Johnson was the most viable third party candidate since Ross Perot.  And he was extremely likeable.

What's Aleppo?

A type of Dog food.
[img.fark.net image 507x403]


*shakes tiny t-bone
 
2018-02-09 08:30:33 AM  
i.imgur.comView Full Size
 
2018-02-09 08:35:00 AM  

eiger: FatherChaos: How about NO parties.  Tribalism is what's tearing this country apart.  Better to all be on the same team and let your own personal ideologies do the talking.

Yeah, why should we have political parties? It's not like every truly representative government has formed political parties.

People need to get their heads out of their asses and stop with these post-partisan fantasies. We will ALWAYS have parties. The issue i how to structure the system so that those parties serve the interests of the people.


Not to mention that some things are worth being partisan over. When one party tries to dismantle social welfare programs, public education and civil rights protections, a little tribalism is not only  acceptable, but necessary.
 
2018-02-09 08:35:13 AM  

verbaltoxin: Until you want to amend the constitution to reshape the executive and legislature into a parliament, it's not going to happen. Even with instant run-off or ranked choice ballots.

The reason is the two main parties have already choked off ballot access and campaign finances to the point where, even if there wasn't a third party dominated by boneheads like Jill Stein, it can't get any money and can't get on all 50 state ballots for all elections.


We have had viable third parties in the past.  But it's to the benefit of the two main parties in the US that everyone *BELIEVES* that there can only be two viable political parties.  They spend a lot of effort to make sure that everyone thinks that they are the only two realistic options.
 
2018-02-09 08:36:14 AM  

Odin's Other Eye: Le Sigh. In a first-past-the-post district-based electoral system, any third party will always be a spoiler. Proportional representation or runoff balloting and you might get more options, but until that happens, don't think that wishing will make it so.


Exactly. The parties exist because the rules of the game encourage and even demand it. Until the system itself fundamentally changes, the 2 parties aren't going anywhere.
 
2018-02-09 08:36:28 AM  

dittybopper: We have had viable third parties in the past.  But it's to the benefit of the two main parties in the US that everyone *BELIEVES* that there can only be two viable political parties.  They spend a lot of effort to make sure that everyone thinks that they are the only two realistic options.


You are just restating what I already said.

The Whig Party, Union Party, Federalist Party, and Democratic Republican Party existed in a very, very different era.
 
2018-02-09 08:37:59 AM  

Rocketboy1313: I would say there are roughly 6 real political parties in the US, and much like Wales or Quebec, they function as semi-autonomous sub-regions within the larger political body.


That's probably fairly accurate.
A comparison with Germany is pretty useful here. Germany has five political parties that matter: The Left Party (which means pretty much exactly what it sounds like - they're socialists). The Greens, which in Germany are a technocratic and environmentally sensitive party (young wealthy urbanites are their base.) The SPD (labor-minded Democrats.) The CSU and CDU (establishment Republicans - the party stockbrokers and your insurance agent belong to.) And, of course, AfD (Trumpists.)

When elections are called, none of these parties ever get a majority in the Bundesrat. The largest party tries to create a coalition with one or two of the others to make a governing majority.

The problem lately is that, not unlike America, the SPD is declining in membership, which means that none of the three parties on the left can ever put a government together. If all of them would merge into a single party, they'd likely have a majority, but because they're split, they don't. The CDU/CSU (establishment Republicans) has been winning the plurality of seats, and it's left them in a hell of a mess this past year as the SDP (establishment Democrats, remember) has recently been their coalition partner to create a relatively centrist government. But the remaining SPD membership has been revolting against their leadership because they are tired of nominally being in the majority but always having their wishes stomped on, so it was hard to create a government this year. Of course, nobody wants to get into bed with AfD for the same reasons that a lot of establishment Republicans have a problem with the Trumpists here.

The most recent solution was for CDU/CSU to create a government with SPD and giving up a lot of cabinet seats to SPD members. On balance that's probably the best solution, but it was a multi-month crisis to get there.
 
2018-02-09 08:38:22 AM  
Unfortunately our election system is set up to mathematically only support two major parties. We'd need to change to a parlimentary system to fix things.
 
2018-02-09 08:40:01 AM  
False equivalence stemming from both sides are bad.  What this country needs is two or more parties dedicated to governing the country and increasing the prosperity of all of its citizens, regardless of differences in ideology.  One party declared government the enemy almost 40 years ago, and has been doing its damnedest ever since to destroy it.  That party is the GOP, and it's time for it to go.
 
2018-02-09 08:40:01 AM  

Relatively Obscure: FatherChaos: How about NO parties.  Tribalism is what's tearing this country apart.  Better to all be on the same team and let your own personal ideologies do the talking.

Even if you outlawed political parties, there'd be political parties.

And in our system, likely about two.


There will always be 2 parties: Us & Them
 
2018-02-09 08:40:46 AM  
Something in the rhythm of the article reminds me of Swift's "A Modest Proposal", but I can't put a finger on it. Meanwhile, I'll leave this here....



In every system of morality, which I have hitherto met with, I have always remarked, that the author proceeds for some time in the ordinary way of reasoning, and establishes the being of a God, or makes observations concerning human affairs; when of a sudden I am surprised to find, that instead of the usual copulations of propositions, is, and is not, I meet with no proposition that is not connected with an ought, or an ought not. This change is imperceptible; but is, however, of the last consequence. For as this ought, or ought not, expresses some new relation or affirmation, 'tis necessary that it should be observed and explained; and at the same time that a reason should be given, for what seems altogether inconceivable, how this new relation can be a deduction from others, which are entirely different from it. But as authors do not commonly use this precaution, I shall presume to recommend it to the readers; and am persuaded, that this small attention would subvert all the vulgar systems of morality, and let us see, that the distinction of vice and virtue is not founded merely on the relations of objects, nor is perceived by reason.
 
2018-02-09 08:41:51 AM  

harleyquinnical: There will always be 2 parties: Us & Them


And Them said you guys look like dorks!
 
2018-02-09 08:42:11 AM  

HedlessChickn: I'd suggest that instead of thousands of smaller parties, the EC needs to go away, proportional representation needs to be installed on both the federal and state level, and the cap of the number of members in the House needs to be increased.

But that's me.


So you have chosen war?

As I have said before, if you are going to do away with the EC, you will have to give the opportunity for any state that wishes to do so to leave the union... no questions asked.
 
2018-02-09 08:44:16 AM  

bigfatbuddhist: It could work but only with a run-off type election of the top two or three candidates after the first vote.  Otherwise, it could be manipulated something fierce...


^That.

The Alternative Vote Explained
Youtube 3Y3jE3B8HsE
 
2018-02-09 08:44:50 AM  
Two parties would be fine if they weren't run by dirtbags.

Why yes, this is a BSAB. But one is better.
 
2018-02-09 08:45:41 AM  
How about no parties at at............ If one looks to the purpose of political parties you'll find they're exclusive not inclusive. Thus by their nature political parties are actually anti democracy. Political parties simply exist for the party and nothing but the party. In other words, political parties are for lemmings.

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
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