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Third party and independent politics in the US

Politics-American Third Parties

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#21 Themis

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 07:41 PM

But if you don't register with one of the Big Two, you can't vote in their primaries... at least not in this state.  And there aren't primaries for other parties.

I still want None of the Above on the ballot for every office, but too many people would see that as a "waste" of their vote.

I loathe the winner-takes-all system of electoral votes (but I also hate the electoral college).  That Schulze thing sounds interesting.  But changing the system would take a Constitutional amendment, wouldn't it?  And with our two-party system in control of Congress, it will never happen.
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#22 Omega

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 08:53 PM

View PostThemis, on Feb 17 2010, 12:41 AM, said:

But if you don't register with one of the Big Two, you can't vote in their primaries... at least not in this state.  And there aren't primaries for other parties.

Depends on the state.  In Tennessee, you just go vote in the primaries, and request whatever ballot you want, no party registration required.  Frankly, I think that's stupid; a party's nominee should be selected exclusively by members of that party.

View PostThemis, on Feb 17 2010, 12:41 AM, said:

I loathe the winner-takes-all system of electoral votes (but I also hate the electoral college).  That Schulze thing sounds interesting.  But changing the system would take a Constitutional amendment, wouldn't it?  And with our two-party system in control of Congress, it will never happen.

Actually, the federal government needn't have anything to do with it!  There's no such thing as a federal election in the US, all elections are on a state level.  The states can use whatever system they want, so long as it's fundamentally fair and equal to all voters.  If Tennessee decided to use Schulze to elect our congressmen, or even apportion our electoral votes, we have every right to do that.  Now, if we wanted to elect the President by Schulze, the simplest way would be via amendment.  But even that wouldn't strictly be necessary, as an inter-state compact could achieve the same end.

View PostLiberalBob, on Feb 16 2010, 11:55 PM, said:

Most people have a smattering of political beliefs that run the gamut.  If people would stop looking at the party and start looking at the candidates instead it would be a hell of a lot better.  It's like everyone is sectioning off into teams.  We're Team USA!  Take your stance on gay marriage, Omega, I can totally accept that as a gay man.  There's nothing insulting in your stance to me, but to hear some tell it I shouldn't accept it since you still don't approve based on your religious leanings.  The Democrats and the Republicans are both doing good jobs of further dividing their own parties.

There's a speech I'm planning on recording at some point.  I'll go ahead and post the preliminary script here, because you've reminded me of it:

Quote

I'm sick of politics.  I've been sick of it my entire life.  I've come to some realizations about why.

The way you go about something is just as important as what you're trying to achieve.  Your methods say as much about you as your goals do, if not more.  Like cheating at a game, or on a test, we can focus on small goals like winning or grades, and forget the reason we were doing something to begin with.

That's the state of American politics today.  I'm not a Republican.  I'm not a Democrat.  I'm not, because both these parties are lost.  They have forgotten their core reason for being.

Both parties strive to defeat each other's ideologies, but in the process they destroy our unity.  They pit Americans against each other, red state against blue state, conservative against liberal, neighbor against neighbor.  Unity does not mean we must all agree.  But it does mean we must all work together to achieve our common goals: a better America for all of us.

These parties do not respect our unity as Americans.  Instead they divide us by demonizing each other.  They want you to think that if the other side wins, America will collapse, senior citizens will starve to death, and terrorists will kill us all.  They want us to be afraid, so that they can then save us.

I choose not to be afraid.

What makes us Americans is not an economic system, or a land, or a language.  What makes us Americans is a simple set of principles: unity, equality under the law, free and civil political discourse, and peaceful and open elections.

The Republican and Democratic parties talk about these things, but look at what they do.  They treat us like we are stupid, they feed us whatever we will swallow, so they can then use us to accomplish their own ends.

Social security is in desparate straits.  The problem could have been solved decades ago, but now that it's almost too late these parties still fight for their own ideologies, instead of finding a solution that works for us all.

Health care costs are skyrocketing.  But instead of focusing on simple ways that these costs can be drastically reduced, the parties are fighting over how to best accomplish their ideological goals.  The core problem, the one that matters to us most, has been forgotten.

They lie to us.  They use us.  They make us afraid.  They divide us, and destroy the unity that makes America great, just so they can win.

Enough.  We can disagree with each other about what is best for this country.  But we are one country, and we all work for its benefit.  These parties' methods reject this simple truth, and their methods must be rejected in turn.

I am not a Republican.  I am not a Democrat.

I am an American.


#23 Anna

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 10:24 PM

View PostThemis, on Feb 16 2010, 05:41 PM, said:

But if you don't register with one of the Big Two, you can't vote in their primaries... at least not in this state.  And there aren't primaries for other parties.
But is that such a hardship? If your state is anything like mine (New Mexico, land of third world politics! :)), then even if you're voting in the primaries, it's a big exercise in figuring out who is the lesser of the evils. So what? It hasn't bothered me in the slightest.

Quote

I still want None of the Above on the ballot for every office, but too many people would see that as a "waste" of their vote.
:D I've been saying for a LOT of years that if I changed my name to "None of the Above," I could get elected to just about any office in the country. I believe that more than ever these days!
Seldom do we regret words we do not speak.

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#24 ilexx

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 02:53 AM

View PostAnalog Kid, on Feb 17 2010, 12:45 AM, said:

View Postilexx, on Feb 16 2010, 05:41 PM, said:

View PostAnalog Kid, on Feb 16 2010, 09:45 PM, said:

View PostOmega, on Feb 16 2010, 02:20 PM, said:

Yeah, but if people suck that irredeemably, you may as well not try.  I'm not there yet.  :)

Of course, not all people suck that bad. But enough of them suck to make the process a MASSIVE headache.  :headshake:

Can good things happen? Yes. But I think it's more of a roll of the dice-and sadly, people's lives are at stake oftentimes. :( Particularly the poor-and too often, the roll of the bones results in irreversible harm to them. :(

Maybe. But in my experience pessimism and misanthropy only serve the perpetuate the conditions you're so fed up with.

(shrug)

My misanthropy didn't sprout overnight. It took years, as well as going though some TRULY f**ked-up experiences. My opinion remains unchanged. Optimism is a VERY, VERY rare thing for me these days.

This doesn't mean things shouldn't be attempted-but frankly, my misanthropy has made me a hard-core skeptic/cynic. The idealistic Saul is LONG gone.

That won't change.

Well, yes... I don't doubt that you feel entitled to your pessimism and misanthropy, everybody always feels entitled to whatever views on life they have - and why shouldn't they? In that highly subjective, very personal respect, misanthropy and pessisms are as valid as the opposite or anything in-between.

Only: this is not a thread about one person's take on life or the other's, but about possible political courses of action. And before it sounded as if your suggestions in that respect was to just not bother. Which I find neither advisable nor feasible for any community as such, not even one of ants, let alone one of men.


View PostOmega, on Feb 17 2010, 02:53 AM, said:

View PostThemis, on Feb 17 2010, 12:41 AM, said:

But if you don't register with one of the Big Two, you can't vote in their primaries... at least not in this state.  And there aren't primaries for other parties.

Frankly, I think that's stupid; a party's nominee should be selected exclusively by members of that party.

Actually, that's something I never understood in American politics: why do you - as a citizen - need to decide before the actual elections which party you want to run with, just so you get to also decide on that party's internal affairs? If you want to decide on the party's policies, become a party member. If not, than stay out of it completely.

It's the way it's being done everywhere else, and there doesn't seem to be any major democracy problem coming out of it. (In fact none at all.)

Quote

I'm sick of politics.  I've been sick of it my entire life.  I've come to some realizations about why.

The way you go about something is just as important as what you're trying to achieve.  Your methods say as much about you as your goals do, if not more.  Like cheating at a game, or on a test, we can focus on small goals like winning or grades, and forget the reason we were doing something to begin with.

That's the state of American politics today.  I'm not a Republican.  I'm not a Democrat.  I'm not, because both these parties are lost.  They have forgotten their core reason for being.

Both parties strive to defeat each other's ideologies, but in the process they destroy our unity.  They pit Americans against each other, red state against blue state, conservative against liberal, neighbor against neighbor.  Unity does not mean we must all agree.  But it does mean we must all work together to achieve our common goals: a better America for all of us.

These parties do not respect our unity as Americans.  Instead they divide us by demonizing each other.  They want you to think that if the other side wins, America will collapse, senior citizens will starve to death, and terrorists will kill us all.  They want us to be afraid, so that they can then save us.

I choose not to be afraid.

What makes us Americans is not an economic system, or a land, or a language.  What makes us Americans is a simple set of principles: unity, equality under the law, free and civil political discourse, and peaceful and open elections.

The Republican and Democratic parties talk about these things, but look at what they do.  They treat us like we are stupid, they feed us whatever we will swallow, so they can then use us to accomplish their own ends.

Social security is in desparate straits.  The problem could have been solved decades ago, but now that it's almost too late these parties still fight for their own ideologies, instead of finding a solution that works for us all.

Health care costs are skyrocketing.  But instead of focusing on simple ways that these costs can be drastically reduced, the parties are fighting over how to best accomplish their ideological goals.  The core problem, the one that matters to us most, has been forgotten.

They lie to us.  They use us.  They make us afraid.  They divide us, and destroy the unity that makes America great, just so they can win.

Enough.  We can disagree with each other about what is best for this country.  But we are one country, and we all work for its benefit.  These parties' methods reject this simple truth, and their methods must be rejected in turn.

I am not a Republican.  I am not a Democrat.

I am an American.

Sounds good to me, but then again: I'm not the target audience. ;)



Edited because I still can't type.

Edited by ilexx, 17 February 2010 - 02:54 AM.


#25 Bobby

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 10:13 AM

View PostOmega, on Feb 16 2010, 07:53 PM, said:

View PostThemis, on Feb 17 2010, 12:41 AM, said:

But if you don't register with one of the Big Two, you can't vote in their primaries... at least not in this state.  And there aren't primaries for other parties.

Depends on the state.  In Tennessee, you just go vote in the primaries, and request whatever ballot you want, no party registration required.  Frankly, I think that's stupid; a party's nominee should be selected exclusively by members of that party.

View PostThemis, on Feb 17 2010, 12:41 AM, said:

I loathe the winner-takes-all system of electoral votes (but I also hate the electoral college).  That Schulze thing sounds interesting.  But changing the system would take a Constitutional amendment, wouldn't it?  And with our two-party system in control of Congress, it will never happen.

Actually, the federal government needn't have anything to do with it!  There's no such thing as a federal election in the US, all elections are on a state level.  The states can use whatever system they want, so long as it's fundamentally fair and equal to all voters.  If Tennessee decided to use Schulze to elect our congressmen, or even apportion our electoral votes, we have every right to do that.  Now, if we wanted to elect the President by Schulze, the simplest way would be via amendment.  But even that wouldn't strictly be necessary, as an inter-state compact could achieve the same end.

View PostLiberalBob, on Feb 16 2010, 11:55 PM, said:

Most people have a smattering of political beliefs that run the gamut.  If people would stop looking at the party and start looking at the candidates instead it would be a hell of a lot better.  It's like everyone is sectioning off into teams.  We're Team USA!  Take your stance on gay marriage, Omega, I can totally accept that as a gay man.  There's nothing insulting in your stance to me, but to hear some tell it I shouldn't accept it since you still don't approve based on your religious leanings.  The Democrats and the Republicans are both doing good jobs of further dividing their own parties.

There's a speech I'm planning on recording at some point.  I'll go ahead and post the preliminary script here, because you've reminded me of it:

Quote

I'm sick of politics.  I've been sick of it my entire life.  I've come to some realizations about why.

The way you go about something is just as important as what you're trying to achieve.  Your methods say as much about you as your goals do, if not more.  Like cheating at a game, or on a test, we can focus on small goals like winning or grades, and forget the reason we were doing something to begin with.

That's the state of American politics today.  I'm not a Republican.  I'm not a Democrat.  I'm not, because both these parties are lost.  They have forgotten their core reason for being.

Both parties strive to defeat each other's ideologies, but in the process they destroy our unity.  They pit Americans against each other, red state against blue state, conservative against liberal, neighbor against neighbor.  Unity does not mean we must all agree.  But it does mean we must all work together to achieve our common goals: a better America for all of us.

These parties do not respect our unity as Americans.  Instead they divide us by demonizing each other.  They want you to think that if the other side wins, America will collapse, senior citizens will starve to death, and terrorists will kill us all.  They want us to be afraid, so that they can then save us.

I choose not to be afraid.

What makes us Americans is not an economic system, or a land, or a language.  What makes us Americans is a simple set of principles: unity, equality under the law, free and civil political discourse, and peaceful and open elections.

The Republican and Democratic parties talk about these things, but look at what they do.  They treat us like we are stupid, they feed us whatever we will swallow, so they can then use us to accomplish their own ends.

Social security is in desparate straits.  The problem could have been solved decades ago, but now that it's almost too late these parties still fight for their own ideologies, instead of finding a solution that works for us all.

Health care costs are skyrocketing.  But instead of focusing on simple ways that these costs can be drastically reduced, the parties are fighting over how to best accomplish their ideological goals.  The core problem, the one that matters to us most, has been forgotten.

They lie to us.  They use us.  They make us afraid.  They divide us, and destroy the unity that makes America great, just so they can win.

Enough.  We can disagree with each other about what is best for this country.  But we are one country, and we all work for its benefit.  These parties' methods reject this simple truth, and their methods must be rejected in turn.

I am not a Republican.  I am not a Democrat.

I am an American.

It's a great speech, I like it.  Just don't go the Obama route, you know, don't oversell it.   Be a pragmatist, never dogmatic,is that a word? LOL, anyway, just let people know you will adapt according to the situation.   The idea that people should be committed to one course of action because it's what some people chant as a mantra is ridiculous.  Look at Obama,  when he got into office he had to face the reality of what it means to be in charge of the armed forces and those campaign promises went out the window.

#26 Vapor Trails

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 12:32 PM

View Postilexx, on Feb 17 2010, 02:53 AM, said:

View PostAnalog Kid, on Feb 17 2010, 12:45 AM, said:

(shrug)

My misanthropy didn't sprout overnight. It took years, as well as going though some TRULY f**ked-up experiences. My opinion remains unchanged. Optimism is a VERY, VERY rare thing for me these days.

This doesn't mean things shouldn't be attempted-but frankly, my misanthropy has made me a hard-core skeptic/cynic. The idealistic Saul is LONG gone.

That won't change.

Well, yes... I don't doubt that you feel entitled to your pessimism and misanthropy, everybody always feels entitled to whatever views on life they have - and why shouldn't they? In that highly subjective, very personal respect, misanthropy and pessisms are as valid as the opposite or anything in-between.

Only: this is not a thread about one person's take on life or the other's, but about possible political courses of action. And before it sounded as if your suggestions in that respect was to just not bother. Which I find neither advisable nor feasible for any community as such, not even one of ants, let alone one of men.

Oh no-I do understand what you're saying. :) I absolutely agree that we HAVE to make attempts at improving things. What I'm trying to say (and perhaps didn't quite make clear :p ) is that people's behavior-particularly in politics-is so predictable that I simply refuse to get my hopes up anymore. At my VERY best-I'm going to stay brutally realistic. There are simply too many promises made, too many "feel good" speeches, the proverbial reassurance pat on the public's shoulder saying "Keep your chin up. Things will get better eventually." Sorry, no. That, for me, isn't enough anymore.

All that matters, to me, are concrete results that TRULY work for the LONG HAUL. Anything else is just smoke and mirrors. I don't have the patience for anything else any more.

Edited by Analog Kid, 17 February 2010 - 12:33 PM.

Posted Image

Politicians are like bananas; they hang together, they're all yellow, and there's not a straight one among them.

"We're relevant for $ and a vote once every two years. Beyond that, we're completely irrelevant, except of course to consume, and preach the gospel according to [insert political demigod here]."--Cait

#27 ilexx

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 05:03 PM

^ I got it now. So you are rather a sceptic. Fair enough. But wouldn't - in that case - looking for more viable options and, should those not appear available, create some yourself then be more helpful?

Although I admit that the only way to obtain an ideal party would be to have a party of one, because every other person's views is going to add or extract something to the original line, making comprimises necessary, I still find flawed, pluralistic party platforms that involve a great deal of compromises preferable to gatherings eliminating this need to compromise.

#28 Vapor Trails

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 09:53 PM

posts 9 & 10
Posted Image

Politicians are like bananas; they hang together, they're all yellow, and there's not a straight one among them.

"We're relevant for $ and a vote once every two years. Beyond that, we're completely irrelevant, except of course to consume, and preach the gospel according to [insert political demigod here]."--Cait



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