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Old 12-13-2006, 10:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Illness could shift balance of power in Senate

Doesn't anyone realize how terribly wrong the statement the Democrats will have control of the Senate is? Or how terribly wrong the statement the Republicans will have control of the Senate is? Does anyone get appalled at the fact people talk about how any one body has control of the Senate, House, or the entire Congress? I do. No one is supposed to have control over either body let alone both concurrently. We can trace everything that is wrong with America back to the two party system. So it doesn't matter if Democrats, Republicans, Independents, etc have control of Congress, it only matters that one group can make decisions based on their political alignment. James Madison must be rolling in his grave.
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Old 12-14-2006, 05:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I agree, the senators and congressmen should vote the way that would serve the people they represent.
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Old 12-14-2006, 06:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by student
We can trace everything that is wrong with America back to the two party system.
I'd like to nominate this statement for The Unsupportable Statement Hall of Fame. I didn't realize that the 2-party system caused the levies to overflow in New Orleans or hurricane damage in Florida over the past 3 years to be so severe that it's virtually impossible to buy insurance coverage for wind losses. Imagine my surprise at the 2 party system's nefarious plotting with the Amish school shooter!

I'm not sure if you're advocating a true democracy or outright anarchy, but you seem to have missed the basic idea that lawmakers answer directly to their constituents. Most would be offended at the idea that they didn't vote in their district's best interests.

Oh, and James Madison founded the Democratic-Republican party with Jefferson. He might want more parties, but he certainly was never unfriendly to the idea of parties.

Being offended by journalism's shorthand notation for the political leanings of the country seems like a waste of time to me, but if that's what you want to do, have at it. Otherwise, join a third party and go on a recruitment spree.
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Old 12-14-2006, 06:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Jazz
I'd like to nominate this statement for The Unsupportable Statement Hall of Fame. I didn't realize that the 2-party system caused the levies to overflow in New Orleans
Federal funding that was supposed to go toward making the levies a lot stronger never materialized. That's traceable directly to Congress and the president, and anything an elected official does today is traceable to the 2 party system since that's what got those idiots elected in the first place.

Quote:
or hurricane damage in Florida over the past 3 years to be so severe that it's virtually impossible to buy insurance coverage for wind losses.
You keep throwing easy ones my way. Obviously the hurricane damage itself isn't what's wrong with this country. We don't blame Japan as a nation when they have an earthquake, do we? But the fact that you can't get insurance coverage is, in fact, directly traceable to the 2-party government that lets insurance companies get away with fleecing the entire American public on a nauseatingly routine basis.

Quote:
Imagine my surprise at the 2 party system's nefarious plotting with the Amish school shooter!
Clearly the actions of one deranged individual does not fall in the category of "what's wrong with an entire country," however the argument could be made that the guy should have been in a mental hospital where he couldn't harm society, but unfortunately our brilliant two party government de-institutionalized the mental healthcare system, shutting down a vast number of mental hospitals and kicking their deranged occupants out into the world to fend for themselves. This is also why there are so many psychotic homeless people out there right now.



Quote:
I'm not sure if you're advocating a true democracy or outright anarchy,

I think he's advocating a return to sanity in politics. Many democrats are so far out on the left wing that they can barely see the airplane, and many republicans (neocons, I'm talking to you) are so far out on the right wing that they're on another airplane, while their constituents, both republican and democrat, sit in the middle wondering why they can't find good representation in government. It's funny how the politician dems and republicans are so far apart, but with the exception of the religion-based issues, the average joes I talk to every day, whether republican or democrat, are usually fairly close to each other in what they want to see happen in the country.

Quote:
but you seem to have missed the basic idea that lawmakers answer directly to their constituents.
They don't anymore. This might be true in a system where the constituents know what their lawmakers are doing in their name, but the media doesn't often break votes down by congressman, and no one watches CSPAN anymore, so really lawmakers aren't nearly as accountable to their people as they should be.
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Old 12-14-2006, 08:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I can't believe i'm going to agree with shakran 110%, but I am.
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Old 12-14-2006, 11:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Wow The_Jazz, taking things a bit literally? James Madison, in an essay written to some New Yorkers who opposed the new Constitution because of their fear of a faction gaining control of the Government, tried to diffuse their argument explaining that there would be too many political factions for any one to gain control. They may gain local control, but never on a national level. It's kind of like that Simpsons episode, the one where Mr. Burns has every disease. All the diseases keep themselves in check and Mr. Burns only get sick when one of the diseases is cured. Here's a link to one of his essays. http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/federal/fed10.htm

[QUOTE=Being offended by journalism's shorthand notation for the political leanings of the country seems like a waste of time to me, but if that's what you want to do, have at it. Otherwise, join a third party and go on a recruitment spree.[/QUOTE]

I'm not sure how the Democrats having control of the Senate and the media saying the Democrats have control the Senate is shorthand. I don't think that Democrats and Republicans cover the spectrum of America's political leanings just as black and white don't cover the entire color spectrum. So I really don't understand where you were going with this. I guess you are trying to say that Dems and Repubs cover the political views of most Americans.

[QUOTE=I'm not sure if you're advocating a true democracy or outright anarchy, but you seem to have missed the basic idea that lawmakers answer directly to their constituents. Most would be offended at the idea that they didn't vote in their district's best interests.[/QUOTE]

Am I the one who missed the basic idea or are the lawmakers the ones who missed the basic idea that they work for their constiuents? I guess Americans want jobs shipped overseas where corporations reap the benefits of what is essentially slave labor. I guess Americans want no national healthcare. You could argue that it is too costly, but think of how much money is raised for election campaigns and how much is being pissed away in Iraq per week. Considering how literally you took my first post, I have to preemptively say I don't think the money we spend protecting American soldiers with things such as body armor and heavier armor for humvees is pissing it away. All of sudden, we have billions to spend and I don't understand why it couldn't have been used before. If the lawmakers worked for their constituents would we have the current raping of the middleclass?

I feel that the two party system is detrimental to our country. I am not proposing anarchy but proposing that the media gives more attention to all of the political options. Why wasn't Nader allowed to debate? Because he isn't qualified or educated? Because he didn't fit into the neat shorthand notion of America's political leanings? How can a third party ever get more exposure if they are barred from being on the same stage as the two major parties? Maybe because America would truly get to see someone who will work for them. Whether we're Republican, Democrat, Independent, facist, socialist, etc we're still all Americans, and even further than that human beings.
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Old 12-14-2006, 11:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I am very impressed with this thread so far. Student, you make very well thought out arguments and, while you had me at hello, I am feeling as if you've said what needed to be said already. All I can really say is that you are absolutely right in my humble opinion.

Returning sanity to politics is a treuly worthy cause.
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Old 12-14-2006, 12:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I dunno, guys, a man had brain surgery and is in critical condition, and the first thing a bunch of people think about is whether "their side" is going to be in power. Kinda ghouish, isn't it?

I have my own thoughts on the two-party system but I'll post on it another time, probably in another topic. Right now I'm just hoping Senator Johnson recovers his health.
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Old 12-15-2006, 06:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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OK, this is going to be a long one since I've only now seen the responses. The end of the year is hell, btw.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shakran
Federal funding that was supposed to go toward making the levies a lot stronger never materialized. That's traceable directly to Congress and the president, and anything an elected official does today is traceable to the 2 party system since that's what got those idiots elected in the first place.
I like how you've conveniently ignored the fact that there were basic engineering mistakes in the construction of the levies. The soil that they thought that they were building on just wasn't there. Please also remember that corruption, which is a universal in ALL political systems, has been particularly endemic to New Orleans since the French handed control over to the Spanish. I suppose that the American 2-party system, which didn't even exist at the time, was responsible for the graft and poor construction practices when the levies were built and upgraded. There were several break sites that showed signs of a lack of clay in the building materials, which was key to their design.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shakran
You keep throwing easy ones my way. Obviously the hurricane damage itself isn't what's wrong with this country. We don't blame Japan as a nation when they have an earthquake, do we? But the fact that you can't get insurance coverage is, in fact, directly traceable to the 2-party government that lets insurance companies get away with fleecing the entire American public on a nauseatingly routine basis.
I don't know how to say this any more politely, but you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about, and you aren't making any sense at all with Florida insurance. Property insurance is the simpliest coverage to figure a value - the building costs what it costs. It's a little more complex when it's older or the owner doesn't want to insure the value to replace it, but we're still talking about finite costs.

Let me give you a little peek into insurance and what went wrong in 2005, chief. That was by far the worst year for insurance companies writing coastal property coverage ever. Just as a benchmark, Allstate Insurance, which was the biggest writer of homeowner's coverage back before Andrew, had all of their profits back to 1923 wiped out by that ONE storm. At the time, it almost put them under since they hadn't bought any reinsurance on that book of business to lay off any of the risk. When Wilma hit Tampa last year, it was the second worst storm in terms of dollars ever - #1 was Katrina. In the months after the storm, the companies that create the models for wind damage, storm surge and construction costs for insurance companies discovered that they had screwed up majorly. These companies basically help insurance companies recalculate property values every year since buildings increase in value every year (home equity loan, anyone?). When the claims started rolling in insurers discovered that the replacement cost for almost every policy they had were about 20% higher than what they originally thought and priced for. That caused a huge problem.

At the same time, the reinsurers were being hit with big storm claims from Katrina, Rita and Wilma. Most of them decided to make the business decision to stop writing coastal wind business. Those that chose to remain jacked up their rates and cut their capacity (the total values that they'd insure in any one area). Right now there are no private insurers writing wind coverage in the Miami area. None. If you have a building down there and your wind coverage comes up for renewal between now and the end of the year, your only choice is Citizens Insurance, which was created by the State of Florida to write coverage when no other alternative was available. However, there are very serious doubts about its ability to pay claims in the event of a large storm simply because it now accounts for something like 45% of all property insurance in the state. Think about that for a second - that's a huge amount of risk, and it's the only thing available. If you build a new home anywhere within 5 miles of the coast in Tampa or Miami now, you cannot get homeowners coverage because all of the private insurers have stopped writing new business because the claims have been so bad. There are lots of Floridians that get very nervous when the wind blows because they are self-insuring their own risk.

So tell me, how does the 2 party system contribute to corporations making business decisions to stop doing unprofitable things? Honestly, the private sector has completely failed to find a way to provide coverage in a profitable but affordable way.

Let me know if you want more detail, because I'm up to my ears in it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by shakran
Clearly the actions of one deranged individual does not fall in the category of "what's wrong with an entire country," however the argument could be made that the guy should have been in a mental hospital where he couldn't harm society, but unfortunately our brilliant two party government de-institutionalized the mental healthcare system, shutting down a vast number of mental hospitals and kicking their deranged occupants out into the world to fend for themselves. This is also why there are so many psychotic homeless people out there right now.
The Amish shooter was neither homeless nor diagnosed with a mental illness. He was a truck driver with a wife and kids. What does anything in your response have to do with the actual facts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shakran
I think he's advocating a return to sanity in politics. Many democrats are so far out on the left wing that they can barely see the airplane, and many republicans (neocons, I'm talking to you) are so far out on the right wing that they're on another airplane, while their constituents, both republican and democrat, sit in the middle wondering why they can't find good representation in government. It's funny how the politician dems and republicans are so far apart, but with the exception of the religion-based issues, the average joes I talk to every day, whether republican or democrat, are usually fairly close to each other in what they want to see happen in the country.
The debates usually aren't about where we want to go but rather how to get there. We all want success and security but how we get both is what the debate has been about for the past 30,000 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shakran
They don't anymore. This might be true in a system where the constituents know what their lawmakers are doing in their name, but the media doesn't often break votes down by congressman, and no one watches CSPAN anymore, so really lawmakers aren't nearly as accountable to their people as they should be.
So you're blaming the voters for not keeping tabs on the lawmakers now? Wait, I thought we were blaming the 2 party system for everything.

I don't know about you, but the newspapers I read break down the votes of every local representative on every important piece of legislation that comes to the floor. I think that you're also ignoring the fact that voting record is generally the first issue mentioned in any political race.

Quote:
Originally Posted by student
Wow The_Jazz, taking things a bit literally? James Madison, in an essay written to some New Yorkers who opposed the new Constitution because of their fear of a faction gaining control of the Government, tried to diffuse their argument explaining that there would be too many political factions for any one to gain control. They may gain local control, but never on a national level. It's kind of like that Simpsons episode, the one where Mr. Burns has every disease. All the diseases keep themselves in check and Mr. Burns only get sick when one of the diseases is cured. Here's a link to one of his essays. http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/federal/fed10.htm
The fact remains that Madison embraced the two party system and contributed heavily to its creation. He cemented the Democratic-Republican party in place when the Federalists collapsed after the War of 1812, and there can be no debate that the man viciously consolidated power in his own party throughout his presidency.



Quote:
Originally Posted by student
I'm not sure how the Democrats having control of the Senate and the media saying the Democrats have control the Senate is shorthand. I don't think that Democrats and Republicans cover the spectrum of America's political leanings just as black and white don't cover the entire color spectrum. So I really don't understand where you were going with this. I guess you are trying to say that Dems and Repubs cover the political views of most Americans.
Sorry, I don't think that I made my point very well originally. Basically, what I was trying to say was that saying that one party or another is in control ignores the basic fact that several members routinely break with their party to vote with the other on several issues. Reagan Democrats anyone? I know that my Representative growing up (John Duncan, Sr. of TN) came back often to meet with people to gauge their support on issues. I know that his successor does the same thing, and I've personally met with both of them on issues I thought were important at the time. My current rep does the same thing, although I haven't had the inclination to go to any of her meetings.



Quote:
Originally Posted by student
Am I the one who missed the basic idea or are the lawmakers the ones who missed the basic idea that they work for their constiuents? I guess Americans want jobs shipped overseas where corporations reap the benefits of what is essentially slave labor. I guess Americans want no national healthcare. You could argue that it is too costly, but think of how much money is raised for election campaigns and how much is being pissed away in Iraq per week. Considering how literally you took my first post, I have to preemptively say I don't think the money we spend protecting American soldiers with things such as body armor and heavier armor for humvees is pissing it away. All of sudden, we have billions to spend and I don't understand why it couldn't have been used before. If the lawmakers worked for their constituents would we have the current raping of the middleclass?
The basic failing of any political system, whether it's single, dual or multi-party is that interests compete for finite resources. I agree with all of your points on campaign spending, healthcare, Iraq and soldiers.

If you want my nutshell version of what the biggest problem in this country, it's the rise of the single-issue voter. Folks that think that, for instance, the anti-abortion candidate is their best choice despite the fact that they are voting against their class interest is a major problem. I don't mean to pick on conservatives, but many of them are violently opposed to the programs that keep the working poor afloat. However, if they cloak themselves in the anti-abortion guise, they get votes and contributions from the conservative churches that have taken up the pro-life cause. It doesn't matter that the representative routinely votes against the interest of the majority of their constituents so long as they vote correctly on that single issue. See Eastern Kansas for proof.

Quote:
Originally Posted by student
I feel that the two party system is detrimental to our country. I am not proposing anarchy but proposing that the media gives more attention to all of the political options. Why wasn't Nader allowed to debate? Because he isn't qualified or educated? Because he didn't fit into the neat shorthand notion of America's political leanings? How can a third party ever get more exposure if they are barred from being on the same stage as the two major parties? Maybe because America would truly get to see someone who will work for them. Whether we're Republican, Democrat, Independent, facist, socialist, etc we're still all Americans, and even further than that human beings.
I agree that Nader should have been allowed to debate in 2000 but not in 2004. If you're not on the ballot in all 50 states, then you don't belong in a national debate - you don't meet the most basic criteria. Running for President, by necessity requires a great deal of organisation and coordination. In 2004, Nader didn't have that so he didn't get on a lot of ballots. However, the Presidential race isn't where 3rd party candidates should start. All politics are local, and if a 3rd party can get grassroots support to get them into elected office, that's the critical mass they need to start thinking nationally. The Green Party just doesn't have the support nationally yet, although there are hotbeds of support here and there.
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Last edited by The_Jazz; 12-15-2006 at 07:09 AM.. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 12-15-2006, 07:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Jazz
I agree that Nader should have been allowed to debate in 2000 but not in 2004. If you're not on the ballot in all 50 states, then you don't belong in a national debate - you don't meet the most basic criteria.
This is where I think you're wrong. Being in a national debate COULD get you on other state ballots, but not getting that national exposure can certainly keep you off of them. I don't know what a minimum requirement should be, but I'd say at least 1/3 of the states should be enough to get involved in the debates.
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Old 12-15-2006, 08:13 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dksuddeth
This is where I think you're wrong. Being in a national debate COULD get you on other state ballots, but not getting that national exposure can certainly keep you off of them. I don't know what a minimum requirement should be, but I'd say at least 1/3 of the states should be enough to get involved in the debates.
Fine. That's your opinion. I happen to disagree. If you're on the ballot of the 1/3rd of the smallest states in terms of population, then you're wasting the time of the voters in the 2/3rd's of the most populous states and the majority of voters since they can't vote for you and there's no way for you to win. But that's my opinion.

And the way that the balloting works, candidates should have been on the ballots in most states well before debate time, so being in a debate won't necessarily help you one way or the other. Remember, debate time starts about 2 months before the election. Generally speaking, ballots are finalized about 90 days out, sometimes more sometimes less.
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Old 12-15-2006, 08:59 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Jazz
If you want my nutshell version of what the biggest problem in this country, it's the rise of the single-issue voter. Folks that think that, for instance, the anti-abortion candidate is their best choice despite the fact that they are voting against their class interest is a major problem. I don't mean to pick on conservatives, but many of them are violently opposed to the programs that keep the working poor afloat. However, if they cloak themselves in the anti-abortion guise, they get votes and contributions from the conservative churches that have taken up the pro-life cause. It doesn't matter that the representative routinely votes against the interest of the majority of their constituents so long as they vote correctly on that single issue. See Eastern Kansas for proof.
But if there's any validity to the more vitriolic comparisons made with abortion (=Holocaust or =Slavery), then single-issue voting might make sense in that case. That Hitler kept the trains running didn't redeem him and Lincoln's abuses are often overlooked thanks to his effectively anti-slavery administration. An undesired attitude toward social programs - assuming that the churches even support the government getting involved - could easily and rightly be overshadowed by something in the same ballpark as slavery.

Of course, that's a HUGE 'if' at the beginning of my paragraph there. Guess my point here is that single issue voting may be the right path to take at times.
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Old 12-15-2006, 09:14 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Thank you for a great post, Jazzman. I hope you don't mind if I send excerpts to some friends in Florida.

I have quite an opinion in regard to people who repeatedly rebuild in an area that periodically gets destroyed by hurricanes or flooding. Often the cost of the rebuilding is borne by the taxpayers. I don't know if you've ever addressed that directly, but you do so indirectly with your post.

The other philosophy not directly addressed here is that people should depend on the government to take care of them. It's not surprising that wilravel is so in favor of that, but it would be nice for someone to name some countries where that philosophy has actually worked.
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Old 12-15-2006, 10:08 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magictoy
Thank you for a great post, Jazzman. I hope you don't mind if I send excerpts to some friends in Florida.

I have quite an opinion in regard to people who repeatedly rebuild in an area that periodically gets destroyed by hurricanes or flooding. Often the cost of the rebuilding is borne by the taxpayers. I don't know if you've ever addressed that directly, but you do so indirectly with your post.

The other philosophy not directly addressed here is that people should depend on the government to take care of them. It's not surprising that wilravel is so in favor of that, but it would be nice for someone to name some countries where that philosophy has actually worked.
Send it to whoever. I've got more detail if needed. I'm by no means an expert in that area, but I work very closely with some experts and I keep my ears open.

As far as people that build in troublesome spots, let me point out that you neglected to include earthquakes, which are actually viewed as very similar to hurricanes by the industry. Actually the prices for CA earthquake coverage have substantially increased because of the 2005 storms. That's because the reinsurance treaties (the contracts to lay off risk for entire books of business) for both FL wind and CA earthquake are generally written together because the same players are interested in high risk/high dollar programs.

I think that you're referring the National Flood Insurance Program, which is the only entity legally able to write flood coverage in Flood Zone A in the US. That was created at the insistence of the insurance companies because they started to refuse to give flood coverage for buildings in Flood Zone A (and B to some extent). The term "flood" can mean a lot of things, but it generally means non-wind-driven water or water that comes from the ground up (so rain isn't included). If your neighbor leaves his sprinkler on too long and it floods your basement. Or if a dam breaks. Or a real flood. Unless you buy special coverage (like from the NFIP), you don't have coverage. However, a lot of people decide not to buy the coverage (or not enough), and they're the ones that are usually SOL.

Interestingly enough, if you take all of the high risk property areas (coastal wind hazard inland to 5 miles from Brownsville, TX to Maine, Flood Zone A and fault zone areas including S. CA, W. WA, the New Madrid fault, etc.), you're suddenly talking about a very statistically significant minority of all the homes and businesses in the country. It's something like 20% of all property values in the country, but I haven't looked at the number in a while. It could be higher or lower than it used to be. If a 7.0 earthquake hit LA the same year that a Catagory 2 hurricane rolled through Manhatten or Boston (neither is an abnormally strong event) there are probably 5 insurance companies and another 5 reinsurers that would immediately tank.
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Old 12-16-2006, 02:31 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
The fact remains that Madison embraced the two party system and contributed heavily to its creation. He cemented the Democratic-Republican party in place when the Federalists collapsed after the War of 1812, and there can be no debate that the man viciously consolidated power in his own party throughout his presidency.
I don't think that founding a political party means endorsing an essentially exclusive two party system. I haven't found anything that supports your claim. He did however write a paper advocating that having many different interests and factions is more beneficial for republicanism as compared to a few special interests. I guess it is more appropriate to cite his paper as opposed to citing Madison, but I have to assume that he genuinely felt what he wrote in that essay.

Quote:
If you want my nutshell version of what the biggest problem in this country, it's the rise of the single-issue voter. Folks that think that, for instance, the anti-abortion candidate is their best choice despite the fact that they are voting against their class interest is a major problem. I don't mean to pick on conservatives, but many of them are violently opposed to the programs that keep the working poor afloat. However, if they cloak themselves in the anti-abortion guise, they get votes and contributions from the conservative churches that have taken up the pro-life cause. It doesn't matter that the representative routinely votes against the interest of the majority of their constituents so long as they vote correctly on that single issue. See Eastern Kansas for proof.
I agree. Maybe the two-party system is more of a subset of a bigger problem. When you have people who really can't even tell you what a Republican or Democrat really stands for declaring themselves as either and sometimes voting straight ticket is a problem. Maybe it is reflective of our need it yesterday culture. Candidates are made or broken on soundbites. Howard Dean? I think the true detrimental aspect of the two-party system is the lack of accountability. If there were more parties holding elected offices, I don't think that these gross over sites would be tolerated. "Oh we were wrong about the WMDs in Iraq. Sorry." If a ceo of a corporation were losing its sharholders billions a day and also resulting in thousands of lives lost, they would certainly not be employed very long. Clinton was impeached for perjury, not getting a blowjob. It's hard to be guilty of perjury when you won't testify under oath. Sorry, ranting a bit. We had a congressman making criminal sexual advances on underage boys, not only going against what most of his party vehemently opposes, but is in fact illegal. No one would speak up because of party allegiance and it would have been a blow to the image of their party near an election. As with everything in life, there are exceptions as with the Senator whose names escapes me at this moment speaking out against his party suggesting the war in Iraq may be criminal. I truly feel that if you were forced to work with people who wouldn't simply back or attempt to block a bill because of party allegiance, that this would result in having to write legislation that truly benefited the constiuents or atleast please the necessary majority of the parties needed to pass the legislation.

Quote:
I agree that Nader should have been allowed to debate in 2000 but not in 2004. If you're not on the ballot in all 50 states, then you don't belong in a national debate - you don't meet the most basic criteria. Running for President, by necessity requires a great deal of organisation and coordination. In 2004, Nader didn't have that so he didn't get on a lot of ballots. However, the Presidential race isn't where 3rd party candidates should start. All politics are local, and if a 3rd party can get grassroots support to get them into elected office, that's the critical mass they need to start thinking nationally. The Green Party just doesn't have the support nationally yet, although there are hotbeds of support here and there.
I think of the California recall election. Everyone who wished to run was given the same amount of time to express their views. I am not exactly advocating this because this resulted in I think roughly 130 candidates and was pretty much viewed as a mockery. I believe a pornstar ran. But I don't understand why if you legitmately want to run and are legitmately qualified you aren't given equal time. A great deal of organisation and coordination requires a great deal of money. To have a viable chance to get on ballots you need millions of dollars to get your name out and become recognizable. It's almost equatable to being a celebrity. In 2004 for, our options were Kerry and Bush. Both went to Yale, both were Skull and Bones members and both are ridicuously wealthy. How different were they really? Are these two, out of all the Americans in the country, the two best candidates? I don't think so but I'm not worried either. It's only a matter of time. Viral marketing works very well for many underground artists and products and it's only a matter of time before someone figures out to apply this technique to politics. I am confident that the raging beast, the Internet will lift these other parties like a phoenix from the ashes of obscurity and raise America back into an age of prosperity.
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