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Old 02-10-2005, 02:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Political parties should be unconstitutional

This is truly my opinion. I would not have said this if we lived in an age where the news media had integrity or the political parties actually cared for the welfare of the people, but it has become apparrent to me that this is no longer the case.

The original purpose of political parties was to unite legislators and voters with similar political views, and to a lesser extent for simplification of governance. Thomas Jefferson was against this (which even then was a 2-party system), himself being concerned that this would split the country (pretty good foresight, huh?). Now the purpose of political parties is much more marred to the individual. While the parties still hold opposing viewpoints, many of which target different groups, they have gained new purpose. I don't think anyone would argue that either party would like nothing more than to have total governmental control. James Carville, on Meet the Press last November, asserted to Tim Russert that the modern-day purpose of the political parties is "to get people elected". All but the most sure-seated legislators (who barely need to put effort into getting reelected) are forced to adopt a political stance in relatively strict conformation with their party in order to get funding for their campaigns. The parties' agendas are no longer based around what they believe to be right, but what they can sell to the American people, not to mention that the truth is regularly and severely bent for "cosmetic" reasons.

Since the parties only want to have power, and force their views upon legislators, we are left with a government lacking reason and consideration for the people. I believe that a non-partisan government would return decisions on policy to individual legislators, would allow for more varied thinking within government, and would allow for voters to choose a legislator who has the mix of ideas that they desire (both "liberal and "conservative" ideas to simplify it as such.

What do you think about this?
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Old 02-10-2005, 02:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds good to me. I would also prohibit any form of privately funded campaigning.
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Old 02-10-2005, 03:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by filtherton
Sounds good to me. I would also prohibit any form of privately funded campaigning.
Amendment accepted!
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Old 02-10-2005, 03:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Just remember that the same laws that permit the assemblage of political parties protect your right to assemble and protest them.
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Old 02-10-2005, 05:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm not saying that we should get rid of that last part... Just the first.

Just because we amend the constitution doesn't mean we have to put a strikethrough across an entire section.
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Old 02-10-2005, 05:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filtherton
Sounds good to me. I would also prohibit any form of privately funded campaigning.
So.....if I give my own money to a campaign I am privately funding a campaign, right?

Isn't that kinda contradictory to the above idea to go around and prohibit my ability to participate in politics?
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Old 02-10-2005, 05:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C4 Diesel
I'm not saying that we should get rid of that last part... Just the first.

Just because we amend the constitution doesn't mean we have to put a strikethrough across an entire section.
/playing devil's advocate here....

However, you immediately accepted an amendment that is very much a "strikethrough" to personal freedoms.

If I can't give money to a campaign, what else are you gonna tell me I can't do?

Since I am not a politician, that is how I help promote politic ideas that I agree with, by giving money to the campaign. Just like we give money here to the TFP to support something we believe in. You take away my ability to contribute and you have, in essence, silenced my ability to help support my cause.
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Old 02-10-2005, 06:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think I like this idea. I admit to being so closed minded that I've never considered the possibility. Upon consideration, I think it would solve a great many problems. You've got my vote.
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Old 02-10-2005, 06:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KMA-628
So.....if I give my own money to a campaign I am privately funding a campaign, right?

Isn't that kinda contradictory to the above idea to go around and prohibit my ability to participate in politics?
Yep, but it's not really eliminating your ability to participate in politics, it just means you take a more financially passive role. The problem with private donations is that it gives the better fundraiser a distinct advantage, whereas i believe that the candidate whose position is the most compelling to the most people should have an advantage.

Last edited by filtherton; 02-10-2005 at 07:10 PM..
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Old 02-10-2005, 06:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C4 Diesel
The original purpose of political parties was to unite legislators and voters with similar political views, and to a lesser extent for simplification of governance. Thomas Jefferson was against this (which even then was a 2-party system), himself being concerned that this would split the country (pretty good foresight, huh?). Now the purpose of political parties is much more marred to the individual. While the parties still hold opposing viewpoints, many of which target different groups, they have gained new purpose. I don't think anyone would argue that either party would like nothing more than to have total governmental control. James Carville, on Meet the Press last November, asserted to Tim Russert that the modern-day purpose of the political parties is "to get people elected". All but the most sure-seated legislators (who barely need to put effort into getting reelected) are forced to adopt a political stance in relatively strict conformation with their party in order to get funding for their campaigns. The parties' agendas are no longer based around what they believe to be right, but what they can sell to the American people, not to mention that the truth is regularly and severely bent for "cosmetic" reasons.
While an early Jefferson denounced political parties, both him and Madison in their later years realized that political parties within a political system are inevitable. Without an organized political body to mobilize voters we never would have even had a constitution (Federalists anyone?) Yes, in early documents the Framers denounce factions and the threat of a tyranny of majority and all that. But in Madison's revisions of The Federalist papers he deems parties "a necessary evil."

In light of that, I think that today the bigger problem is our current dominating two-party and majority-rule system. Just look at what percentage of the people ended up as "losers" in this last election. If we had a proportional system with many parties less people would be dissatisfied with our government and with democracy in general. But this is only part of the problem...read Robert Dahl's book How Democratic is the American Constitution and you might just come to find out the answer is: Not very.
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Old 02-10-2005, 07:33 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KMA-628
/playing devil's advocate here....

However, you immediately accepted an amendment that is very much a "strikethrough" to personal freedoms.

If I can't give money to a campaign, what else are you gonna tell me I can't do?
The purpose of government is to regulate society (via individuals in many cases) in order to promote the general welfare and advancement of society. Having a government that does not tell you some things you are not allowed to do is utopian, and in being so, is inconsequential to the discussion.

Personal or corporate finanancing influences the candidates. In my "idealized" government, the whole idea is to remove pressures which would affect the candidates/legislators stances, therefore we could not have private donations to politicians in any way. The finanacing for campaigns would have to be equal (to be fair) and government-sponsored. If too many people wanted to run, there would have to be some kind of preliminary polling to eliminate some of the candidates so government apportions for advertising would be limited. The individual should still incur a cost, however (in the form of a candidacy fee?), to keep just anyone from running for office since the gov't pays for the campaigns.
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Old 02-10-2005, 07:46 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourtyrulz
While an early Jefferson denounced political parties, both him and Madison in their later years realized that political parties within a political system are inevitable. Without an organized political body to mobilize voters we never would have even had a constitution (Federalists anyone?) Yes, in early documents the Framers denounce factions and the threat of a tyranny of majority and all that. But in Madison's revisions of The Federalist papers he deems parties "a necessary evil."

In light of that, I think that today the bigger problem is our current dominating two-party and majority-rule system. Just look at what percentage of the people ended up as "losers" in this last election. If we had a proportional system with many parties less people would be dissatisfied with our government and with democracy in general. But this is only part of the problem...read Robert Dahl's book How Democratic is the American Constitution and you might just come to find out the answer is: Not very.

I would argue that voters, especially in the present, could easily be mobilized without parties. Mass media, which was not present in the times of the Federalists, can much more quickly and easily disperse ideas and information, allowing the people to be more informed, which I believe would increase the chances of participation. Also, I believe that having the chance to elect representatives that could more accurately adhere to the beliefs of the people (as opposed to their party) would make individuals more likely to vote. I see no reason to believe that our established governmental system would fall idle without parties, but feel free to propose some.

The multiparty system would, in my opinion, be a close second best to the no-party system. The only problem I foresee in this system is that I do not believe the parties would have any better of an ideology (at least as to how they run themselves) than they do now, and without any party having a majority, they will easily form alliances with their most similar counterparts to push legislation. The multi-party system in this situation would not be acting much like a multi-party system.
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Old 02-10-2005, 07:52 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
The purpose of government is to regulate society (via individuals in many cases) in order to promote the general welfare and advancement of society.
Says you. Many people have many different beliefs as to what the purpose of government is.

Quote:
The individual should still incur a cost, however (in the form of a candidacy fee?), to keep just anyone from running for office since the gov't pays for the campaigns.
In the ideal concept of America, anyone (who is a citizen over a certain age) can run for office. It is up to the people, not the gov't to decide who runs.

Quote:
Mass media, which was not present in the times of the Federalists, can much more quickly and easily disperse ideas and information, allowing the people to be more informed, which I believe would increase the chances of participation.
We know how terribly too well how the mass media can be used as a biased tool to the higest bidder. Relying on the mass media to inform the people would be a huge mistake.

Political parties are inevitable, if the government outlaws them (along with some other rights to assembly as someone mentioned earlier) they'll form underground and still vote for their candidate of choice. A no-party system would 1) not be a democracy and 2) be impossible to regulate.
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Old 02-10-2005, 08:36 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Fourtyrulz
Says you. Many people have many different beliefs as to what the purpose of government is.
Okay, even ignoring what it's purpose is, a governement (realistically speaking) has to place limits on society. Can we agree on that? ...I was merely trying to make the point that "if you won't let us do this, then what else won't you let us do" isn't exactly a valid argument

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourtyrulz
In the ideal concept of America, anyone (who is a citizen over a certain age) can run for office. It is up to the people, not the gov't to decide who runs.
Yes. but this is somewhat impractical. At least I would imagine it to be. If it turns out that there are not an inordinate amount of people that wish to run for office, then it could be done with no "fee". Even if there was this nominal fee that I mentioned, it would still be much mroe enabling than the current system, where if you're not in a party you're horribly outfunded.

Also, please keep in mind that I'm not discussing this as an ideal. I'm discussing a possibility as it pertains to reality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourtyrulz
We know how terribly too well how the mass media can be used as a biased tool to the higest bidder. Relying on the mass media to inform the people would be a huge mistake.
Okay... Your original statement was that the political body (parties) was necessary to mobilize voters. So relying on political parties to relay information and encourage voter participation and activism is any less biased?!? They're a large part of the reason for the bias in the first place!

Personally, I would love to see the US government charter a BBC-esque national news agency, but that would never work out (or at least never work out well) because neither party wants objective truth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourtyrulz
Political parties areinevitable, if the government outlaws them (along with some other rights to assembly as someone mentioned earlier) they'll form underground and still vote for their candidate of choice. A no-party system would 1) not be a democracy and 2) be impossible to regulate.
1) I don't see where parties are embedded in the definition of democracy, and all the elements of democracy are still perfectly functional and applicable without them.

2) regulate in what sense?

Legislators will always collaborate, true. However being wholly individual to begin with promotes individuality to a much greater extent than being grouped, and the likelihood of a political bloc forming among individuals would be unlikely in my opinion. This is not to say that there would be no concessions or negotiation within the legislature, but such activity would be much more subtle.
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Old 02-10-2005, 08:58 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Okay... Your original statement was that the political body (parties) was necessary to mobilize voters. So relying on political parties to relay information and encourage voter participation and activism is any less biased?!? They're a large part of the reason for the bias in the first place!
While I do agree with that. I just think that people should be responsible for getting their own information on a candidate, then if they choose to digest hugely biased info and vote off of that more power to them. I guess we can agree that when you are trying to win a competition of any kind, especially a political office, you'll put your own spin on anything. But people are lazy and rely on campaign commericals.
Quote:
Personally, I would love to see the US government charter a BBC-esque national news agency, but that would never work out (or at least never work out well) because neither party wants objective truth.
Ditto. The news of the government whoring out the news media makes me sick.

Quote:
2) regulate in what sense?
If we can't have political parties there would have to be some sort of way to regulate people's organization into a political body, then enforce those laws with some kind of punishment.

I think we can both agree on SOME kind of political party reform, but the problems run deeper than that. In order to reform the political party system something would have to be changed on an idealogical level in America. You should really read Dahl's book I mention in an earlier post, it's an eye opening experience. Not to mention the source for 2/3 of my rhetoric in this thread.
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Old 02-10-2005, 09:16 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I see the fatal flaw as the "media" portion of this idea (I would say there are other flaws, but I see this as the biggest).

Media needs revenue, which means advertising which means viewership.

Did the media go nuts over the nobody candidate in California or did the go nuts over the Ahnolds, the Gary Coleman's and the Mary Carey's?

You argue that utopian ideas are incosequential and then interject ideas that require utopian thought (i.e. the media, any media, will report fairly).

What you are proposing isn't just a change to our political party system, but to our system as a whole. Freedom of the press meant no gov't controlled or sponsered media - A BBC-esque outlet would be just that.

It's not that I don't agree with some of the basic ideas, it just seems that you are inserting evil to combat evil.
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Old 02-10-2005, 09:22 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filtherton
Yep, but it's not really eliminating your ability to participate in politics, it just means you take a more financially passive role. The problem with private donations is that it gives the better fundraiser a distinct advantage, whereas i believe that the candidate whose position is the most compelling to the most people should have an advantage.
If that is the role I wish to play, than yes, this idea eliminates my involvement. While some financial aspects of politics are not played above board, not all are. Eliminating them entirely, is kinda like cutting off your hand to spite your face. I could see a cap on donations, personal or corporate, but I see eliminating all of them as an infringement of my rights.

As far as the "distint advantage" part: you don't think leaving the dissemination of information to the media is a "distinct advantage" to the person(s) that is more attractive to the media?

Same analogy: California - did the best person win? Nope. The most popular person won, regardless of his/her idealogy. Remove the parties and you get a California situation with the media clamoring to the candidate that will give them the best ratings. Even if you jacked up the cost to participate, than only the people who can afford to participate will. It won't make the pool of choices any better.
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Old 02-10-2005, 11:59 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Yea the media is extremely bias. By the way the news ran you would never have known there were more than 2 candidates (well, 3, but the third was only trashed and dumped on.) The other candidates would have been total unknowns if not for the internet in my opintion. If it weren't for the internet the only place you would have seen, say, the green party candidate, would be on the ballot, and by that time it's too late.. you have already made up your mind (hopefully.)
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Old 02-11-2005, 08:46 AM   #19 (permalink)
 
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i agree with lebel on this: i dont see, still, how you would seperate something directed against political parties from the right to assemble more generally.
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Old 02-11-2005, 10:28 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by C4 Diesel
Okay, even ignoring what it's purpose is, a governement (realistically speaking) has to place limits on society. Can we agree on that? ...I was merely trying to make the point that "if you won't let us do this, then what else won't you let us do" isn't exactly a valid argument.
The government is not there to rule over the people. The government SERVES the people by providing the law and justice system, as well as a national defense, that the people mandate. There is absolutely NO inference in the constitution that provides the right or justification for the government to place any limit on society.
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Old 02-11-2005, 10:28 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by KMA-628
You argue that utopian ideas are incosequential and then interject ideas that require utopian thought (i.e. the media, any media, will report fairly).

What you are proposing isn't just a change to our political party system, but to our system as a whole. Freedom of the press meant no gov't controlled or sponsered media - A BBC-esque outlet would be just that.
Not true at all. First off, tell me where I said that the media had to be fair? I bet you can't quote me on it, 'cause I never said it. Secondly, I used the BBC of an example of a great, nonbiased news agency. I hardly think the BBC is utopian.

Freedom of the press would not be limited by a BBC-esque news agency. Anyone else would still be welcome to have their own news agency or report the news however they feel. No media organizations would be closed because of it. If anything, it would EXPAND the expressions of the press overall, so I really do not see how this could be limiting to the freedom of the press. We're not taking away anyone's rights to report the news here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KMA-628
It's not that I don't agree with some of the basic ideas, it just seems that you are inserting evil to combat evil.
Please, save me the rhetoric. Are you angry that j-walking is illegal in most places, too?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KMA-628
If that is the role I wish to play, than yes, this idea eliminates my involvement. While some financial aspects of politics are not played above board, not all are. Eliminating them entirely, is kinda like cutting off your hand to spite your face. I could see a cap on donations, personal or corporate, but I see eliminating all of them as an infringement of my rights.
How is that any less of an infringement than putting a cap on it? That's still the governement saying "you can't do this". No donations just levels the playing field even more while completely eliminating outside influence. Even with a cap the election becomes somewhat of a popularity contest (based on popularity before candidacy). Recent history has told us that private campaign finance and political donations are used on the part of both individuals and corporations to sway a candidate's, legislator's, or even and entire party's viewpoint. Therefore the right to private contributions should be given less importance than the more noble cause of the right to a fair election. Rights can conflict, you know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KMA-628
As far as the "distint advantage" part: you don't think leaving the dissemination of information to the media is a "distinct advantage" to the person(s) that is more attractive to the media?
And here we find that freedom of speech is generally held to be more important than the distribution of accurate, unbiased information by the media, and thus we can do nothing about it... except perhaps charter a BBC-esque news agency.
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Old 02-11-2005, 11:02 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by KMA-628
If that is the role I wish to play, than yes, this idea eliminates my involvement. While some financial aspects of politics are not played above board, not all are. Eliminating them entirely, is kinda like cutting off your hand to spite your face. I could see a cap on donations, personal or corporate, but I see eliminating all of them as an infringement of my rights.
If that is the role you wish to play, it seems kind've half assed. I don't believe that signing a check amounts to healthy democratic participation. I think it would be better if all one could donate was time. We all have the same amount of time, we don't all have the same amount of money.

Quote:
As far as the "distint advantage" part: you don't think leaving the dissemination of information to the media is a "distinct advantage" to the person(s) that is more attractive to the media?
Isn't that a problem nowadays anyway? Can you tell me off the top of your head what the names of the 3rd party candidates involved in the presidential election last year? Didn't think so. Besides, the media is currently almost completely in charge of disseminating information on political candidates as far as the average person is concerned.


Quote:
Same analogy: California - did the best person win? Nope. The most popular person won, regardless of his/her idealogy. Remove the parties and you get a California situation with the media clamoring to the candidate that will give them the best ratings. Even if you jacked up the cost to participate, than only the people who can afford to participate will. It won't make the pool of choices any better.
I'll give you a better analogy: U.S. presidency- did the best person win? Nope. Because out of what we were offered by the current two party system each candidate was weak. John Kerry? Douchebag. George Bush? Douchebag. Any presidential candidate who will ever be nominated by the republicans or democrats? Probably a douchebag. There was no ideal candidate, the people were given the choice between salisbury steak with peas or salisbury steak with corn. The two party system is broken. Our representative democracy is going down the shithole because the power structure is stagnant. The media already clamors for the candidate likely to give them the best ratings. If you don't think that's a problem now, than i don't see how you could see it as a problem under different conditions.
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Old 02-11-2005, 11:39 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filtherton
If that is the role you wish to play, it seems kind've half assed. I don't believe that signing a check amounts to healthy democratic participation. I think it would be better if all one could donate was time. We all have the same amount of time, we don't all have the same amount of money.
That is awful elitist of you to decide the best role others should fill in the political process.

And, no, we all don't have the same amount of time. I run a small company, take care of my three young kids and have gone back to school. For me, giving money to the candidate/party of my choosing is a better use of my resources.

It is about choice. In your effort to "make things better" you want to limit my choice. It is not up to you to decide what is a half-assed action on my part. It is up to you to play the role you want to fill. You have absolutely no right to tell me what I can and can't do, nor do you have the right to condemn the actions I choose of my own free will.

Quote:
Originally Posted by filtherton
Isn't that a problem nowadays anyway? Can you tell me off the top of your head what the names of the 3rd party candidates involved in the presidential election last year? Didn't think so. Besides, the media is currently almost completely in charge of disseminating information on political candidates as far as the average person is concerned.
You know what they say about assuming, right? Just pull the "u" out of the saying and it will fit right in here.

Now, is media the problem here or is it the political parties as mentioned by C4?

Quote:
Originally Posted by filtherton
I'll give you a better analogy: U.S. presidency- did the best person win? Nope. Because out of what we were offered by the current two party system each candidate was weak. John Kerry? Douchebag. George Bush? Douchebag. Any presidential candidate who will ever be nominated by the republicans or democrats? Probably a douchebag. There was no ideal candidate, the people were given the choice between salisbury steak with peas or salisbury steak with corn. The two party system is broken. Our representative democracy is going down the shithole because the power structure is stagnant. The media already clamors for the candidate likely to give them the best ratings. If you don't think that's a problem now, than i don't see how you could see it as a problem under different conditions.
You missed the analogy.

We were talking about elections where anyone that can enter does. California was a good example of the kind of chaos that ensues in that type of scenario.
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Old 02-11-2005, 12:04 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by C4 Diesel
Not true at all. First off, tell me where I said that the media had to be fair? I bet you can't quote me on it, 'cause I never said it. Secondly, I used the BBC of an example of a great, nonbiased news agency. I hardly think the BBC is utopian.

Freedom of the press would not be limited by a BBC-esque news agency. Anyone else would still be welcome to have their own news agency or report the news however they feel. No media organizations would be closed because of it. If anything, it would EXPAND the expressions of the press overall, so I really do not see how this could be limiting to the freedom of the press. We're not taking away anyone's rights to report the news here.
We will have to disagree on that one. I see a state-controlled press agency as a direct afront to freedom of the press, and I doubt I am alone on that one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by C4 Diesel
Please, save me the rhetoric. Are you angry that j-walking is illegal in most places, too?
I have absolutely no clue what you are talking about here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by C4 Diesel
How is that any less of an infringement than putting a cap on it? That's still the governement saying "you can't do this". No donations just levels the playing field even more while completely eliminating outside influence. Even with a cap the election becomes somewhat of a popularity contest (based on popularity before candidacy). Recent history has told us that private campaign finance and political donations are used on the part of both individuals and corporations to sway a candidate's, legislator's, or even and entire party's viewpoint. Therefore the right to private contributions should be given less importance than the more noble cause of the right to a fair election. Rights can conflict, you know.
I don't agree with the cap. However, if I had to choose between not being allowed to contribute and having caps placed on my contribution, I would choose the caps. I guess I would rather have my rights reduced than taken away completely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by C4 Diesel
And here we find that freedom of speech is generally held to be more important than the distribution of accurate, unbiased information by the media, and thus we can do nothing about it... except perhaps charter a BBC-esque news agency.
Yes, I do hold freedom of speech to be more important. Freedom of speech allows for the distribution of information. Accuracy and bias must be decided on by the consumer of the product. What I may find accurate, you may find inaccurate. Since there is no way to design a system that all people will believe as fair and accurate, we can only embrace our freedom of speech and hope the best.
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Old 02-11-2005, 02:20 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by KMA-628
That is awful elitist of you to decide the best role others should fill in the political process.
I made no decision, merely stated an opinion. Another opinion of mine is that limiting your participation in the nonvoting aspect of the democratic process to writing a check requires the absolute minimum of effort.

Quote:
And, no, we all don't have the same amount of time. I run a small company, take care of my three young kids and have gone back to school. For me, giving money to the candidate/party of my choosing is a better use of my resources.
We do actually all have the same amount of time. Despite your small business and your children, there are still 168 hours in every week. Just like everyone else, you make priorities and choose to do what is important to you. All i'm saying is that if someone can't find the time to be politically active with anything other than a checkbook, than perhaps they underestimate the demands that a healthy democracy places on its citizenship. Again, that's just my opinion.


Quote:
It is about choice. In your effort to "make things better" you want to limit my choice. It is not up to you to decide what is a half-assed action on my part. It is up to you to play the role you want to fill. You have absolutely no right to tell me what I can and can't do, nor do you have the right to condemn the actions I choose of my own free will.
I don't decide whether what you do is half-assed or not, that's on you. But i can very legitimately look at something you do and tell you that i think that it is half-assed. You're right, i don't have any right to tell you what you can or can't do. That's not what i was doing. Nothing that i have said so far, aside from the one sentence about your specific time constraint issues, has been "kma-628 specific". If political parties were outlawed you can be sure that it wouldn't be solely based on the impetus of li'l ol' me. It would most likely be the result of legal action within the framework of our constitution, in which case, telling you what to do is par for the course.

Quote:
You know what they say about assuming, right? Just pull the "u" out of the saying and it will fit right in here.
Did one of the third part candidates tell you that? I must've missed out on that due the fact that the mainstream media completely ignored nearly every third party candidate in the running.

Quote:
Now, is media the problem here or is it the political parties as mentioned by C4?
Both. But i didn't bring the media up explicitly. Someone else did.


Quote:
You missed the analogy.

We were talking about elections where anyone that can enter does. California was a good example of the kind of chaos that ensues in that type of scenario.
I caught the analogy, and raised you a better one. Your criticism of the potential pratfalls of a party-less system is also a valid criticism of the current party system. i.e. the media focusing on the most ratings-favorable candidates rather than giving all candidates an equal amount of time.

Besides, wasn't arnold the republican candidate? Weren't both the major parties represented? How can that possibly be an example of what an election would be like in a system without parties, when both parties were very clearly represented with candidates?

In terms of "elections where anyone that can enter does", does that mean that every eligible citizen of california was on the ballot, because that seems to be what your phrase means. That was hardly the case in california. As far as i can tell, most elections allow anyone(with certain restrictions) to enter. That being the case i don't see how that aspect is even relevant to this discussion.
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Old 02-11-2005, 02:29 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KMA-628
We will have to disagree on that one. I see a state-controlled press agency as a direct afront to freedom of the press, and I doubt I am alone on that one.
I'm not letting you off the hook on this one. Please, elaborate in what way it is a violation of free speech, since you have not yet done so. The agency would not be told what to report by the governement, it would merely have a constant government funding to prevent infuence from advertisers, and people who otherwise "contribute" to the economic advancement of the network. I fail to see how any of this is limiting to free speech.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KMA-628
I have absolutely no clue what you are talking about here.
What I was implying (albeit sarcastically) is that you seem to be intent on maintaining the position of "the government shouldn't tell anyone what to do". While I am in many ways a libertarian myself, I can understand that in order for a system to suceed (or even function), there must be rules to the system. The current setup of government is defined by the current rules (more commonly known as laws). I consider this (no political parties) a good rule for our current system.

I pose to you a question... Do you believe that all citizens should have an equal say in government?
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Old 02-11-2005, 02:40 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C4 Diesel
I'm not letting you off the hook on this one. Please, elaborate in what way it is a violation of free speech, since you have not yet done so. The agency would not be told what to report by the governement, it would merely have a constant government funding to prevent infuence from advertisers, and people who otherwise "contribute" to the economic advancement of the network. I fail to see how any of this is limiting to free speech.



What I was implying (albeit sarcastically) is that you seem to be intent on maintaining the position of "the government shouldn't tell anyone what to do". While I am in many ways a libertarian myself, I can understand that in order for a system to suceed (or even function), there must be rules to the system. The current setup of government is defined by the current rules (more commonly known as laws). I consider this (no political parties) a good rule for our current system.

I pose to you a question... Do you believe that all citizens should have an equal say in government?

I am referring to freedom of the press. As I said before, most of us take that to mean that there is no state-sponsered press agency. To me, that is a conflict of interest (I don't share your opinions of the BBC).

As to your last question: no.
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Old 02-11-2005, 04:43 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Beyind the fact that you baselessly assume the majority of people to share your opinion on freedom of the press, I'll let that one go, as continuing the discussion is getting no where but off topic.

I must say, I wasn't expecting that last response... This leads me to the obvious question: What do you believe the criteria to be for determining who should have more of a say in government?
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Old 02-11-2005, 05:36 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C4 Diesel
I must say, I wasn't expecting that last response... This leads me to the obvious question: What do you believe the criteria to be for determining who should have more of a say in government?
I don't mean to butt in here, but if by "who should have more of a say in government", you mean "the right to vote", one example comes to mind immediately. Currently, convicted felons forfeit their say in that respect.
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Old 02-11-2005, 06:14 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerDick
I don't mean to butt in here, but if by "who should have more of a say in government", you mean "the right to vote", one example comes to mind immediately. Currently, convicted felons forfeit their say in that respect.
Personally, i don't think anyone who doesn't own property should be allowed to vote to raise property taxes.

But everyone who feels entitled to the money of others tends to disagree.
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Old 02-11-2005, 06:58 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sob
Personally, i don't think anyone who doesn't own property should be allowed to vote to raise property taxes.

But everyone who feels entitled to the money of others tends to disagree.
Good point. Perhaps this is a topic for a another thread, but unfortunately, not only can people who own no property vote on property taxes, they can vote on issuing debt in the form of bonds (general revenue) which are guaranteed by the issuing municiipality. In other words, people who own no property can vote on issuing bonds against those who pay taxes which back the debt, and who will eventually, pay for it. Amazing.
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Old 02-11-2005, 07:13 PM   #32 (permalink)
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By that logic, no one who is umemployed should be able to vote on income taxes.

While nice in theory, I don't think it is very practical.
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Old 02-11-2005, 07:19 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lebell
By that logic, no one who is umemployed should be able to vote on income taxes.

While nice in theory, I don't think it is very practical.

Income tax is a whole 'nother ball of wax, Lebell. But, for the sake of argument, why should someone who is unemployed (and by definition, not paying any income tax) decide on how the income tax that pay YOU pay, be spent?
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Old 02-11-2005, 07:23 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerDick
Good point. Perhaps this is a topic for a another thread, but unfortunately, not only can people who own no property vote on property taxes, they can vote on issuing debt in the form of bonds (general revenue) which are guaranteed by the issuing municiipality. In other words, people who own no property can vote on issuing bonds against those who pay taxes which back the debt, and who will eventually, pay for it. Amazing.
To continue the threadjack:
This comes up in Libertarian circles a lot, but I'm not so sure it is a good idea to disenfranchise a large group of citizens like that and may cause revolution eventually. This gets close to being an Aristocracy which I guess isn't too far from the way it was originally set up. I do wonder though what would happen if 99% of the people voted instead of just 60% or so now.
Quote:
"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the Public Treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the Public Treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy always followed by dictatorship." - Alexander Fraser Tyler, "The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Republic"
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Old 02-11-2005, 07:30 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerDick
Income tax is a whole 'nother ball of wax, Lebell. But, for the sake of argument, why should someone who is unemployed (and by definition, not paying any income tax) decide on how the income tax that pay YOU pay, be spent?
Well,

To me both questions boil down to a question of how does a society define the electorate.

The ancient Greeks defined it as white men, while we have a much broader definition.

If there were any restrictions I could choose, I would tend towards something like those in "Starship Troopers", i.e., you have to successfully complete a term of federal service before taking responsibility of controlling the government.

But as I know that won't happen, I just don't see that it would be practical to try to limit the elegibility as has been proposed.

This is separate from the logic of it.
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Old 02-11-2005, 08:55 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lebell
But as I know that won't happen, I just don't see that it would be practical to try to limit the elegibility as has been proposed.

This is separate from the logic of it.
Clear it up for me. I've read the entire thread, but I'm not clear on "what has been proposed." What has been proposed? Honestly, maybe I missed somtihing in the thread.
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Old 02-11-2005, 09:04 PM   #37 (permalink)
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I was simply commenting on what Sob said and you subsequently commented on, namely, that those who don't own property shouldn't be able to vote on property tax increases.

But further discussion on this should be put in a thread of its own as opposed to a threadjack.
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Old 02-11-2005, 09:14 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lebell
I was simply commenting on what Sob said and you subsequently commented on, namely, that those who don't own property shouldn't be able to vote on property tax increases.

But further discussion on this should be put in a thread of its own as opposed to a threadjack.
Okay, what the heck. There are enough people here who despise my opinions to generate some responses.

I'll probably be accused of trolling, though.

/Threadjack off (that's TWO words)
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Old 02-11-2005, 09:28 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Location: manhattan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lebell
I was simply commenting on what Sob said and you subsequently commented on, namely, that those who don't own property shouldn't be able to vote on property tax increases.

But further discussion on this should be put in a thread of its own as opposed to a threadjack.

Why shoulld they?

I'lm not trying to thread-jack, but i'll gladly take this thread into any category the "mods" think it fits into. I look forward to continuing it.
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Old 02-14-2005, 01:02 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C4 Diesel
Beyind the fact that you baselessly assume the majority of people to share your opinion on freedom of the press, I'll let that one go, as continuing the discussion is getting no where but off topic.

I must say, I wasn't expecting that last response... This leads me to the obvious question: What do you believe the criteria to be for determining who should have more of a say in government?
You may assume my comment was baseless, but your response doesn't particularly motivate me to further respond.

As to your question where I answered "no".

My three year-old has no say in our gov't and I am fine with that, and he is a citizen of the U.S.

In some states, felons can't vote, and I am fine with that, and they are still citizens of the U.S.

Someone locked in a padded cell, while still a citizen, probably doesn't have any say in our gov't.

Not every citizen has a say in our gov't, that really shouldn't be a shocking statement, in fact, its kinda obvious.

I am under the impression that if you are able to vote and still have all of your rights intact, then you have a say in our gov't. You don't have to be able to vote, but it helps.
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