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Thread: My issue with political parties.

  1. #1

    Default My issue with political parties.

    I understand the original purpose of political parties was for people who share the same views and beliefs to get together and get someone who shares those views into office. However, it simply doesn't work like that. People are so biased towards their party that they vote for whoever is affiliated with their party, no matter how bad they may be, or how much of a slime-ball they are, or how simply unintelligent they are.

    The only thing political parties are doing is tearing the country apart at the seams. People get so bent out of shape about things, that a lot of people (read: a lot, not all) throw insults and tell someone from another party how stupid they are without even actually listening to what's being said.

    When it comes down to it, people are forgetting what the main purpose should be at the end of the day; helping the country improve. Not helping the Democrats, or Republicans, or any other party, but the country and its people as a whole. That's what is lost in all of this turmoil, and it's very distressing.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by BasketCase View Post
    I understand the original purpose of political parties was for people who share the same views and beliefs to get together and get someone who shares those views into office. However, it simply doesn't work like that. People are so biased towards their party that they vote for whoever is affiliated with their party, no matter how bad they may be, or how much of a slime-ball they are, or how simply unintelligent they are.
    I agree that in a representative democracy there is great difficulty in separating "the candidate" and "the programme" - you might think that the left wing candidate was more able, but the right wing programme would better suit your needs (or whatever). In that case you have to weigh up how important each factor is to you and then compromise accordingly. In the USA you deal with this problem with the primaries, a separate vote for choosing the candidate first and who then works out a programme with the party. In other democracies with a multi-party system, there is a wider choice of candidates with a spectrum of programmes for government.
    You could have a direct participation democracy, but direct democracy is not suited to running a political unit the size of the USA, or indeed any collection of people much larger than a few thousands.



    The only thing political parties are doing is tearing the country apart at the seams. People get so bent out of shape about things, that a lot of people (read: a lot, not all) throw insults and tell someone from another party how stupid they are without even actually listening to what's being said.
    Like they've been doing for the past few hundred years...
    Election of 1800 Attack ads Jefferson Adams Campaign Attack Ads - YouTube
    ...so far America has survived in tact, with one notable exception, but that was caused by problems more substantial than people saying nasty things about each other at election time.



    When it comes down to it, people are forgetting what the main purpose should be at the end of the day; helping the country improve. Not helping the Democrats, or Republicans, or any other party, but the country and its people as a whole. That's what is lost in all of this turmoil, and it's very distressing.
    The problem is, and this is the problem politics is there to solve: there really isn't any one set of policies that's best for the whole country. If you think about what you think is "best for the country as a whole" plenty of people will disagree with you strongly. Everyone has different values and interests, there are limited resources to share, and every policy must favour some people over others. Politics is there to produce a working compromise between the citizens that lets the country survive till the next election. The US may be rather battered right now, but it has for more chance of seeing 2016 in working order than a lot of other countries.

  3. #3

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    I've often wondered how our government would work if we had more than just two parties. Suppose we had 5 or 6 like some other countries? Would there be chaos, or would ideas and concerns for the country begin to emerge and rise to the top rather than the infighting which we now have. The problem with having only two parties, and a population of unimaginative people is that people support their party as if they were teams, rooting for the Yankees or the Mets instead of making intelligent choices.

    I think the other thing which has hurt us as a nation is identifying Republican as conservatives, and Democrats as liberals. The church has its version of this when it asks you if "you are saved". Words quickly lose their meaning and obfuscate meaning and the needed action to make our lives better.

    Look at Mitt Romney, a once Massachusetts liberal who now has had to line up with every conservative ideologue in order to get the nomination. As a result, anything which might be reasonable has gone out the door, bags packed and not returning any time soon. Last year Consumer's Report list Massachusetts as having the best health care of any state, yet Mitt Romney has completely separated himself from this accomplishment. How sad.

  4. #4

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    My father and mother taught my sisters and I that voting was a responsibility not a right.
    To do it properly you had to spend time looking at all the candidates and decide who would be best for you and your family.
    Did I always agree with them NO. But I had to explain to them why and with good reasoning why I choose one candidate over the other.
    They may not have agreed with me but my opinion was always respected.

  5. #5

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    I recall last year a politician called for ballot papers to list only the people running in the election, instead of both their names and the party they represent (if any).
    In a way I think it would be a good idea, it's easy to forget that your voting a specific person into parliament. In the UK it's worth checking theyworkforyou.com to see your MP's voting record, you might find you're not getting what you expect.
    I'm in favour of changing the voting system to something more proportionate, and I'd like to see more coalition governments.

    I can't imagine having just two major parties... it's seems like such a limited choice. Who do you vote for if you don't support the Democrats or Republicans?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by dogboy View Post
    I've often wondered how our government would work if we had more than just two parties. Suppose we had 5 or 6 like some other countries? Would there be chaos, or would ideas and concerns for the country begin to emerge and rise to the top rather than the infighting which we now have. The problem with having only two parties, and a population of unimaginative people is that people support their party as if they were teams, rooting for the Yankees or the Mets instead of making intelligent choices.
    In Canada, we have five parties with representation in the House of Commons (=Congress) - the Conservative Party (centre-right), Liberal Party (centre), New Democratic Party (left), Green Party (although only one seat), and the Bloc Québecois (Quebec separatists...and yet the Government of Canada pays them). And we haven't collapsed yet. The only issue is that we've had a lot of minority governments in recent years, in which no party has more than half the seats, meaning that the other leaders tend to force elections pretty frequently. We had four elections between 2004 and 2011 because of this, although now the Conservatives have a majority. So it gets costly with all the elections, but it does force the parties to actually cooperate and compromise. The other plus is that we have a lot more choice, since there are three parties in each area with some chance of getting elected (four if you live in Quebec and the BQ is running). And I think most people switch their votes - I'm not tied to the last party I voted for, by any means. Having more representation can be a really good thing.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by dogboy View Post
    I've often wondered how our government would work if we had more than just two parties. Suppose we had 5 or 6 like some other countries? Would there be chaos, or would ideas and concerns for the country begin to emerge and rise to the top rather than the infighting which we now have.
    It would be a lot less beaurocratic, and cutthroat, than it is today. As it stands, politicians are elected into primaries (in part) by their ability to beat the other candidate. Some people vote in primaries they don't ever plan to support for the sole purpose of voting for an "unelectable" candidate. Then, primaries are settled, candidates sling mud at eachother, giving stories of why you should vote for them instead of the other guy. With more parties, that kind of game would be much more difficult to pull off, citizens would be free to vote on relevant issues, and new causes would be free to enter and leave as they became more or less relevant instead of trying to appeal to one side or the other. Plus, some issues (like SOPA/PIPA) tend to be bipartisan since they aren't part of either side's platform and special interests have a strong, forcibly expressed opinion about them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ringer View Post
    My father and mother taught my sisters and I that voting was a responsibility not a right.
    To do it properly you had to spend time looking at all the candidates and decide who would be best for you and your family.
    Did I always agree with them NO. But I had to explain to them why and with good reasoning why I choose one candidate over the other.
    They may not have agreed with me but my opinion was always respected.
    I think it's understanding the issues that is more of a responsibility. Personally, I'll always try to get some research done before elections, but if I miss something I'll abstain. If you vote just for the sake of voting, you'll end up voting for whoever sounds most familiar (or sometimes block voting, which is another problem) or you haven't heard some attack ad for. Essentially, that kind of voting, and the attitude one should always vote, is why money buys access to the political system. Money in politics is easily the largest problem with the U.S. government right now, so rather than letting money influence my vote, if I find myself unsure who to vote for by the time I'm at the polls, I'll skip it.

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