Why a Multi-Party System is not Only Patriotic, but it could save the Republican and Democrat Parties

In Election Politics on September 25, 2010 at 02:45

We need a multiparty system and proportional representation in this nation or we might as well say goodbye to real democracy in America.

Proportional Representation would allow minority positions to be heard and thus quell the outrage heard by such groups as the Tea Party movement who up until now has NO direct representation in Congress.

The Tea Party wing of the Republican Party has won several primary contests against more established Republicans including Castle in Delaware, Murkowski in Alaska and Sue Lowden in Nevada.

Mike Castle, a well-known conservative in the Republican Party, was the favorite to take Joe Biden’s open Senate seat in Delaware. However, in a state with a population of less than a million, he was ousted by political neophyte Christine O’Donnell.

O’Donnell’s traditional beliefs are that masturbation is the same as adultery, rats have been bred with “fully functional human brains” and that abortion should be illegal even in the case of rape and incest among other extreme positions.

The latter position is being taken by the other Tea Party candidates and many in the Republican Party. If supporting the parental rights of rapists and child molesters isn’t enough for you to abandon the Republican Party, you should reevaluate you priorities.

“RNC for Life has endorsed 63 House candidates who are “pro-life without discrimination” (NO exceptions for abortions for the health of the mother or rape or incest) and heading into the general election. Edmondson pointed to Bill Flores (TX-17), Stephen Broden (TX-30), Rocky Raczkowski (MI-9) and Sandy Adams (FL-24) as especially exciting candidates to watch. Incumbents endorsed by RNC for Life include Michele Bachmann (MN-6), Jean Schmidt (OH-2) and Duncan Hunter (CA-52).”

“The candidates getting the most attention, however, are on the Senate side: Sharron Angle (Nev.), Ken Buck (Colo.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), Joe Miller (Alaska), Christine O’Donnell (Del.) and Rand Paul (Ky.). All of them oppose abortion even in cases of rape and incest.” (link)

I guess the right to life doesn’t extend to rape victims’ lives or expectant women who will die during birth.

The Population of these three pivotal states with contested Senate seats is

Alaska                     698,473
Delaware                885,122
Nevada                   2,643,085

Total                        4,226,480 ; about 1.4% of the population of the United States

And now, the Republicans might loose these seats to Democrats for choosing far right Tea Party challengers over more established candidates. If there had been the opportunity to create a third party that was viable in the United States, Castle, Murkowski and Lowden would have won their primaries and been up against the members of the Tea Party and the Democratic Party. And if Delaware had rules that supported third party candidates such as public financing, proportional representation and lower thresholds for party registration, the Democratic nominee would have to fought off a challenge from the left in the Greens or other actually liberal party.

In Arkansas, Blanche Lincoln defeated a true moderate-liberal Democrat Bill Halter in her primary. And what is Lincolns’ reward? She now has little support on the left and is trailing her Republican opposition John Boozman by 54 to 35%. In a more democratic system, Lincoln would have to run against Halter as a Peace and Freedom (or other verifiably liberal party) candidate, Boozman as a Republican and perhaps a Libertarian Party challenger. She would loose either way, but there would no longer be a pretense that she is a liberal.

Her seat is not a loss for the Democrats, for she votes with the Republicans on enough big issues such as the health care bill and the Disclosure Act that she is a de facto Republican.

Polls before the Democratic primary showed Halter fairing better against Bozeman than Lincoln, although both Democrats were far behind Mr. Bozeman. At least there was a shot with the “liberal”.

Of the three recent Tea Party Senate challengers, Joe Miller from Alaska has the best chance of winning. While he misinforms voters on the issues of taxes and socialism, he hasn’t practiced witchcraft or had any wacky press conferences. However, he has come out against social security, a loosing proposition in Alaska, and against federal spending in the state. Being fiscally conservative is good politics until it hits your own constituents. Then it’s “spend baby spend!”

O’Donnell is too kooky to win. Some in her own party don’t like her, and she has too much baggage from her recent past. As far as Sharon Angle goes, she will loose. Incumbent Reid will flood the airwaves with negative ads in October, and she will lose. And I am NOT a big fan of Reid.

So what can the major parties do to enhance our democracy and conserve their rigid ideology into the next century? They should promote third parties and proportional representation, of course.

If there were a far right party, then the Republican stalwarts wouldn’t lose their primaries and would be unchallenged. And if there was a real liberal alternative to the Democrats in America, people like Halter and Ned Lamont, the man who beat Lieberman in the Democratic primary, could run as on their own ticket, perhaps in the Workers Party, and Lieberman could happily run unopposed as a Democrat.

In his article, “Third Parties Don’t Work: Why and How Egalitarians Should Transform the Democratic Party”, noted sociology professor G. William Domhoff says that third parties won’t work in the United States. His argument basically comes down to the rules as dictated by the two parties, Democratic and Republican. But if these parties saw their power threatened by coalitions of extremists on the right and liberals on the left, they might concede to third party demands and open up the process. It is the democratic thing to do.

Then again, the two parties aren’t very democratic, in the true sense of the word, are they? Their style of democracy isn’t for everyone in our system; it is for a few elite in each party, wealthy benefactors and their cronies and a few other political elites who decide on who we vote for and limits out choices.

Some answers to our reduced democracy brought on by the two party system include the following: proportional representation, instant runoff voting, computerized Congressional districts to eliminate gerrymandering advantages, a set of rules for party qualifications with a reduction of requirements and challenges to getting on ballots, and elimination of the Senate.

Here’s what Richie and Hill say about proportional representation,

“Finally, PR is important for majority interests because, as Mill argued, it provides represented minorities with a platform to challenge conventional wisdom. An advocate of universal suffrage, Mill still was sympathetic to conservative concerns about educated minorities being outvoted by newly enfranchised, less-educated voters. Assuring a voice to the minority eliminated his fears because of his faith in the results of a fully democratic process, with open and organized discussion among competing political ideas and projects. By allowing dissenters to win representation, PR fosters ongoing challenges to majority opinion, and thus complements our First Amendment freedoms.”

If the Democrats and Republicans split off ally factions, then they wouldn’t have to take full responsibility for their “extremist” positions. They could then have two parties that are more liberal or extremist than they are who would in the end be reliable allies.

Ritchie and Hill and many other social scientists agree that proportional representation increases voter turnout. Wouldn’t the two major parties want increased voter turnout? (Watch out, that’s a trick question).

South Carolina might have had a third party challenger instead of Democrat Alvin Greene who has almost no chance against Republican Senator Jim DeMint, no matter what DeMint does.

And if minor parties got seats in the Congress through proportional representation, then third parties would run in every state to meet the vote threshold. That would increase voting.

More support for Proportional Representation from Ritchie and Hill

By restricting voters’ choices and underrepresenting voters from minority groups, winner-take-all elections devalue the right to vote, our fundamental democratic right. Correcting these failures requires PR. No other political reform currently on the table–public financing of elections, term limits, fusion, or universal voter registration–will suffice to correct these deficiencies in our democracy…Minor parties by definition begin with minority support, which wins nothing in winner-take-all elections unless it is geographically concentrated. With little chance to win, minority party candidates cannot build or sustain support. Ross Perot’s well-financed independent candidacy in 1992 won 19 percent of the vote, but he did not finish first in any congressional district. In 1996, his vote was reduced by more than half, although one voter in ten still voted for minor-party presidential candidates, and half of all eligible voters saw no reason to participate.

Gerrymandering creates safe seats even when the seat is an open seat. The district can be created to be majority Democratic or Republican party, regardless of the advantages of money or loss of incumbency. Proportional representation would allow a person to vote for candidates over several districts and thus remove the power of gerrymandering in states with more than one representative. If nothing else, using a computerized system to randomly select districts in a state, rather than letting the majority party in the state legislature make as many safe seats for themselves through gerrymandering, would reduce the two party advantages.

In addition, if the Senate was removed and each state got an additional two House seats (leaving the less populated states with three seats), third parties would have a greater chance of gaining seats in Congress. This would increase the voice of all Americans and reduce the chance of rogues within the Republican and Democratic parties from taking over. Minority voices wouldn’t be subsumed by the two parties, they would join or create new ones. That would energize more citizen voters.

Democrats and Republicans set the rules for qualifying for office and the rules for qualifying for a debate. If the two ruling parties decide to make it hard to qualify, they can monopolize Congress, Governorships and state Legislatures to the exclusion of third parties.

If we had a multiparty proportional representation, Arkansas wouldn’t be stuck with an ultra-right Democrat in Blanche Lincoln as Senator. They would vote in a more liberal progressive candidate, as well as a Republican, and perhaps a Libertarian.

Proportional representation would re-enfranchise Southern minorities to an extent even greater than the voting rights act of 1964. For example, you could have a “Southern Freedom” party that was mainly for African American candidates. With the number of African American voters (not that any minority group votes as a block, other than Republicans), perhaps there would be and increase in black membership to Congress.

Here’s an example of the idiotic logic used to defend the two party system:

Why has there only been two parties that have dominated our government for nearly a century and a half? Because the two-party system works. The two-party system makes voting for Americans a lot simpler. If the voter is conservative, and he doesn’t know much about certain candidates, he could just vote for the Republican candidate. It combines groups of people with similar platforms into two solid platforms. The Republicans are conservative and the Democrats are liberal.

Basically the writer is saying we are too stupid to understand a multiparty system when they say, “The two-party system makes voting for Americans a lot simpler.” If it really prevented the truly stupid from voting, that would be a plus to proportional representation. And it would force the vast majority of Americans of average intelligence to study our elections more closely.

The author is also saying that there are two types of voters, Conservative and “Liberal”. If you didn’t my catch the drift yet, the fact is that most Democrats AREN’T liberal. And in reality, there aren’t just “conservatives” and “liberals” in our nation. Those labels are basically meaningless with the plethora of issues and positions one can take on each issue. Ideology is a multifaceted spherical continuum. It defies such simple labels.

Ron Paul Supports Third Parties

Mr. Speaker, political operatives across the country are using state ballot access laws to deny voters the opportunity to support independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader. For example, one New York election lawyer publicly stated that partisan election lawyers should take advantage of New York’s complex and costly ballot access procedures to keep Mr. Nader off the New York ballot. Meanwhile, a state party chairman in Arizona has hired a team of lawyers for the sole purpose of keeping Mr. Nader off the Arizona ballot.


Links, again with the links?!

Gerrymandering a two party monopoly

Join the Green party

Join the Libertarians

Join a third party of your choice.

Think for yourselves and tell me to shove off!

Fiscally Responsible Social Democrats Unite!

Tex Shelters

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jeff, Pelosio. Pelosio said: UVR- Why a Multi-Party System is not Only Patriotic, but it could save …: No other political reform currently on… http://bit.ly/aSa7oQ […]

  2. abortion should be illegal even in the case of rape and incest.

    Tex I don’t see that as an extremist position. I used to have the position of allowing abortion in the case of rape, incest and the life of the mother until someone on the left posed a valid question to me. She asked If I thought the unborn child was a separate person how could I accept one life for another no matter what the circumstance? She was right for me allowing an abortion for rape or incest was giving the innocent child a death sentence for something the unborn child had no part in. As you know I’m agnostic but was raised Catholic. I wasn’t always pro-life in fact up until I saw the ultrasound of my son I never even gave the subject any thought at all, it didn’t matter. I didn’t come to the conclusion that an unborn child is a real person with its own rights under the Constitution through Religion. I came to that conclusion thru science and biology. The unborn child has his own unique DNA so is a separate person and has a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness just as you and I enjoy. I saw the ultra-sound of my son, there is no denying that my son was a separate unique person separate from his mother even though he was totally reliant on his mother for his existence. As far as the mice or rats with human brains? Well that’s out there I will give you that but they have bread glow in the dark mice by inserting a gene from a Jellyfish. I believe in the future we will be able to switch on and off certain genes and put evolution in reverse if we choose we may be able to resurrect a wooly mammoth or a T Rex from an elephant or Bird. Change is coming this November, I believe a blowout is coming and Dems will loose far more seats than anyone is now saying. The Republican Primaries are attracting twice as many people as the Dem Primaries, the Tea party has the energy, the pundits will claim the next day they never knew change would be so far reaching why didn’t the polls show it. Just watch, I’m rarely wrong in calling elections.

  3. Jake,

    “Tex I don’t see that as an extremist position. I used to have the position of allowing abortion in the case of rape, incest and the life of the mother until someone on the left posed a valid question to me. She asked If I thought the unborn yo was a separate person how could I accept one life for another no matter what the circumstance?”

    I agree, killing an unborn child is wrong. An embryo and a fetus, however, are NOT unborn children. Furthermore, the mother IS a fully grown human able to live on her own.

    “She was right for me allowing an abortion for rape or incest was giving the innocent child a death sentence for something the unborn child had no part in.”

    Again, cells don’t a child make.

    “I wasn’t always “pro-life”.”

    People against the right of a woman to choose aren’t the only “pro-life” people in the world.

    I’ve been pro-life since I was born.

    You can the term “unborn child” all you want. That doesn’t make a fetus or embryo and “unborn child.” They are cells living off the woman.

    I’ve seen ultrasounds too, but not of my own child. If you do an ultrasound, you are ready to take the pregnancy to term. And that’s cool. The first ultrasound isn’t done until after 12 weeks, 2.5 months. Generally, a fetus can’t live outside the womb until after 23 weeks, and that is why most laws bad abortions after 23 weeks unless the baby is still born and needs to come out. Then it’s not really an abortion.

    I am firmly for legal and safe abortions because without them, women are enslaved to their abusers and have less choice in life. Also, I don’t want to see poor women butcher themselves trying to abort unwanted pregnancies while rich women travel to Europe to get an abortion. I generally agree with the 23 week limit.

    You misoverestimate the Tea Party. There will be Democratic losses, but not as many as you think. For example, Blanche Lincoln is not really a Democrat, so that seat won’t be a loss.

    So, you can’t wait to get your billionaire tax cuts back, can you? Ha ha. The economy did so well under Bush, that the Republicans want to bring his policies back. Hurray! Too bad it was only the top 5% that made gains under Bush. http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

    Tex Shelters

    • We will never agree on the abortion issue, we are worlds apart. As far as the Dems loosing big, I believe I’m right but the proof will have to wait until November 3rd. That said, if someone were to tell me a year ago that a Republican would be sitting in Ted Kennedy’s seat right now I would have laughed in their face.

      • Jake,

        So, you think it’s okay for a woman to die to bring a child to term? What if the child might die as well, but a safe legal abortion would save the mother? Is that not a time when you would say abortion is okay? Do you not care about the health of the mother? Do you think women should be subservient to men and the law when they have a medical option to rid themselves of unwanted cells that can’t live outside their body. Are you pro-zygote too?

        Can you really defend your position in the contexts I laid out or are you stuck in your emotion and/or faith that you can’t ever see a time when a legal abortion might be best? Think about it.

        Dems loosing BIG? It depends on what you mean by “big”. They won’t lose the House of the Senate but it will be closer. Frankly, I hope both parties fall into the ocean and we can start over.

        I may be wrong, and that’s fine with me. There are only a few seats I think are worthy Democrats, but they are part of the corrupt system, so screw most if not all of them.

        Tex Shelters

        • Tex, I’m all for saving the mother’s life, if the baby dies in that process then that is a tragedy but it is not murder. Abortion is murder, if someone thinks abortion is wrong and a pro-choice person thinks it shouldn’t be done as much as it is than that person is the hypocrite. We aren’t talking about a growth, we are talking about a group of cells biologically speaking who is it’s on being. You mentioned that a fetus was dependant on it’s mother, well so is an infant, for that matter so are toddlers and some teenagers. Does it really matter that the fetus won’t feel pain? I think not, would it matter if a murderer anesthetized his victim before he killed them? You say a fetus is not a person, is a tadpole alive? A fetus is part of the human life cycle just as a tadpole is part of a frog. As far as the elections go we don’t have to take the senate to tie it up. The house? We need to get close in the senate to lock it down and we will take the house. As long as Obama is there the best I can hope for is gridlocked government. To start rolling back things will take 2012 when another third of the senate will be up for reelection. I told J, two years ago to be careful what he wished for. I saw the economy going down and if I was a Dem I wouldn’t want to be in power when it happened. I knew it was going to be bad, the Policies that Obama and the Dems passed hasn’t helped. Dems will pay the price whether deserved or not.

          • BTW Tex, I’m all for Birth Control including the morning after pill and sterilization. There is but one valid reason to terminate a pregnancy and that’s an ectopic pregnancy in which case the pregnancy was never viable in the first place.

  4. Of course we need multiple parties, or at least for now three.

  5. Voting is not contractual It is pointless. Voting suppresses political power by pretending you can change things with a ballot box. Even if you could change things the supreme court would crush anything you did by redefining terms used. Anyone with a basic understanding of history should be able to understand this.

    • Chris,

      You make common fallacy my students make by assuming all voting is national or for Congress.

      Voting locally is very important and the Supreme Court has nothing to do with that.

      And I would argue that more people voting in Florida in 2000 might have changed the course of history (enough votes so the Supreme Court couldn’t select Bush).

      Do I think Gore is a savior. Frankly, I can’t stand the guy. But he might not have led us into two disastrous wars and the continuity between Clinton and Gore’s national security efforts might have prevented 9/11. As it was, Bush fired all of Clinton’s staff on National Security and ignored the 9/11 warnings. There are other examples.

      Thanks for your comment! Seriously, I love the challenge and debate.

      Tex Shelters

      • Tex its no fallacy. EVEN IF you could do something on a small scale corporations could just use the supreme court to redefine terms. I can give you 100 hundred examples of this but Im sure you can find them on your own. Small groups that come to any power are massively intimated by federal powers FBI local police CIA. I can link you to ten examples off the top of my head but im sure your smart enough to find them on your own. Haymarket affair, MLK.

        • Activists: FBI raids an ‘attempt to intimidate anti-war movement’

          By The Associated Press
          Sunday, September 26th, 2010 — 10:56 am

  6. A genius, rational piece. Keep this stuff up!

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