aerosreenivas
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Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:41 am

On the eve of the Mid-term Poll in the US, I can't help but ask all the members of this forum in America this question. Should the world see a Multi Party System in the American Democracy?

With the ever changing demography of the US, it means there will be many communities with different thinking, economic and social aspirations that they may or may not get from either the Democrats or the Republican parties. So in such a scenario is there a possibility of seeing many political parties coming into the fray and forming a Coailation Government?

Would like to hear from all of you regarding this.

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fallap
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:26 am

Well, it would create a system with a lot more possibilities for gaining political influence and making your individuel vote count. The current electoral system of Single-Member-Majoritarian creates little incentives for people belonging to the political minority in a state (say Republicans in California) to bother voting, when the odds are heavily against their favour.

A Proportional Representation system would do away with the total monopoly of the Democrats and Republicans, and usher in a range of new parties that will represent minorities or other topics that the current system does not give much attention.

However, I doubt there will be a change of system anytime soon, as neither of the two major parties will want to loose political power, which is inevitable if third parties are allowed to gain entry to the political arena of influence.
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einsteinboricua
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:10 pm

There's already a multi-party system in place. Go back to the 2016 elections and how the Green and Libertarian parties maybe played spoiler effect.

But fallap hit the nail on the head: the first-past-the-post system we have for all elections is stupid. A mixed-member proportional system allows a more diverse representation, though it's likely that many would balk at doubling the number of representatives, even if they would fairly represent each of the voters. As for statewide elections (Senators and governors): instant-runoff or subsequent runoff should do. And for the electoral college, if we want it to be truly representative while keeping it in place, how about proportional allocation of electors? That incentivizes turnout in each state and gets rid of the "safe state" status, as even 1 elector can make a difference.
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Tugger
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:33 pm

Well yeah, but it doesn't work that way.
For now at least, you have two camps and each are afraid of losing "effectiveness" by supporting any other new party even it represented them better.

Tugg
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:55 pm

The correct verb is “could”, not “should” and the answer is: it’s not designed that way. BTW, the Founders didn’t anticipate political parties.

I do think the House should be vastly enlarged—at least 600 members, possibly more, and Senators back to being appointed by state legislatures which would bring some balance back. The system is too weighted to voters’ passions. Also, Congress needs to return to its place as the government and the President back to be an administrator of the executive rather than most important person on the planet—silly.

GF
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:05 pm

Another hat in the ring pointing out that short of changing the actual electoral system away from FPP nothing will change. FPP encourages 2 parties due to its winner take all design. A proportional system would by it's nature change this. Take a look at how NZ politics have changed since moving away from FPP to MMP.

Anything else is just rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic.
 
KLDC10
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:16 pm

Supporting a third party in the current system is akin to throwing away your vote.

Say, for example, the Democratic party were to split into a moderate, center party, and a social-democratic left-wing party. The only effect would be to split the vote and guarantee Republican supermajorities everwhere - big enough majorities to change the Constitution. That's why the Democratic Party sticks together, despite it being a seemingly constant tug-of-war between the centrist-minded politicians and the left-wing. The GOP doesn't have that problem because Trump has remade the party in his own image and the members are in lock-step behind him.

To a lesser extent, it is also true in the UK, which, while a Parliamentary Democracy, also operates a first-past-the-post, winner-takes-all system. In 2010, David Cameron won a parliamentary majority with 36% of the vote. In 1997, Tony Blair won a huge majority - 418 seats. The advantage, of course, is that this sort of system generally produces stronger governments.

I for one don't think that the US should move to a multi-party system like the ones we see in European countries like Germany. Imagine the current Congressional gridlock, but with three, four, or even five parties instead of two. Nothing would get done. Historically, there have been other political parties in the US, like the Whig Party, or the Federalists, but they eventually merged into two because that works best in the system prescribed by the Constitution. America didn't start off with a two party system, but it's the natural and logical consequence of the way the electoral system works.

If you were to suggest Constitutional changes in order to develop a system of proportional representation, I think you might encounter some sudden and vigorous bipartisanship...
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Tugger
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:22 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
The correct verb is “could”, not “should” and the answer is: it’s not designed that way. BTW, the Founders didn’t anticipate political parties.

I do think the House should be vastly enlarged—at least 600 members, possibly more, and Senators back to being appointed by state legislatures which would bring some balance back. The system is too weighted to voters’ passions. Also, Congress needs to return to its place as the government and the President back to be an administrator of the executive rather than most important person on the planet—silly.

:checkmark: :checkmark: :checkmark:

I'll second this.

To your comment about political parties, the saddest thing about "political parties" is that no one party can really truly represent all of a persons views. So what happened is people got lazy (Hmmm...got? No, probably more accurate to say: People are often lazy by nature so), instead of having their own view and thoughts, they outsourced it to a political party. Now many (lazy) people "identify" as one party or the other.

Thankfully there is a growing population of independent voters. Politics is actually hard, and getting thoughtful, insightful discussion on topics where people have widely differing views is not easy for many people.

=
Tugg
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cledaybuck
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:43 pm

KLDC10 wrote:
The GOP doesn't have that problem because Trump has remade the party in his own image and the members are in lock-step behind him.

Baloney. There is a significant part of the GOP that doesn't believe in a lot of what Trump wants. They are just going along in order to remain in office and to be able to pass some things they do want.
 
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trpmb6
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:14 pm

Tugger wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
The correct verb is “could”, not “should” and the answer is: it’s not designed that way. BTW, the Founders didn’t anticipate political parties.

I do think the House should be vastly enlarged—at least 600 members, possibly more, and Senators back to being appointed by state legislatures which would bring some balance back. The system is too weighted to voters’ passions. Also, Congress needs to return to its place as the government and the President back to be an administrator of the executive rather than most important person on the planet—silly.

:checkmark: :checkmark: :checkmark:

I'll second this.

To your comment about political parties, the saddest thing about "political parties" is that no one party can really truly represent all of a persons views. So what happened is people got lazy (Hmmm...got? No, probably more accurate to say: People are often lazy by nature so), instead of having their own view and thoughts, they outsourced it to a political party. Now many (lazy) people "identify" as one party or the other.

Thankfully there is a growing population of independent voters. Politics is actually hard, and getting thoughtful, insightful discussion on topics where people have widely differing views is not easy for many people.

=
Tugg


Agreed. I too believe this is where we should go.

cledaybuck wrote:
KLDC10 wrote:
The GOP doesn't have that problem because Trump has remade the party in his own image and the members are in lock-step behind him.

Baloney. There is a significant part of the GOP that doesn't believe in a lot of what Trump wants. They are just going along in order to remain in office and to be able to pass some things they do want.


Also agreed. The GOP has fractures just like the Democrats do. It's just not as visible right now because they hold both houses and the executive branch. It's easier to rally the troops to a common message when that happens.

For what it is worth, we do in a way have a balancing system in play right now. Everyone vying for independents in the middle keeps candidates from straying too far left or right. It's in the strongholds where you get some more extreme leanings. But, that would happen in a multi party system too.

At the heart of this is the fact that people are best governed at the most local level as possible. Leaving the least amount of power at the national level. Which is why we have the 10th amendment. When someone complains about some sort of federal over reach, or expansion of policy, just remember that your party does it too when in power.

Personally, your local school board should be the most powerful government you are subjected to. Simply because you have the most direct influence over them. Sadly, hardly anyone pays attention to those elections.

On another note, gridlock in congress is honestly best for us all. It slows things down and prevents bad legislation from being rammed through.
 
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:56 pm

trpmb6 wrote:
Personally, your local school board should be the most powerful government you are subjected to. Simply because you have the most direct influence over them. Sadly, hardly anyone pays attention to those elections.
Do they? What exactly do they do? Set the academic calendar that decides when I can take vacations? Unlike state and federal legislatures, they have no power to tax, only place a levy on the ballot to voter. Maybe set some of the curriculum, but there are many state and federal standards that they must meet too.
 
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:58 pm

cledaybuck wrote:
trpmb6 wrote:
Personally, your local school board should be the most powerful government you are subjected to. Simply because you have the most direct influence over them. Sadly, hardly anyone pays attention to those elections.
Do they? What exactly do they do? Set the academic calendar that decides when I can take vacations? Unlike state and federal legislatures, they have no power to tax, only place a levy on the ballot to voter. Maybe set some of the curriculum, but there are many state and federal standards that they must meet too.



should be
 
seb146
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:58 pm

The biggest issue I see keeping us from having more political parties is money. Get money out of politics period. No PACs, no lobbyists, no campaign contributions. When the election is over, the winners have to hit the road to raise money for their next campaign. Especially in the House where they are running every two years. Pay members of Congress a per diem and build a dormitory with cafeteria for their living quarters.

Expanding the House and making Senate seats appointments would be awful. As gerrymandered and watered down as the vote is now, imagine how much worse it would be with expanded government?
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ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:20 pm

seb146 wrote:
The biggest issue I see keeping us from having more political parties is money. Get money out of politics period. No PACs, no lobbyists, no campaign contributions. When the election is over, the winners have to hit the road to raise money for their next campaign. Especially in the House where they are running every two years. Pay members of Congress a per diem and build a dormitory with cafeteria for their living quarters.

Expanding the House and making Senate seats appointments would be awful. As gerrymandered and watered down as the vote is now, imagine how much worse it would be with expanded government?


Removing money does diddly squat to actually fix the infrastructural issues.First Past the Post naturally moves towards a two party state. That is the biggest thing that needs changing. Everything else is faffing about.
 
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einsteinboricua
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:45 pm

seb146 wrote:
As gerrymandered and watered down as the vote is now, imagine how much worse it would be with expanded government?

It would actually be better off, assuming the extra seats are meant to be filled proportional to the popular vote.

CA has 53 seats in the House. The proposal would double the seats to 106 with 53 being single member districts (as they are now) and the other 53 seats to be filled to reflect the popular vote in the state. So based on 2016 election results for the House in CA, the first 53 seats are no different (39 Dems-14 Rep). The Democrats obtained 64% of the popular vote while Republicans obtained 34%. That means that 29 more Democrats are seated, 23 more Republicans are seated, and the remaining seat is filled by a "no party preference" candidate (presumably the one who obtained the most votes).

In total, CA's delegation would be composed of 68 Democrats (or roughly 64% of the seats), 52 Republicans, and an independent.

Looking at PA's 2012 totals, you can see how the system could benefit a party when completely gerrymandered out. PA's delegation to the House would be doubled to 36 seats. The first 18 would have been elected as normal: 13 Rep-5 Dems. However, seats are added until a party is over-represented. So the Democrats, having won 50% of the popular vote, would get an additional 14 seats for a total of 19 seats (they got an outright majority so the delegation can't be evenly split) vs Republicans who get the last 4 for a total of 17 seats.

In a single-member district like WY or DE, it's pretty much meaningless because unless the winner was determined by plurality (49-48-3), there's no way to properly allocate seats based on popular vote. But for bigger states, it boosts representation of minority parties, to the point where Libertarians can also be allocated a seat even if they don't win a district election.
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lugie
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:52 pm

I think one important step that could (and should imo) be taken is moving away from single-member congressional districts and instead towards something like closed-list statewide representatives Such a system would represent the will of the people in the state more adequately, for example accounting for the fact that by absolute numbers CA has the second-largest Republican voter base behind Texas and vice versa. Also it would take away power from rogue state legislatures who gerrymander districts beyond recognition so that a state like NC suddenly has 3 Democratic and 10 Republican representatives even though the voter bases are pretty much equal in size.
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salttee
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:32 pm

Why not outlaw gerrymandering? It's not like it can't be done.
 
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:37 pm

seb146 wrote:
The biggest issue I see keeping us from having more political parties is money. Get money out of politics period. No PACs, no lobbyists, no campaign contributions. When the election is over, the winners have to hit the road to raise money for their next campaign. Especially in the House where they are running every two years. Pay members of Congress a per diem and build a dormitory with cafeteria for their living quarters.

Expanding the House and making Senate seats appointments would be awful. As gerrymandered and watered down as the vote is now, imagine how much worse it would be with expanded government?

I agree with everything you wrote here. Fundraising ability seems to be as much a part of who gets positions of power than actually positions, which is why Pelosi has survived as long as she has. Unfortunately, what you have stated will only be possible with a constitutional amendment since the Supreme court has ruled that laws trying to restrict what you have advocated for restricting are unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds.


The only concern I have with eliminating fundraising is that incumbents will have a natural advantage even more so than now which will make it difficult to challenge them. I think this could be dealt with. We also need term limits badly. Too many people are hanging on too long, and its time for fresh blood in many cases.
 
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:54 pm

salttee wrote:
Why not outlaw gerrymandering? It's not like it can't be done.

It was done...before the Roberts Court chipped away at the VRA. Southern states, known for voter discrimination, were now free to do as they wished. Of course, it didn't address northern states like OH, PA, and MI.

The problem is how to determine that a district has been gerrymandered and how to you get consensus that it has been. The current SCOTUS may very well uphold maps on the basis that it has no authority to dictate or determine that a district is gerrymandered. Justice Kennedy made it clear than until a proper test was enabled, the court shouldn't take a case.

The other part stems from having to carve out districts for minorities. IL-4 (the earmuffs) is gerrymandered but because it's meant to group two Hispanic groups separated by a Black neighborhood. How do you allow this to pass while a snakelike district like those found in NC and FL are not?
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salttee
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:59 pm

einsteinboricua wrote:
IL-4 (the earmuffs) is gerrymandered but because it's meant to group two Hispanic groups separated by a Black neighborhood. How do you allow this to pass while a snakelike district like those found in NC and FL are not?

I wouldn't want to permit it. Each congressional district should have the smallest possible circumference (aka boundary). Everywhere. A logarithm could dictate congressional districts.

But this is all a pipe dream of course. We live in an oligarchy and we will have what the oligarch's want.
 
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:20 pm

salttee wrote:
Why not outlaw gerrymandering? It's not like it can't be done.

Outlawing would obviously be the most ideal solution. However, many states have either enacted into law, or have on the ballot, measures designed to take the power to redraw districts away from the state legislature, and put it in the hands of an independent commission made up of equal parts Democrats, Republicans, and unaffiliated voters.
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ER757
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:20 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
The correct verb is “could”, not “should” and the answer is: it’s not designed that way. BTW, the Founders didn’t anticipate political parties.

I do think the House should be vastly enlarged—at least 600 members, possibly more, and Senators back to being appointed by state legislatures which would bring some balance back. The system is too weighted to voters’ passions. Also, Congress needs to return to its place as the government and the President back to be an administrator of the executive rather than most important person on the planet—silly.

GF

There's an article in the current issue of Time magazine where the author advocates expanding the House to make it more truly representative across all states. He gives examples of how currently there are large disparities between the number of people per representative in various states. It's an interesting concept and I think its time has come (after the 2020 census). The electoral college should also either be modified to award electors based on the number of votes each candidate received in the respective states or it should be done away with altogether.
It would be great if a third (or fourth) party were to come about and be viable, but I don't see it in the cards in the foreseeable future.
 
NIKV69
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:08 am

The US needs a third party. Badly.
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:15 am

The electoral college should also either be modified to award electors based on the number of votes each candidate received in the respective states


Maine already does that, up to the states to decide. People hate the EC because they either don’t understand the Federal system or they want a national government.

GF
 
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:21 am

We definitely need a middle grounds party. One that isn't afraid to say compromise is needed and there will be some wins and losses. One that won't play the blame game like the DFL and GOP do, and instead figure out how to solve issues.

For such a party to have a chance at getting influence, or even be established, would require people to think critically which is seriously lacking in our society.
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salttee
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:29 am

NIKV69 wrote:
The US needs a third party. Badly.
If you're arguing for a third party then you must be arguing for tearing up the Constitution and going to a parliamentary system. Three parties make no sense in the system we currently have.

BTW
I do favor a parliamentary system.
 
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:40 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
The electoral college should also either be modified to award electors based on the number of votes each candidate received in the respective states


Maine already does that,

No it doesn't. They (with NE) award votes by congressional district. Small states like NE and ME are poor examples due to their limited seats. Consider a larger state like PA or MI, where the legislature in 2012 thought about switching to a congressional district allocation. While Democrats would have wiped the floor with the popular vote in both states, they would have gotten less than half of the states' delegates. In PA, for example, Democrats would have won 5 electors (5 districts) and 2 at large for having won the popular vote in the state vs Republicans who would have gotten 11 electors for winning the remaining 11 districts. Same story in MI where Democrats would have won 5 districts plus 2 at large (7 electors in total) vs Republicans winning 9 electors.

That is NOT proportional. No better example of rigged election than that. ME and NE should both return to winner-take-all as the rest of the nation or, if they still want to be the odd ones out, enact a true proportional system.
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:42 am

Yeah, it is, it’s proportional to the state’s congressional delegation.

GF
 
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:46 pm

There should be a no party system in America.
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aerosreenivas
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:08 am

Thank you all very much for all your great thoughts and point of view mentioned so far on this topic.

Please keep them coming.
 
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DeltaMD90
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:43 am

KLDC10 wrote:
Supporting a third party in the current system is akin to throwing away your vote.

Disagree.

It is more of a long term battle, and just like voting for anyone, it has a chance of success or failure. I've voted third party before, never in an election where it mattered (coincidentally) but it's a great way to send a message:

"hey! You might've gotten my vote and maybe even WON (!) but you engaged in too much partisan BS or were too extreme/unacceptable for me, even if I didn't vote for the other guy."

Maybe the third party vote is 1% but sometimes that's all it takes. The GOP would be fools to ignore the Gary Johnson votes of 2016 or the Dems ignoring the Nader 2000 or Stein votes of 2016... You need those few third party voters sometimes!!!
 
NIKV69
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:19 pm

salttee wrote:
NIKV69 wrote:
The US needs a third party. Badly.
If you're arguing for a third party then you must be arguing for tearing up the Constitution and going to a parliamentary system. Three parties make no sense in the system we currently have.

BTW
I do favor a parliamentary system.


A third party doesn't mean there has to be a new branch of government. A third party can caucus with either the Rep or Dem. It means there is a party that doesn't have to be fringe and can vote on any bill any way they want. Unlike now where it's party lines.
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ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:33 pm

Problem with aligning with another party is that tends to kill the third party. You even see it in proportional systems like MMP.

You won't fix this stuff until you introduce a proper representative system where smaller parties can survive. You'll still end up with two large parties, but they don't have to cater to the extremist elements as much.
 
LittleFokker
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:35 pm

ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:
Problem with aligning with another party is that tends to kill the third party. You even see it in proportional systems like MMP.

You won't fix this stuff until you introduce a proper representative system where smaller parties can survive. You'll still end up with two large parties, but they don't have to cater to the extremist elements as much.


True...when's the last time Angus King or Bernie Sanders voted differently than Democrats? They might as well join the party.
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salttee
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:58 pm

NIKV69 wrote:
salttee wrote:
NIKV69 wrote:
The US needs a third party. Badly.
If you're arguing for a third party then you must be arguing for tearing up the Constitution and going to a parliamentary system. Three parties make no sense in the system we currently have.

BTW
I do favor a parliamentary system.


A third party doesn't mean there has to be a new branch of government. A third party can caucus with either the Rep or Dem. It means there is a party that doesn't have to be fringe and can vote on any bill any way they want. Unlike now where it's party lines.

You're imagining how things would work if there were third party officeholders. You're ignoring how the third party would split the vote in the elections for those offices.
 
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WarRI1
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Re: Should there be a Multi Party System in American Democracy?

Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:37 am

A horrible idea, things are confusing enough here now. We cannot control corruption with two parties, never mind more to confuse and corrupt our society.
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Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos