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Party Politics in the American System

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  • #31
    Sorry I haven't responded in a while, I was away all last week traveling for business. I'll read through and catch up and likely provide a few more thoughts.
    "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
    --Thomas a Kempis

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    • #32
      https://www.salon.com/2020/09/17/ang...cracy_partner/

      interesting piece on the politics anger and it’s detriments to government. Reminded me of this thread.

      Comment


      • #33
        Another example of the problems with Party: https://www.nhpr.org/post/transsexua...wsuit#stream/0

        EDIT: I am less concerned with the lawsuit, in this context, than the nature of the nomination. She ran under the GOP primary for the office of Sheriff (which also beg the question, 'Why does New Hampshire allow partisan Sheriffs?') with a 'F--- the Police' platform/slogan...and won.
        "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
        --Thomas a Kempis

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by EverKing View Post
          Another example of the problems with Party: https://www.nhpr.org/post/transsexua...wsuit#stream/0

          EDIT: I am less concerned with the lawsuit, in this context, than the nature of the nomination. She ran under the GOP primary for the office of Sheriff (which also beg the question, 'Why does New Hampshire allow partisan Sheriffs?') with a 'F--- the Police' platform/slogan...and won.
          An anarchist running as a republican for a sheriff's position? I expect, among other things, it's intended to show up problems with both major parties.

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by Heresiologist View Post

            An anarchist running as a republican for a sheriff's position? I expect, among other things, it's intended to show up problems with both major parties.
            Indeed it is. Her intent, apparently, was to expose the weaknesses of our single-party primary system.
            "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
            --Thomas a Kempis

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by Heresiologist View Post

              An anarchist running as a republican for a sheriff's position? I expect, among other things, it's intended to show up problems with both major parties.
              All of this would be funny if it wasn’t so serious.

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              • #37
                While hardly anybody was looking, my province called a snap election on Sep 21 and I voted on Oct 24. Pandemic measures meant it took about 5 minutes longer to vote than usual. So, maybe 10 minutes in the school gymnasium.

                Since there was a lot of mail in voting, results are expected to take up to 3 weeks to fully settle. Nevertheless, it looks like the, centre-left, New Democratic Party (or "the socialists!!!!" to some) have a convincing win. The leader of the Liberal party (the only other party that had a chance of winning) has already announced his resignation.

                I voted for them (specifically, a candidate who used to drive a city bus and who is the lesbian child of Filipino immigrants--because that's just how much we can multi-culti it around here), but am a bit disappointed their win means they no longer have to share power with a few Green party members. However, it sure looked like the Green party came in second in a lot more ridings than ever before. So, maybe their concerns will still get some serious consideration. Still, that's nothing to rely on.

                Fun fact, though they have connections to the federal Liberal party, the provincial Liberals are also "the conservatives." Long ago, another conservative party (still not called the Conservatives, though, but called Social Credit) imploded in a cloud of corruption and other scandals, and many of them fled into the Liberal party (which had, for decades, been a fringe player). To give you some idea about what I mean by fringe player, the official Conservative party just got less than 3% of the vote.

                Nevertheless, I am acquainted with a winning Liberal party candidate and he seems a good sort. The impression I have is he's likely a liberal Liberal rather than a conservative (or Social Credit) Liberal.
                Last edited by Heresiologist; 10-27-2020, 08:00 PM.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Heresiologist View Post
                  While hardly anybody was looking, my province called a snap election on Sep 21 and I voted on Oct 24. Pandemic measures meant it took about 5 minutes longer to vote than usual. So, maybe 10 minutes in the school gymnasium.

                  Since there was a lot of mail in voting, results are expected to take up to 3 weeks to fully settle. Nevertheless, it looks like the, centre-left, New Democratic Party (or "the socialists!!!!" to some) have a convincing win. The leader of the Liberal party (the only other party that had a chance of winning) has already announced his resignation.
                  I expect my voting experience to be similar this year. I live in a town of about 500 people so the polls are never busy during election day.

                  From your tone here and other posts regarding these topics, I gather you would prefer to see everything shift farther left, yes? So, I would imagine this isn't such a terrible result for your Province, eh? Not all bad then and I'm happy the system is working for you!

                  Originally posted by Heresiologist View Post
                  Fun fact, though they have connections to the federal Liberal party, the provincial Liberals are also "the conservatives." Long ago, another conservative party (still not called the Conservatives, though, but called Social Credit) imploded in a cloud of corruption and other scandals, and many of them fled into the Liberal party (which had, for decades, been a fringe player). To give you some idea about what I mean by fringe player, the official Conservative party just got less than 3% of the vote.
                  It sounds similar to the Democratic Farm-Labor Party in my home state. While nominally under the Democratic National Committee (national Democratic Party) and named Democrats when serving at the Federal level, the DFL is traditionally more center in many ways than the DNC due to the needs and views of their constituents through the rural and mining areas of the state. That has changed in the last twenty years, though, as national partisanship has dramatically increased. It has come to a head in the last four years, as can be seen by how Red the former DFL strong rural counties have become. This year a collection of Mayors in the traditional DFL strongholds of the Iron Range and North Shore (of Lake Superior) have even released an open letter stating their support of DT. It is sad to see the moderating, and unifying, presence of the center-left DFL be completely eroded by the Parties at the Federal level. We had a spark of hope of saving the DFL in the form of Al Franken who really surprised me with putting his constituents over the interests of the DNC but bad acting on his part killed that hope during the height of MeToo.
                  "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
                  --Thomas a Kempis

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by EverKing View Post
                    ...
                    From your tone here and other posts regarding these topics, I gather you would prefer to see everything shift farther left, yes? So, I would imagine this isn't such a terrible result for your Province, eh? Not all bad then and I'm happy the system is working for you!
                    ...
                    Well, it's more of a yes and no situation. A lot of ostensible NDP supporters still think they're pretty horrible. For instance, a friend who is a rather progressive minded expat USian from Portland, who, nevertheless, was open to the idea of voting Liberal depending on local circumstances.

                    And it's also time for another fun fact. This one to point out that the Green party, despite the nominal centre-left designation, includes left and right people. I've heard NDP supporters rant about the Greens being right wing, and in the last election they won a seat from one of the most conservative areas in the province. (BTW, lost it this time.)

                    Another not so great thing is the NDP winners broke a promise to their former governing partners (the Greens) not to call an election for another year. I'm not down with that.

                    Also, as I agreed with a friend who I saw after voting, our riding is a safe seat for the NDP and that tends to breed complacency, which neither of us think is a good thing. Another fun fact, this guy is married to a Norwegian and after getting told by a right winger that Norway was not doing good until a "right party" was elected, I asked him about it and he told me the Norwegian conservative party was more like the NDP than any Canadian conservative party.

                    As I think I've mentioned before, I want more life! No wait, I mean democracy. So far, it looks like the NDP won 45% of the vote. Really, if the system was working for me, they'd have to team up with members of other parties such that they can actually claim to represent the proverbial 50% +1 "majority" of the electorate.

                    I'd like to see this as taking a larger view.
                    Last edited by Heresiologist; 10-28-2020, 02:41 PM.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Doc View Post

                      Tell your conservative acquaintance to be careful. The far-right crazies were welcomed into the Republican Party for similar reasons, and they took over In less than a generation. There’s no room for measured or “intellectual” conservatism. Even G.W. Bush looks fairly moderate and measured relative to the former fringe that is now the mainstream Republican Party. It was nice thinking that that must lead to self-destruction, but the joke is on all the people who thought that was an inevitable consequence.
                      Just thought I'd mention that last time I spoke with this acquaintance about politics he told me he's no longer involved. Basically, it sounded like involvement was making him miserable. So, he'd chosen to focus on other things in his life.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Heresiologist View Post

                        Just thought I'd mention that last time I spoke with this acquaintance about politics he told me he's no longer involved. Basically, it sounded like involvement was making him miserable. So, he'd chosen to focus on other things in his life.
                        Sounds familiar. For many years my car radio dial would stay on public radio news stations until a few years ago when nearly every story they'd cover would get me more and more agitated. Finally, I changed the dial...and I have been a much happier person since.
                        "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
                        --Thomas a Kempis

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                        • #42
                          Re reading some of this makes me think about how much misery we intentionally introduce into our own experience. There should be a massive gap between shutting out the outside world in an echo chamber and hate consuming all media, but in practice...? Sometimes turning off is easiest. I took a break from everything when I realized that I kept seeing (and thinking about reading) response stories to Fox News opinion hosts. I realized I was opening myself up to second hand outrage. I feel more than a little silly when I put it in those terms to myself.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Doc View Post
                            Re reading some of this makes me think about how much misery we intentionally introduce into our own experience. There should be a massive gap between shutting out the outside world in an echo chamber and hate consuming all media, but in practice...? Sometimes turning off is easiest. I took a break from everything when I realized that I kept seeing (and thinking about reading) response stories to Fox News opinion hosts. I realized I was opening myself up to second hand outrage. I feel more than a little silly when I put it in those terms to myself.
                            Yup, that sure sounds like my experience!

                            Back to the topic of Parties, I've been thinking lately that a good first step would be to get the parties out of the Primary system. Have open Primaries in each State instead of Party organized caucuses--even better if just the person's name were listed and any Party affiliation is left off the ballot. The parties can still promote whatever candidates they like but the official record itself should be Party Free.
                            "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
                            --Thomas a Kempis

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Primaries are a problem for sure. I think ranked choice voting would also solve some problems, and (while I haven’t given this much thought) ranked choice open primaries might solve even more problems.

                              In Presidential elections, a bigger problem is how they are held at so many different times. It allows for momentum of a candidate and ebbs and flows of fundraising to be more important than maybe the candidates in the moment. I know that the present system can be beneficial in a giant field, but most of the people in those giant fields stand little to no chance of catching lightning in a bottle and getting elected anyway. I also think revising that would capture the will of a party better.

                              Bernie Sanders probably would have won the Democratic primaries in both of the last elections if all of them were held on the same day, a d Trump would have been an afterthought. Ironically, the longer the primaries roll on the more extreme the Republican field seems to get and the more moderate the Democratic field gets. I think we get the candidates the election creates rather than the candidates the party wants. Or maybe not. Haha

                              In non presidential elections, especially for Congressional representatives, gerrymandering has destroyed the value of most primaries, just allowing extremism to flourish. This is where I think ranked choice open primaries might actually save the rest of the nation from the ideological idiocracy and posing passing as governing in the House.

                              Of course, the biggest change needed in primaries is making voting easier, not harder. Restrictions are anti-democratic (lower case d intended).

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                I agree with most of what you say there, Doc , save one little bit: that had Sanders been given the nomination it would have represented the will of the Party better. I agree that is possible he would have been the chosen candidate if there had been open primaries held nationwide on the same day (depending on the day) but I think that has more to do with the will of the People than the will of the Party. DNC in 2016 was a prime example of the dangers of Party power and maneuvering because the manipulations performed by the DNC establishment to raise Clinton to the nomination ran counter to much of the popular will of left-leaning voters.

                                Now that I think of it, spreading the primaries out over time might actually provide an overall benefit to the system because it mitigates some of those ebbs and flows of voter opinion. The money and fundraising remain real issues but I am unconvinced as yet that a momentary whim of popularity that a given candidate may have on a given week would necessarily give us the best nominees.
                                "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
                                --Thomas a Kempis

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