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PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2002 9:29 pm 
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For reasons too complicated to explain briefly, the United States, at the present time, is a de facto two-party system.

Many European countries have a multi-party system, in which coalitions of parties are necessary to win elections.

Which do y'all think is more conducive to a democratic society? What about a free society (not the same thing)?

Those referring to the American system might find <a href="http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node=Federalist%20%2310&lastnode_id=165444">Federalist 10</a> an interesting commentary on political parties, incidentally.

Speak, I charge thee, speak.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2002 9:57 pm 
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I think the multi-party system is more conducive to democracy - but then again, it guarantees that all the politicians in Europe are in bed with each other (which is the impression you get from reading some European newspapers, btw.) The politicians in this country seem to contain their perversions to jewish interns and other mammals. For freedom, hell, let the government go fuck itself and take over your own goddamn country.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2002 9:58 pm 
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I like it how it is. The niceties and complication of such a fragmented system would not be beneficial to America as a whole- in addition, each party in itself has its own factions (liberal democrats and centrist democrats being the easiest examples) that can divide or even render impotent a single 'party' at one time.

Rather than being two very specific parties (as each party is under most other systems) the two parties America has are fairly broad in their scope. Republicans are right of center, democrats are left of center- that is the only thing that can be said about each party.

The parties outline the general ideaologies (in broad strokes) of each party, but there is no real way to say that an entire party will vote one way or another unless under extreme circumstances. Though certain small factions have arisen (the greens on the left, the libertarians on the right) both are somewhat extreme in their views, and as such the two main parties provide a nice fluctuation, going anywhere from center-(whatever) to liberal or christian fundie hardcore right.

Therefore, I feel it is better to have two broadly defined parties than many small ones. Though it makes it a bit less organized, core principles are shared in each party and thus WORK GETS DONE. The multi-party system in other countries is a jumble of buerocracy, back scratching and having to betray your principles in order to get into office. Though the same can be said in the American system (lets not get too big headed over our system hm?) it is much more prevailent (at least thats what I see from here) in the european systems.

My 2 cents.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2002 10:05 pm 
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Work gets done? You ever visited the U.N. or any other government building for a day? I sometimes get the distinct impression that Washington D.C. is some sort of themepark - U.S.A. World. It definitely is good at LOOKING like it's doing something, I'll give it that. To be fair, efficient governments are bad. Look at Nazi Germany.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2002 9:29 pm 
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Interestingly enough, I stop paying attention to the person I'm arguing with as soon as they reference Hitler Germany to prove their point (not an attack on veriton; he didn't, particularly, this is just synapses firing here). It's just such a cheap, obvious shot. That, and it doesn't prove much--let's face the facts, Hitler Germany was a fluke. A fluke with massive, world-shaping/destroying consequences and an impact that will be remembered for centuries, but a fluke nonetheless. Even Hitler, in true half-sane megolamaniacal form, claimed that he was only the third man to create such an empire (although, quite frankly, I don't even really buy that Nazi Germany ranked up there with Rome). This is getting kind of tangental, so I'll stop talking.

But I still start ignoring people when the reference Nazi Germany to prove their point.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2002 9:34 pm 
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Focus, Treespeaker, focus.

The topic is democratic systems, not your thoughts on Veriton's points and that alone.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2002 9:46 pm 
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Damn. Godwin's Law kicked in after five posts. That's got to be some kind of a record.

EDIT: Correction, four posts.

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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Pyromancer on 2002-11-24 20:46 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2002 12:12 am 
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That's not the law of how every Internet thread eventually contains a reference to Hitler, is it? I have vague memories of someone posting something to that effect on the old EN boards way back when...


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2002 6:06 am 
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Let's take it from the horse's mouth, shall we?

<hr>
<b>Godwin's Law</b> prov.

[Usenet] "As a Usenet (<i>or other discussion forum --ed</i>) discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one." There is a tradition in many groups that, once this occurs, that thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress. Godwin's Law thus practically guarantees the existence of an upper bound on thread length in those groups. However there is also a widely- recognized codicil that any intentional triggering of Godwin's Law in order to invoke its thread-ending effects will be unsuccessful.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1

<hr>
There you have it.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2002 2:44 pm 
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Wow. I knew about Godwin's law before I made the post, but I thought it'd be immune because it was pretty clear I was being sarcastic in that post.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2002 7:48 pm 
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You were immune, largely...like I said earlier, I wasn't criticizing your mention of Nazi Germany since it was clearly sarcastic, or at the least not used to support your argument. It just made me think of my unwritten rule that using Nazi Germany to directly support your argument automatically lost the argument for you...which, apparently, is a not-so unwritten rule.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2002 1:07 am 
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Back on topic for a moment.

A two party sysem is a good thing for the most part in that it speeds up the majority of beuracratic process, with only two parties, one in charge the other behind passing laws and bills into law is simplified as KC pointed out.
However a problem exists for people that don't agree with the views of either party, in Aus we have four majopr parties, Labour(Main Left-Wing, really a bunch of Right wingers ), Liberal(A bunch of Conservative Right wingers as well), National(A country party that represents the Farmers mostly, coalitioned with the Liberal Party and right wing) and the Democrates(A left wing minority party that acts as a stop-guard against a lot of unfair policies). Between them all these four parties control our country, now a small minority vote for the democrates(just like America LOL) but a majority agree with them when they try to stop motions passing through the senate, why? Because they pick their battles well and usually just allow everything(I think its like (5% of bills) to pass, the government can't work without their help on every bill, so they negotiate and the whole process generally works well enough.

Multiple parties in Australia works generally well, with a small group holding the senate to ransome the government can't stick it to everyone and a degree of open debate becomes standard.

Actor.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2002 5:51 pm 
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I've heard another arguement for a multi-party system, which basically states that it's harder to bribe 3 out of 4 parties than 1 out of 2 parties. In our current American system, basically whoever can get the most bribe money can do a better job running for office, therefor, both parties, no matter who starts taking corporate money first, scramble to get a bigger piece of the pie. Not only would it be harder to bribe multiple parties to get a majority, but many third parties already have bylaws established to not take corporate funding, which may be part of the reason they don't stand a chance. You, KC, just don't like multiple parties because, under the current system, the only decently successful third party, the Greens, practically exists to steal votes from the Democrats, leading to Republican victories. No matter how much you like the Libertarians, I bet you'd like them a lot less if they stole enough votes from the Republicans that they lost.

On an afterthought, actor, while I am a liberal, I don't like on pure principle the sound of one party which represents a minority of the people controling the vote, even if I like the way they do it.

I apologize for the above incoherent mess, but as its only a forum, it's not really worth editing.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2002 3:47 am 
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I'm going to take the out-there stance that political parties are a Bad Thing (tm)

Candidates need money to campaign. The more money, the better their chances of success (usually). Therefore,t hey will pander to whoever holds the pursestrings. When it's a political party, that means they'll hold hold whatever stance the party wants them to.

OTOH, if there were no parties, there wouldn't be any insulation to keep politics from being run directly by those with money.

The only good way that I can see would be if the majority of the voting populace consisted of intelligent, educated people who go to the effort of understanding the issues and considering each candidates stance on those issues before making a decision, thus rendering the high-expense campaigning largely ineffective.

But we all know that's not going to happen. Lacking that, I think I'll go for having a plethora of parties. The "coalition" government is a result of a model of government that doesn't quite match with the American constitution, and I think only minor modification to our constitution would be necessary to ensure that the US gov't could operate regardless of the number of political parties.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2002 12:35 pm 
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As I said, nothing would get done in your 'ideal situation' because everyone would vote what they feel and everyone would probably feel different on all but the most idiotically obvious cases.

Same with the plethora of parties.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2002 2:54 am 
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One of the requirements for "intelligent" is realizing you can't always get what you want. And understanding the art of compromise.

For a counterexample, KC, look to ancient Athens. They had a pure democracy, and they certainly got things done. I'm under no illusions that their decidions were always the *best*, but they were quite capable of acting.

People tend to have differring viewpoints. If no one is willing to compromise, then the winner is whoever is bigger. And that's not even touching on the concept of democracy - that's a dictatorship.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2002 5:06 pm 
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Athenien democracy wasn't true democracy. Only adult male citizens were allowed to express their opinions. And there weren't that many people in Athens to begin with, so in effect, only a select group of people were governing Athens. And this was before the world's population explosion. Imagine having to act upon the conflicting opinions of 280 million people...

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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: veritron on 2002-12-04 16:07 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2002 7:52 pm 
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Possibly this should be a separate thread, but as a test:
What do you think would happen if (under peaceful conditions) the US decided to split into separate groups of states or states, loosely connected by a neo-Articles of Confederation-with-more-connection-between-states-type-thing? I personally think it would solve a lot of our problems, such as allowing us to have a true, non-representative democracy, and giving individual states the opportunity to create more appropriate laws. Obviously it would break our world domination and so on unless it was done in such a way that the Congress still existed, all the states were allied, in a free trade bloc, etc.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 12:33 am 
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Quote:
On 2002-12-04 18:52, Mystical, Magical Low Quality Buckler wrote:
Possibly this should be a separate thread, but as a test:
What do you think would happen if (under peaceful conditions) the US decided to split into separate groups of states or states, loosely connected by a neo-Articles of Confederation-with-more-connection-between-states-type-thing? I personally think it would solve a lot of our problems, such as allowing us to have a true, non-representative democracy, and giving individual states the opportunity to create more appropriate laws. Obviously it would break our world domination and so on unless it was done in such a way that the Congress still existed, all the states were allied, in a free trade bloc, etc.



Great idea. Even better, why don't we go even farther, and break government into as many small, manageable chunks as we can, so that democracy can be that much more direct. At such a small level people would be able to form real communities, develop relationships, and work together for the benefit of both themselves and the community at the same time (at such a small level community and individual benefit would be nearly indistinguishable). We could call this crazy new system.... "anarchism".


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 12:53 am 
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And it would fail as soon as something called a 'human being' was put into the equation.

I win.


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