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Posted: 11/1/2006 8:13:30 AM EST
We all know that as of right now, there is a snowball's chance in hell that we could get a non dem/rep candidate into office. But, what would it take to get say an independent into office? What about a liberatarian? (sp?)
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 8:22:33 AM EST
The only way it could work is if we went to a parlimentary system.

Right now the 2 parties make big tents to get enough votes to win. In parlimentary you just vote for the best party, then if your party wins, you negotiate with a group of parties to get to the majority.

It can lead to more power for the side parties, a NRA like party might tell the other parties, we will only join your coalition if we are allowed to register new machineguns.

Right now, the NRA supports the Repubs hoping that the Repubs will support pro-gun legislation. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.

I think a true anti-illegal immigration party would win the election this year.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 8:23:00 AM EST
Maybe in the next decade or two when the next generation is voting - the first ones to really grow up under parents denying that either party is worth a damn. The more the dems & republicans keep messing up, the better the chances.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 8:25:59 AM EST
I'm a neophyte when it comes to politics. But I'll give it a go.

First the good thing about the 2 party system(more or less) since the founding of the US, it has probably contributed to the stability of the country. Look at other countries such as Italy, where they change government like we change underwear.

The 3rd parties has been a very important part of the system, because the 2 main political parties often incorporate some of their ideas(known as "planks" in the party platform).

There is no way the Libertarians are going to be a voice in state or national level politics because they have zero grass roots support. Can anyone please name a Libertarian who is holding office at the local levels such as city, county, and/or school board? The problem is that for the Libertarians competition is the Republicans, and not the Democrats. And the result, is that the Libertarians often divert votes from the Republican candidates, and lessening the chances for their election.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 8:27:50 AM EST
Without one party giving up total power for years, no.



Link Posted: 11/1/2006 8:28:12 AM EST

Originally Posted By shop_rat45:
But, what would it take to get say an independent into office? What about a liberatarian? (sp?)


I don't mean to sound smart-alec, but the answer is "51% of the vote".

And no Independent or Liberatarian is going to get 51% of the vote.

To get 51% of the vote, you must have enough of a "centralist" policy to get a majority of all voters to vote for your candidate.

That's why those of us that are "very Conservative" will never get a candidate that we love on 100% of the issues. To win, any candidate must have a platform that a "wide variety" of voters will like.

That's just how it works.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 8:35:26 AM EST
Move to Isreal? They have many parties. They end up forminig coalitions between parties to get anything done, but as soon as there is a disagreement, the govt falls apart and they have to hold new elections.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 8:35:47 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2006 8:36:05 AM EST by PBIR]

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:


I don't mean to sound smart-alec, but the answer is "51% of the vote"...That's just how it works.


Not exactly. It takes a majority of the votes. With three or more candidates a majority is potentially significantly less than 51%.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 8:40:36 AM EST

Originally Posted By SS109:
The only way it could work is if we went to a parlimentary system.

Right now the 2 parties make big tents to get enough votes to win. In parlimentary you just vote for the best party, then if your party wins, you negotiate with a group of parties to get to the majority.

It can lead to more power for the side parties, a NRA like party might tell the other parties, we will only join your coalition if we are allowed to register new machineguns.

Right now, the NRA supports the Repubs hoping that the Repubs will support pro-gun legislation. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.

I think a true anti-illegal immigration party would win the election this year.


that is about the only way it will happen

Link Posted: 11/1/2006 8:46:48 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2006 8:52:23 AM EST by jblachly]

Originally Posted By SS109:
The only way it could work is if we went to a parlimentary system.


Not true.

Altering the actual system of voting from the current winner-takes-all (I think also called "Approval") to an alternative like Condorcet (aka Ranked pairs, my preference and mathematically superior), Instant Runoff Voting (aka IRV, simpler to understand but has a few flaws), Ranked list, and a few others.

Basically these alternative voting systems allow you to express your true preferences. For example, you could vote that you prefer in order: Candidate X, Bush, Kerry, Nader, in that order. This way, you still give your vote to candidate X from the 3rd party, while not "throwing away your vote" because you were still able to rank Bush ahead of Kerry.

A member of DU who in our current system may have voted for Kerry could in fact have preferred, say, Nader, and could have voted Nader, Kerry, Bush.

The advantages of this system are tremendous, but precisely because it would end the duoarchy in Washington, expect the Repubs and Dems to be against it.

Light reading:
condorcet.org/rp/index.shtml Intro to Ranked Pairs
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condorcet_method Wikipedia on Condorcet (aka Ranked Pairs)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IRV Good Wikipedida article on Instant Runoff Voting (IRV)


Link Posted: 11/1/2006 9:19:43 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2006 9:20:16 AM EST by Tannim]
A grass roots campaign to change the way votes are allocated to the electoral college at the state level.

No more winner take all. 51% of the votes will not equal ALL the electoral votes. You'll get 51% and everyone else will get what ever porportion of votes they won.

Of course this won't take effect until 75% of the largest electoral states have passed similiar laws.

Until you can show the power of 3rd parties in a presidental election, you'll never get 3rd party congressmen in significant numbers. And the current 2 party system will fight this new system tooth and nail.


Link Posted: 11/1/2006 9:23:13 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2006 9:23:34 AM EST by thedoctors308]

Originally Posted By jblachly:

Light reading:
condorcet.org/rp/index.shtml Intro to Ranked Pairs
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condorcet_method Wikipedia on Condorcet (aka Ranked Pairs)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IRV Good Wikipedida article on Instant Runoff Voting (IRV)


That takes me back.
I remember telling my math teacher in high school that it was in fact possible for Bush to lose the popular vote, but still win the election vis a vis Arrow's impossibility theorem.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 9:31:20 AM EST

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:

Originally Posted By shop_rat45:
But, what would it take to get say an independent into office? What about a liberatarian? (sp?)


I don't mean to sound smart-alec, but the answer is "51% of the vote".

And no Independent or Liberatarian is going to get 51% of the vote.

To get 51% of the vote, you must have enough of a "centralist" policy to get a majority of all voters to vote for your candidate.

That's why those of us that are "very Conservative" will never get a candidate that we love on 100% of the issues. To win, any candidate must have a platform that a "wide variety" of voters will like.

That's just how it works.


You need a plurality (the most) of votes, not a majority (more than half). Common misconception.

A 3rd party candidate can get in with 40% of the vote if the votes are split 30/30 amongst the other two.

That said, to the OP, there is only one solution. Find a party that suits you, vote for them, and encourage people to do the same. Become what is called a "grassroots activist."

Libertarians are doing a great job getting on ballots and occasionally winning elections here in NH at the local and state level, just as an example. Five or ten years ago, everyone was laughing at the idea the same way people here laugh at it on a national level.

It's not an overnight fix, but it's possible.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 9:49:17 AM EST

Originally Posted By thedoctors308:

Originally Posted By jblachly:

Light reading:
condorcet.org/rp/index.shtml Intro to Ranked Pairs
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condorcet_method Wikipedia on Condorcet (aka Ranked Pairs)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IRV Good Wikipedida article on Instant Runoff Voting (IRV)


That takes me back.
I remember telling my math teacher in high school that it was in fact possible for Bush to lose the popular vote, but still win the election vis a vis Arrow's impossibility theorem.

I don't know what "Arrow's impossibility theorem" is, but there is a reason why this is possible, and it is not a concidence.

The reason is the Electorial College system of selecting the president. The founding fathers debated over the question of large and small populus states, and the wisdom of the ignorant ordinary voters. To this day, I can truly understand the framers mindset about the ordinary voter. The number of votes in the electorial college is determined by the number of Representives in the House plus 2 for the Senate, ie each state is guaranteed 3 electorial votes because each state has at least one Representive and 2 Senators. In the presidential elections each candidate wins a state with 100% of the electorial votes. This is the reason why candidates can often win the popular vote but loose the presidency.

The good thing about this systems is that the more populous areas of the US can not ride rough shode over the less populous regions, a la Canada. In Canada, the more populous eastern part often overwhelms the central and western regions.

The system is not broken, but is working as intended. Only the unknowlegeable people(journalists) call for determining the presidency on a 100% popular vote, or for fixing a system that is not broken.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 9:52:05 AM EST

Originally Posted By shop_rat45:
We all know that as of right now, there is a snowball's chance in hell that we could get a non dem/rep candidate into office. But, what would it take to get say an independent into office? What about a liberatarian? (sp?)


Vote for the best man for the job. Not for the party.

Thats all there is to it. Really. Base your vote on your own choice. Not on who is the most "electable."

Someone will be along in a minute to tell me how I'm a retard for not pulling the big 'R' lever. So be it.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 9:52:05 AM EST

Originally Posted By allenNH:
...
That said, to the OP, there is only one solution. Find a party that suits you, vote for them, and encourage people to do the same. Become what is called a "grassroots activist."
......


And that is the loss of power I spoke of.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 9:57:06 AM EST

Originally Posted By warlord:

Originally Posted By thedoctors308:

Originally Posted By jblachly:

Light reading:
condorcet.org/rp/index.shtml Intro to Ranked Pairs
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condorcet_method Wikipedia on Condorcet (aka Ranked Pairs)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IRV Good Wikipedida article on Instant Runoff Voting (IRV)


That takes me back.
I remember telling my math teacher in high school that it was in fact possible for Bush to lose the popular vote, but still win the election vis a vis Arrow's impossibility theorem.


I don't know what "Arrow's impossibility theorem" is, but there is a reason why this is possible, and it is not a concidence.


Basically it states that there is no voting method which is consistently fair and consistently democratic.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 10:07:47 AM EST

Originally Posted By allenNH:

You need a plurality (the most) of votes, not a majority (more than half). Common misconception.



You are correct. Of course, I also understood that, but was simplifing to give a simple answer.

But the rest of my post is still correct. No Libertarian candidate is going to win a three-way race either.

Just isn't in the cards.

But, even if they did the impossible and won the election, what would be the result?

They would get to Congress and would not get on any choice committees. They would try to get laws on the docket and would not be allowed to do so, because the party in power controls the docket.

They would get absolutely nothing accomplished.

That's the main reason that voting for such a candidate is a wasted vote.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 10:17:23 AM EST

Originally Posted By 1Andy2:

Originally Posted By shop_rat45:
We all know that as of right now, there is a snowball's chance in hell that we could get a non dem/rep candidate into office. But, what would it take to get say an independent into office? What about a liberatarian? (sp?)


Vote for the best man for the job. Not for the party.

Thats all there is to it. Really. Base your vote on your own choice. Not on who is the most "electable."

Someone will be along in a minute to tell me how I'm a retard for not pulling the big 'R' lever. So be it.


That's what I try to do. Problem is, nowadays there really isn't any one who is best for the position. Well, maybe that's just me, but still. And then we've also got this whole system of tactics for who we vote for and how and what's going to happen with it...It drives me nuts.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 10:17:23 AM EST
The problem with those who seek 3rd party runs is their immediate vs long term goals... it seems most seek intentionally to be spoilers - to rob Peter so Paul will win, rather than seriously lay the ground work needed, YEARS in advance, so they could win.

But here's what would happen - if someone made a name for himself, was popular, attracted a following, attracted fans and a donor base who believed in his platform.... once all the ducks are lined up, the potential candidate lets it be known he'll be running as an independent or founding a new party along those lines.

The big 2 parties will immediately try to knee cap him, failing that, they'll go to plan B, which is to co-opt his ideas so as to undercut the 'need' for a 3rd party run to begin with.

Failing this, they'll revert to dirty tricks, digging dirt or fabricating dirt.

I figure that any national level goal requires someone to plan it out 4-6 years in advance, not 1 or 2 years out.

If a General ran for office on a strictly conservative platform during an election people would run the calculation that a vote for him would = a vote for the Libtard (i.e. that he'd be a spoiler for the GOP), but if the General already had GOP standing but threatened to go Independent in 08 or '10, he'd have leverage from within the GOP to pull it to the RIGHT.

As it stands, if the DNC wins next week, they'll shout from the housetops that this is a 'mandate' for liberalism and socialism....and the Left leaning GOP RINOs will use this (and the MSM braying) as 'proof' that the GOP ought to shift left to win.

If the GOP manages to hold off the DNC, aside from the MSM driven conspiracy theory sour grapes, we'll get the status quo. Only a crushing defeat (i.e. little or no gains in the Senate or House) would force the DNC to reflect that moving to the Left isn't a winnable strategy.

Link Posted: 11/1/2006 10:24:29 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2006 10:25:38 AM EST by DragoMuseveni]
Yeah, there's a way out of the 2 party system, but it would invovle a October 1917 style pruge of DC, a rewrite of the electoral college, repeal of the 17th amendment and then outlawing political parties. I think I would keep the electoral college, just change it to allow for more than 2 presidential candidates(the current system does not allow for it)

Very unlikely to happen just as a peaceful change is unlikely to happen.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 10:27:43 AM EST
Abolish the single member plurality district and accompanying "first past the post" elections in favor of a proportional representation scheme.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 10:30:22 AM EST

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:

Originally Posted By allenNH:

You need a plurality (the most) of votes, not a majority (more than half). Common misconception.



You are correct. Of course, I also understood that, but was simplifing to give a simple answer.

But the rest of my post is still correct. No Libertarian candidate is going to win a three-way race either.

Just isn't in the cards.

But, even if they did the impossible and won the election, what would be the result?

They would get to Congress and would not get on any choice committees. They would try to get laws on the docket and would not be allowed to do so, because the party in power controls the docket.

They would get absolutely nothing accomplished.

That's the main reason that voting for such a candidate is a wasted vote.


Maybe you're right. I don't consider it wasted, but the only way it'll work is to get the numbers up.. that isn't going to happen overnight, or if nobody votes for them out of fear that a dem might win.

There is some historical precedent for 3rd parties making a good showing or even winning. People forget about Perot, who probably would've won in '92 if he didn't pull that stunt of withdrawing over "republican conspiracies" about his daughters wedding. He was pulling something like 40% during pre-election polls before that.

Rosevelt placed 2nd in the 1912 election, beating Taft and losing to Wilson, after splitting from the Republican party and starting his own party during the primaries. This was before the two-term limit was placed on presidents in 1951.

It won't happen this election. It won't happen in 2008. But I'm convinced it will happen, and until it does I don't think I'm throwing my vote away. Ex-democrats vote Libertarian too you know.. it's not just "stealing votes" from republicans.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 10:32:23 AM EST
Or we could go the Canadian way, the tax control wing of the conservatives split from the religious right so that the Liberals won the election.

Maybe we could have instead the blue collar Democrats split from the Prius liberals who would rather shut down business?
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 10:34:47 AM EST
I think IRV is a good solution personally.

Either that or wait 20-50 years until one or other other party just really fucks up the country and people start waking up.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 10:44:33 AM EST
We have a winner take all system. That means we will have two viable parties, and only two viable parties. If we end up with three parties, one of them will rapidly evaporate into nothingness leaving two parties.

It’s simply natural law. There can’t be three, or one, there must be two.

In a non winner take all system there is room for multiple parties. If, for example, Congress were made up of 400 members and a party got to pick one for every 0.25% of the vote that they got, then a “pro-gun” party could get perhaps 40 seats. But under our present system all of the votes that go to the “pro gun” party would be wasted and likely result in the party that supports the anti gun agenda winning.

Link Posted: 11/1/2006 10:45:02 AM EST

Originally Posted By DragoMuseveni:
Yeah, there's a way out of the 2 party system, but it would invovle a October 1917 style pruge of DC, a rewrite of the electoral college, repeal of the 17th amendment and then outlawing political parties. I think I would keep the electoral college, just change it to allow for more than 2 presidential candidates(the current system does not allow for it)

Very unlikely to happen just as a peaceful change is unlikely to happen.


I agree about the electoral college. It's a good idea for a good reason, as was already explained.

Also the point you bring up about two parties is accurate, but it's not a fault of the system itself, which allows for votes to be split. The decision however is up to the individual states, and by far most of them are "winner take all."

Maine and Nebraska are different. They grant the statewide popular winner two of their votes, and the rest are distributed to the winners of each district.

I'm not certain about repealing the 17th amendment or not.. I really don't know if there's enough information there to make a sound judgement for or against it. On that note, I lean towards repealing it on general principal -- if you don't know if a law is doing any good, it's probably not.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 11:04:29 AM EST

Originally Posted By thedoctors308:

Originally Posted By warlord:

Originally Posted By thedoctors308:

Originally Posted By jblachly:

Light reading:
condorcet.org/rp/index.shtml Intro to Ranked Pairs
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condorcet_method Wikipedia on Condorcet (aka Ranked Pairs)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IRV Good Wikipedida article on Instant Runoff Voting (IRV)


That takes me back.
I remember telling my math teacher in high school that it was in fact possible for Bush to lose the popular vote, but still win the election vis a vis Arrow's impossibility theorem.


I don't know what "Arrow's impossibility theorem" is, but there is a reason why this is possible, and it is not a concidence.


Basically it states that there is no voting method which is consistently fair and consistently democratic.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condorcet_method Wikipedia on Condorcet (aka Ranked Pairs)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IRV Good Wikipedida article on Instant Runoff Voting (IRV)

That takes me back.
I remember telling my math teacher in high school that it was in fact possible for Bush to lose the popular vote, but still win the election vis a vis Arrow's impossibility theorem.
Oh there is a name for the old saying, "the rules are never fair and the playing field is never level." On the whole it works rather well.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 11:12:08 AM EST
I am a Libertarian. I have voted straight Libertarian for years.

Today (Oregon vote by mail) I held my nose and voted Republican on the federal races and the governors race.

I feel both major parties are taking us down a road to hell. I just think the republicans are driving slower.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 11:14:12 AM EST
Multi party systems get almost nothing done.

Nobody manages to ever get a majority,so you end up with shaky coalitions where the members struggle to find common ground.

Here in Canada ,we are always living in fear of no confidence votes bringing the government down.

Look to Italy for your answer[Those jokers have had an embarrasing amount of goverments since WW2,all because of having too many parties].
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 12:09:37 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2006 12:13:28 PM EST by K2QB3]

Originally Posted By firemission4mortars:
Multi party systems get almost nothing done.

Nobody manages to ever get a majority,so you end up with shaky coalitions where the members struggle to find common ground.

Here in Canada ,we are always living in fear of no confidence votes bringing the government down.

Look to Italy for your answer[Those jokers have had an embarrasing amount of goverments since WW2,all because of having too many parties].


Getting almost nothing done would be a refreshing change.

As would anyone in DC finding common ground.

Here in the USA, we are living in fear that nothing short of bloody revolution will ever bring the government down, or change its course.

Somebody said in 50 years the two party system will screw things up so bad the people wake up, I think people are waking up now, but even in the best case we'll be paying for the screwups for the next 50 years.

ETA- Wow, post 1911. Guess I should post something like "JMB was a fracking genius"
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 12:13:28 PM EST
Yeah, we go to Washington D.C., find a constitutionalist judge, arrest everybody and take back the government from both parties.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 5:20:13 PM EST

Originally Posted By allenNH:

Originally Posted By DragoMuseveni:
Yeah, there's a way out of the 2 party system, but it would invovle a October 1917 style pruge of DC, a rewrite of the electoral college, repeal of the 17th amendment and then outlawing political parties. I think I would keep the electoral college, just change it to allow for more than 2 presidential candidates(the current system does not allow for it)

Very unlikely to happen just as a peaceful change is unlikely to happen.


I agree about the electoral college. It's a good idea for a good reason, as was already explained.

Also the point you bring up about two parties is accurate, but it's not a fault of the system itself, which allows for votes to be split. The decision however is up to the individual states, and by far most of them are "winner take all."

Maine and Nebraska are different. They grant the statewide popular winner two of their votes, and the rest are distributed to the winners of each district.

I'm not certain about repealing the 17th amendment or not.. I really don't know if there's enough information there to make a sound judgement for or against it. On that note, I lean towards repealing it on general principal -- if you don't know if a law is doing any good, it's probably not.


My problem with the electoral college isn't the winner take all votes. It's the fact that in order to "WIN" you need 270 votes. If no one has 270 or more, the election is tossed to the House of Representatives and they choose. If that were to ever happen, who ever controls the house gets the presidency. No 3rd party can win in that system.
All they are good for is taking away votes from the other side. I'm not sure I'd totally scrap the electoral college.

Maybe a free for all presidental campaign where the top 2 candidates with the most popular votes go on to the final stage. Think of it like a "super" primary where everyone and his dog that wants to run for office gets to campagin(withing election ballot guidlines of course. You must have your petition signatures). After the super primary you have the grand election and then the electoral college does it work based on the existing system.

As for the 17th amendment. Getting rid of that would bring back states rights.
The Senate was supposed to represent the STATE not the people. The people have the House to represent them. Allowing the PEOPLE to elect the STATE's represenation is counter to the Great Compromise.
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