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Political Parties are Stupid and Counterproductive

Malik Shabazz

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"I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men

whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else, where I

was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation

of a free and moral agent.” - Thomas Jefferson

"The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissention, which in different ages & countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders & miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security & repose in the absolute power of an Individual: and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty."George Washington, September 19, 1796

With that out of the way, I would like to get into my discussion. We Americans like to think that we have this perfect utopia-like democracy, where people get a free vote. I think that this is funny, because there is no free vote. Look at the last Presidential election, out of the six people that ran; only two were allowed to debate. Yea, so much for "free and fair" elections. Our government likes to talk about "upholding democracy" around the world, when our republic is so flawed. Our republic has a lot of flaws, but to be specific one of the biggest flaws it has are the self-serving political parties.

Americans, take a look at our country: Our economy is in the toilet and we have a do-nothing government. Why? Because of political parties. It has been argued that political parties are the foundation of any democracy. I think that this is a load of crap, because they only encourage division. Why do you think that every bill that has been proposed to fix our economy has gone nowhere? One of the two political parties always shuts the plan down, that's why. Then, the sheep who don't know any better argue about who's party is better and which party is responsible for what. Whenever I hear or see Americans argue about things like this, I :facepalm:. The reality is that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans care about you or you interests, but only their own. Proof of this: When a plan is proposed that will fix the economy, depending on who's proposing it, one of the two parties will instantly vote against it. In contrast, when it's time to go to war or bail out some greedy corporation; they'll agree in an instant.

Brothers and sisters, the reality is, political parties are not democratic. You can sit here and say that our founding fathers envisioned a republic and not a democracy, and as such it really does not matter whether or not they are democratic. As you can see in the quotes above, our founding fathers warned us against political parties and how they will divide the United States. Now they have. We have no one to blame but ourselves, because these are the people we vote into office. I'm not saying we should ban political parties, because that would also be undemocratic. I'm saying that we should grow balls and call these politicians out, even if they are in the same political party as you. Let's stop pointing fingers: "Those damn liberals, conservatives are retarded", and come to the realization that they're all just two separate turds in the same toilet.

This is From the Mind of Loki, Thank You and God Bless,

-Loki Laufeyson



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Your rant seems to come from a combination of disillusionment and generalizations, chief of which came through in the second sentence. Any reasonable person in any system will say that their system is not perfect, and I think you overestimate blind patriotism.

One factor on why nothing gets done is because the country is practically split 50/50 between Democrats and Republicans. But the main problem is that the system of primaries passes on candidates that are moderate for their party, but not for the nation as a whole, and then it becomes a choice between lesser evils for many of the moderates. But it's been this way as long as direct primaries have existed, it's just becoming more apparent now.

The bigger problem I believe is the gerrymandering and ridiculous incumbency rates in Congress, but these also haven't started now. This stagnation is what is part of the problem though, and a lot of it is the system rigging itself to resist change. And the only real way to fight it is to give the voters enough information to know who is supporting the system's self-fulfillment and who is fighting it. And the responsibility for that kind of information falls on the media, and we definitely need a better one. Once that changes, I believe the dominos will start falling more than through any other means.

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The US government suffers from the fact that the Balance of Powers requires compromise. This creates a problem that the definition of a compromise is that it is about right when everybody is equally unhappy. Coupled with elections every two years and ridiculously long campaigns for them, you have an ungovernable country.

Seriously. The US presidential election cycle lasts about 18 months. Mid term elections about six months. That means of a 4 year term, 2 years are spent on the election cycle. You get 18 months grace after a presidential election, then six months campaign, then six months off, then 18 months presidential campaigning. It engineers the type of political stagnation that happens in proportional representation countries with multiple collapsing coalitions and elections whilst only having two parties. How can you make a compromise that will anger the people voting for you in primaries when you are going to be facing them in a few months time?

I would say that given the length of time when campaigning takes place, and the time before that when representatives look over their shoulder at approaching elections, less than a third of a 4 year period is spent on governance rather than electioneering.

Compare that to the UK with national elections that last 5 years, less issue over divide between lower and upper houses and see how more effective the government is at getting things done, and also the fact that parties are more willing to compromise on issues. Why? Because a decision 2 or 3 years into a parliament is unlikely to still be hurting them when the election campaigning starts at 4 1/2 years.

As for political parties, they exist for the same reasons that companies exist. 10 people working together can do more than 10 people working as individuals. A candidate with a party behind them has funds to research policy options, create campaign strategies etc etc. A MP from the Labour party can use their parties think tanks to draw policy on every conceivable issue without having to research every issue on their own-an impossible task.

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The US government suffers from the fact that the Balance of Powers requires compromise. This creates a problem that the definition of a compromise is that it is about right when everybody is equally unhappy. Coupled with elections every two years and ridiculously long campaigns for them, you have an ungovernable country.

Seriously. The US presidential election cycle lasts about 18 months. Mid term elections about six months. That means of a 4 year term, 2 years are spent on the election cycle. You get 18 months grace after a presidential election, then six months campaign, then six months off, then 18 months presidential campaigning. It engineers the type of political stagnation that happens in proportional representation countries with multiple collapsing coalitions and elections whilst only having two parties. How can you make a compromise that will anger the people voting for you in primaries when you are going to be facing them in a few months time?

I would say that given the length of time when campaigning takes place, and the time before that when representatives look over their shoulder at approaching elections, less than a third of a 4 year period is spent on governance rather than electioneering.

Compare that to the UK with national elections that last 5 years, less issue over divide between lower and upper houses and see how more effective the government is at getting things done, and also the fact that parties are more willing to compromise on issues. Why? Because a decision 2 or 3 years into a parliament is unlikely to still be hurting them when the election campaigning starts at 4 1/2 years.

As for political parties, they exist for the same reasons that companies exist. 10 people working together can do more than 10 people working as individuals. A candidate with a party behind them has funds to research policy options, create campaign strategies etc etc. A MP from the Labour party can use their parties think tanks to draw policy on every conceivable issue without having to research every issue on their own-an impossible task.

Maybe being a politician should be seen as a service you do for others and not a career, and they should aim to do the right thing instead of the popular thing.

That'll happen.

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It won't because the US political system punishes that. (As does the UK system, but in a different way). You have at most 1 year in 4 when you can do that and not face being shredded in a re-election campaign.

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Let's just be clear that the proposed solution ITC is making the US less democratic. It may very well be the right thing to do, but it should be recognized that that is what's being proposed.

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The US is so undemocratic at the moment you could actually achieve both. I would suggest the following;

1) Make the presidential election a direct vote. No more electoral college

2) Make one chamber a Proportional representation election, and the other elected the manner of the current House of Representatives, with the districts redrawn by an independent panel to undo jerrymandering.

3) Move all elections to once every 4 years, on the same date.

That would still lead to the US being more democractic than currently.

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The US is so undemocratic at the moment you could actually achieve both. I would suggest the following;

1) Make the presidential election a direct vote. No more electoral college

2) Make one chamber a Proportional representation election, and the other elected the manner of the current House of Representatives, with the districts redrawn by an independent panel to undo jerrymandering.

3) Move all elections to once every 4 years, on the same date.

That would still lead to the US being more democractic than currently.

Agreed withe 1 and 2 but not 3. If we made all of the elections on one day, it would cause a huge cluster$%&@ and make a bigger mess than we already have.

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Agreed withe 1 and 2 but not 3. If we made all of the elections on one day, it would cause a huge cluster$%&@ and make a bigger mess than we already have.

Your current mess is primarily the result of only 1 year in every 4 being a time when the US congress cares about governing, with the rest being spent caring about elections. The other fixes are basically minor compared to that.

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Your current mess is primarily the result of only 1 year in every 4 being a time when the US congress cares about governing, with the rest being spent caring about elections. The other fixes are basically minor compared to that.

True, but I don't really see how moving all elections to the same day every four years will fix that.

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True, but I don't really see how moving all elections to the same day every four years will fix that.

All campaigning is concentrated into a smaller timeframe.

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The beauty of the US system is that it is not supposed to create an effective ruling government. It is supposed to be inefficient, create political stagnation and dispute.

The best thing we could do is add term limits so congress isn't a career, then maybe we can get some principled politicians in place to actually try to fix problems with the system, rather than perpetuate the system's problems for personal gain.

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The beauty of the US system is that it is not supposed to create an effective ruling government. It is supposed to be inefficient, create political stagnation and dispute.

The best thing we could do is add term limits so congress isn't a career, then maybe we can get some principled politicians in place to actually try to fix problems with the system, rather than perpetuate the system's problems for personal gain.

Yea, congress definitely needs term limits.

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