Party politics


Party Politics

This wiki page is a placeholder. What is party politics? In what ways is it detrimental to our democracies?

Political parties were originally just like any other special interest group: people espousing similar ideals banded together to further their agenda. Political parties differ from other special interest groups in that they use elections to promote candidates representing them. In order to enhance their chances, parties adapted their strategies according to the electoral rules.

People say democracy has failed, what is your alternative?

[The question was accompanied by this explanation: A lot of people believe that events like Brexit prove that democratic system is broken and provide examples of Athens executing Socrates, Election of Hitler etc, saying that old/uneducated/white/conservative people shouldn't have the right to vote. What exactly do they offer instead of status quo?]

The role of interest groups and political parties in Practical Democracy

The role of political parties has become a recurring theme is our discussions.

In particular, Fred and myself briefly discussed the role of special interest groups in his Practical Democracy. Their role is only passingly mentioned in his book:
I don't recall that there is a section that details the role of special interest groups in Practical Democracy.

So, I'd like to give Fred an opportunity to describe in greater details his vision.
What role if any would political parties play in Practical Democracy?

Taking Party off the ballot for representation in a district.

Taking party off the ballot in a vote for representation. Do that and the tables turn. The only thing a party wins is the agenda in Canada (if only they could vote on that), or the Presidency and his/her mandate in the USA. Representatives, preferably each elected by a majority in their district, will likely be supportive of an agenda elected by a majority in a nation wide vote. Every national party could publicly identify whichever and however many of the candidates are acceptable to their supporters.

Who uses our right to vote to control us.

In Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, he spoke of "government of the people, by the people, for the people". What is the mechanism by which 'the people' provide 'government of the people'? The standard answer is that the people have the right to elect their own representatives in government and thereby govern themselves. That would be fine if the people did, indeed, elect their own representatives - but they don't.

What is the root problem in US politics?

Walt Kelly described the root problem in US politics best when he had Pogo say, "We have met the enemy, and he is US."

If we are concerned about politics in the U. S., we must look at ourselves - with as much objectivity as we can muster. There are at least two aspects of our nature that lay at the core of our political problems, our tendency to pursue our own interest and our tendency toward partisanship.

Thoughts on Political Candidate Selection

One reason many people don't vote in the United States is that the game is rigged. Why should they bother? It makes no sense to vote when the only choices are candidates committed to serving vested interests.

The political parties arrogate to themselves the conduct of our government; they write the rules by which the government functions, sell legislation to vested interests, and choose candidates committed to enact the laws written for them by the people who underwrite their election campaigns.

That's a clear case of setting a fox to guard the hen-house!!!!

Why do voters elect corrupt representatives?

We elect corrupt officials to represent us because political parties dictate our electoral choices. George Washington warned us of the danger of factions in his Farewell Address. Yet, factions (parties) grabbed power because we, the people, didn't understand how easily they are corrupted.

Is voter suppression effective?

Are qualified voters being kept from determining the outcome of elections?

I don't feel competent to answer the question as asked. I have no personal knowledge of voter suppression at the polls and cannot judge its effectiveness.

However, in a broader sense, voters are suppressed in the United States because they have no mechanism by which they can proclaim their own political choices. This form of voter suppression is exceptionally effective.

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