Is a two party system making America ungovernable?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by B_VinylBoy, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    It's a rainy day in Brazil, which makes it a little difficult to go and enjoy oneself on the beach. However, it does lead to some interesting channel surfing and the discovery of this interesting website/show called Intelligence Squared.

    Today, Bloomberg TV showed a summary pertaining to one of their most recent panels. The question - Is a two party system making America ungovernable? Two panels of two were created to debate for and against this notion, and to say that this show didn't provide well crafted & stimulating arguments for both sides would be an understatement. THIS is the kind of debates I wish we could have more of around here.

    They uploaded the full video on Vimeo. Check it out and then post your thoughts.
    THE TWO-PARTY SYSTEM IS MAKING AMERICA UNGOVERNABLE (iq2us.org) on Vimeo
     
  2. Countryguy63

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    In one BIG word.....YES!! :mad:

    and the reason?? I'm a "D/R", and you're a "R/D" so I'm automatically right, and you're wrong, just based on what party you are in :rolleyes:
     
    #2 Countryguy63, Mar 6, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
  3. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    Countryguy63: You should really try to look at the video beforehand, primarily at the group who argued in support of the argument. David Brooks in his closing argument makes a very interesting point where he states that politically he tends to agree more with the two members of the other panel. However, he does go on to say that even though he and Huffington would be able to come to some sort of an agreement on various issues if they were to sit down alone and talk about them. Whereas, if they were to do it as the heads or representatives of their collective parties they would not out of pressure to look like a "Democrat" or a "Republican".

    Discussions around here could be more productive if we could look at the issue through another lens that isn't so polarizing. There's too many people using "because you're a Democrat" and "because you're a Republican" as an excuse for believing what they want to around here, and that doesn't solve anything.
     
  4. parr

    parr New Member

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    Youv'e got to have a balance of power or the system will run rampid,
    the 2011 election was a good example.
     
  5. Joll

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    I agree totally.
     
  6. phillyhangin

    phillyhangin New Member

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    I think VB and David Brooks are right: Two individuals can usually work out their differences - or at least agree to disagree - during a face-to-face discussion; two party heads generally cannot because they have to represent their respective parties, which have vested interests in appearing as distinct as possible.

    Personally, I favor proportional representation because, in theory at least, the legislature reflects the diversity of opinions in the general population. More importantly, since no factions generally have a majority, all factions are forced to work together to find common ground. At least in theory. :wink: It seems that in practice, it can create a lot of logjams. Anyone from a country with proportional representation care to comment? I'm really curious as to how it works "on the ground" as it were.
     
  7. maxcok

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    I couldn't find the word "rampid" in any dictionary. Is that a Palin invention? Could you provide a definition?

    Also, could you explain what "2011 election" you're referring to?
     
  8. phillyhangin

    phillyhangin New Member

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    I don't think VB - or anyone else - was suggesting moving to a one party system, which would be an extremely bad idea; it's more that having two parties which stake out extreme positions instead of pursuing bipartisanship is creating gridlock at the expense of constructive political discourse.
     
  9. petite

    petite New Member

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    Ah, I've had this discussion many times, in many different ways, examining many different aspects of the issue.

    Our system of voting (one vote per person) ensures that only two parties will have power. This has been tested using game theory. A different voting system would actually be more democratic, because it would actually more accurately reflect the political beliefs of the citizenry, and still "fair" because every person would still wield the same amount of power. John Allen Paulos explored the subject from the point of view of a mathematician in his book A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper. It's written entirely in a non-partisan point of view and discusses different systems and their pros and cons, using game analysis and various examples. It's very enlightening. I highly recommend just reading that essay alone, if one is uninterested in mathematics as a subject to read about for entertainment.

    If one were to use comparative politics and examine the effects of having 3 parties or more, the very first benefit is something I like to call "cooperation." If no party holds the majority of power, then it would always require the cooperation of two parties to have a majority on any issue. This prevents the inevitable corruption that occurs when one party has temporary power in a two party system.

    It is my personal belief that the citizens of America would be best served by changing the voting system in order to allow for a more democratic system for all of it's citizens of every party.
     
    #9 petite, Mar 6, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
  10. phillyhangin

    phillyhangin New Member

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    I agree.

    Thanks for the book reference; I'll have to track it down.

    Exactly. We've seen far too many examples of "rubber-stamping" policies from both ends of the political spectrum whenever they have a temporary advantage. It's a lot harder to do that when several parties have to agree on the outcome.

    I agree. Anyone up for a Constitutional Convention? :wink:
     
  11. Bbucko

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    Isn't a large plurality of the American electorate self-identified as Independent? I think that the two American parties, as they now stand, are essentially distorted caricatures of themselves and their "bases".

    I vote based on policy and personality/character (at least as it's marketed during the campaigns), but not really by party, though it's a rare Republican whose policies align with my self-interest, especially over the last ~15 years. On the other hand, there are many Democrats whose policies aren't in alignment with my self-interest, either (Jim Naugle springs instantly to mind):

    Naugle has said that the American Civil Liberties Union acronym ACLU means "Atheists and Criminal Lobbying Union"[1] and that a proposal for reducing greenhouse gases was "hate-America stuff" concocted by "a bunch of scientists meeting in Paris who've had too much wine."[7] His view regarding homosexuality is that it is a sin and he has defended anti-sodomy laws.[citation needed] He stated that he does not support gay rights,[citation needed] but noted his working relationship with gay-rights activist Robin Bodiford as an example of his tolerance of differing viewpoints. Comments Naugle made about alleged use of a planned $250,000 robotic toilet in Fort Lauderdale's beach to prevent sexual encounters between men caused protests from the local community.[8]

    Naugle has had a long-running dispute with his constituency's largest regional newspaper, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel; he has claimed it should be called Rainbow Sentinel because of what he perceives as a majority of gay people on its staff, or Scum-Sentinel because they are "an advertising tabloid newsblog". He has stated "the day I take advice from a company that has vagrants selling their products in the middle of the street, we're all in trouble", referring to the publication's practice of employing homeless people as street salespeople.[9]

    Naugle denounced the LGBT Stonewall Library & Archives in 2007, because it contained pornographic materials.[10] Executive Director Jack Rutland noted that the three titles singled out by Naugle were all part of the library's non-circulating archive of 7000 titles, maintained for historical and research purposes only.[11] On July 10, 2007, the Fort Lauderdale city commission voted to allow the library to occupy a space in a building that is city-owned, but under long-term lease to Broward county.[12] On August 28, 2007 the Broward (County) Tourism Development Council expelled Naugle due to his controversial remarks against the gay community.[13] Estimates indicate that gay visitors pump approximately $1 billion in revenue into Broward County annually.[citation needed]
    Naugle suggested that Bill Clinton should be investigated for raping Monica Lewinsky.[1]


    It should also be noted that GHWBush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act and that Bill Clinton signed DOMA: jus' sayin'
     
  12. parr

    parr New Member

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    You know what you can do with that dictionary.
     
  13. Countryguy63

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    The above is exactly what I was saying. Aren't we in agreement here :confused:
     
  14. phillyhangin

    phillyhangin New Member

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    I'm not sure; I hadn't heard that statistic before. Perhaps it's a sign of rising disillusionment with two-party "business as usual" gridlock.
    "The parties" don't really represent their bases, they represent the extremes because they have to distinguish themselves from each other. With only two parties, there's really little room for subtlety and nuance.

    Same here. There are many election cycles where it feels like a choice between two evils, and neither of them is the "lesser of the two." :wink:

    I'd like to say that I'm amazed that someone like him could get elected in the 21st century, but honestly, I'd be lying if I said that. Demogogues who play to the fears and prejudices of their constituents are not confined to any one party; what's sad is that their behavior is accepted as par for the course instead of being condemned.
     
  15. maxcok

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    Spoken like a true-blue anti-intellectual teabagger. Why don't you tell me what to do, friend? :rolleyes:

    I normally use the dictionary to remind myself of the precise meaning(s) of a word I'm unsure of, and sometimes to confirm the correct spelling. I don't use spell-check, for me it's a crutch, but you might find it useful. I retain better and my mind and my working vocabulary are better exercised going through the process of actually looking things up. You should try it sometime.

    David Brooks, noted conservative columnist, comments on the great vociferous divide in American politics. It's less about Republican vs. Democrat or even "right" vs. "left". It's more about the ignorant and uneducated vs. the educated and informed. The teabagger movement is nothing less than a war on education, science and reason. In their typically cynical means of maximizing their voter base, the Republican party has long capitalized on idiocy and adopted it into their dogma. Incorporating the teabaggers into their big circus tent is a natural.

    Brooks is up first followed by others. Read and try to comprehend, insofar as you are capable:





    “The four corners of deceit: government, academia, science and media. Those institutions are now corrupt and exist by virtue of deceit. That's how they promulgate themselves; it is how they prosper.” -- Rush Limbaugh


    p.s. I almost forgot Parr, you didn't answer my questions. You never did define what you meant by the word(?) "rampid", nor did you explain what "2011 election" you were referencing. Please enlighten us.
     
    #15 maxcok, Mar 7, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011
  16. parr

    parr New Member

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    Point well taken in regards to dictionary, the word "rampid" I don't
    think you will find it, probably a word used to define "out of control". And
    as bonus to amplifiy the elections ehere the republicans recently took
    back the house, I may have mistaken about the year, but i'm sure you
    know whick one. Back to dictionary, will try to use it more often in future, ok.
     
  17. MadCock

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    Vote - Constitution Party; Libertarian party; Green party; Independent party; ect; ect

    Vote for some thing or some one you belive in;

    vote to have your voice heard!

    It seems all too often that people forget that there are a multitude of 3rd parties here in the US.
     
    #17 MadCock, Mar 7, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011
  18. petite

    petite New Member

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    parr meant rampant, not rampid, because rampid isn't a word. He just isn't educated enough to know that, or to know how it's pronounced so he could sound out the spelling.

    Without changing the current voting system to one in which third party votes would be effective, voting for a third party is futile.
     
    #18 petite, Mar 7, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011
  19. MadCock

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    It’s not a need to change the voting system. It’s a need for the third parties to have the acknowledgment, the public support, and financing that the two major parties have.
     
  20. Bbucko

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    Agreed. But the 2011 "election" needs some further in-depth analysis, too.
     
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