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Viability Of A Third Party In USA Politics  
User currently offlineDeltaGator From United States of America, joined exactly 9 years ago today! , 6341 posts, RR: 13
Posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 1874 times:

Hello all,

Although I identify myself as a Republican I question some of the things the party does these days. While I do give Bush credit on many things his fiscal spending is going crazy and against the ideals of the party. Same thing goes for the continued growth of the Federal government at the expense of the 10th Amendment and powers given to the States. (kind of tied to the spending actually)

While we have numerous third parties out there today do you ever see any of them becoming viable on the national level or even the Congressional district level for that matter? As the parties move more towards the edges of right and left they are leaving behind some of us in the middle who would consider themselves valuable to the party.

Thoughts, ideas, a voter revolution on the way? I've given you a topic. Discuss.


"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineUsnseallt82 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 4891 posts, RR: 52
Reply 1, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 1870 times:

Quoting DeltaGator (Thread starter):
While we have numerous third parties out there today do you ever see any of them becoming viable on the national level or even the Congressional district level for that matter?

I think that for the first time you're starting to see a more public acknowledgement of those third parties, partly due to the increase in media coverage which gets their platforms out there and also because voters are looking for other options. I think you'll see an increase in third party runs for office in the future.

However, I will admit that I don't see this going large-scale anytime soon. It will be some time before we see an independent or Green Party President, if ever. But, I think we'll start seeing an increase in the numbers of third parties on the ballots and also increases in the numbers of votes cast away from the big 2.

The next decade will be interesting to watch.  yes 



Crye me a river
User currently offlineSearpqx From Netherlands, joined Jun 2000, 4344 posts, RR: 10
Reply 2, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1859 times:

As long as the campaign/election process is so highly dependent on fund raising, I doubt it. Currently it's a vicious circle - to get elected you need name recognition, to get name recognition you need advertising, to get advertising you need money, to get money you need name recognition, etc., etc., etc. So unless you've got the weight of the party behind you, or are independently wealthy and willing to spend it on your campaign, (Perot) the system is stacked against you. I do think that USN is right, there is a growing recognition of the 'alternative' parties, and we may actually see some movement at the community and even state level. But I doubt anyone will ever break into the national arena without a major change in the way things are currently done.


"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
User currently offlineBushpilot From South Africa, joined Jul 2007, 0 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1858 times:

I have wanted to discuss this for awhile on this site. There are quite a few third parties out there already, but most of them to the left or right of the mainstream GOP and Dems. I said in the presidential thread that we need a centralist party and I believe that with all my heart.
Both parties are leaning more in thier respective directions these days. A centralist party that allows most civil liberties, is fiscally responsible and actually looks to serve the majority of americans and thier real views would be viable. But both the other parties will do them damndest to squash it before it gets rolling. If crazy ass Ross Perot can make a dent in a presidential election a solid centralist/poppulist could win. its going to be raising the money that is a problem.
Our current system is flawed in a few major ways. Firstly unless you have the help of a party you must be independently wealthy to have a chance. This in turn makes the elected official not responsible so much to thier constituants as to thier party. There have been plenty of votes cast by legislatures that are against thier own personal opinions or bad for thier district because of party pressure.
The current system puts the voters third in importance behind what the party wants to do and what thier donors want.


User currently offlineDerico From Argentina, joined Dec 1999, 4306 posts, RR: 11
Reply 4, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1858 times:

The US is a 'nominal' democracy. Has been for quite some time now.

The pros: political stability and predictability, which have and do serve it very well, particularly in economic terms.

The con: in the VERY long term, such a static system is bound to rot and not serve is function well. When is that very long term due, I can't say, but any political system that does not evolve is bound to suffer eventually.



My internet was not shut down, the internet has shut me down
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20647 posts, RR: 62
Reply 5, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1858 times:

Quoting DeltaGator (Thread starter):
Thoughts, ideas, a voter revolution on the way?

If Ross Perot had not dropped out of the 1992 election, then rejoined it so close to election day, I believe he would have garnered more than the 18-19% he did.

A third party will rise around a charismatic leader who talks straight and appeals to our better senses.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20647 posts, RR: 62
Reply 6, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1853 times:

Quoting Derico (Reply 4):
The US is a 'nominal' democracy. Has been for quite some time now.

The U.S. is a republic. Has been since 1776.  Wink



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13116 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1853 times:

Current laws as to funding elections, that in some states only really the 2 major canidates can get partial government funding for their elections, and the money itself makes it very difficult to make a viable third party except in some local or state elections. Also too, one of the major parties will take on some of the key points of the third party for their own in later elections and cutting down their advantages.
On the Presidential level in the USA, 3rd parties have taken away or split votes to or from one of the 2 major party canidates. In 2000, 3rd party/Green Party canidate Ralph Nadar probably took votes from very liberal voters away from Gore especially in Florida, leading to Bush (2) winning (in a way). In 1992, Ross Perot, a third party canidate, took votes away from Bush (1) and thus helped Clinton. In 1968, George Wallace a third party canidate from the Southern USA, and representing a lot of white prejudice Southern men, took votes away from the Democratic canidate Humphrey and led to the Republican, Nixon, winning.


User currently offlineDerico From Argentina, joined Dec 1999, 4306 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1853 times:

Well, if you want to get technically cute, yes of course.

You know what I meant when I said 'democracy'.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 6):



My internet was not shut down, the internet has shut me down
User currently offlineCasInterest From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4628 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1845 times:

The problem with the republican party is that it is starting to be steered by the religious right, and that is going to cause serious strain on it in the next 10-20 years.

I am a republican highly boardering on Independent.
We need fiscal restraint at the federal level, we need states to be able to handle many requirements locally.
However
We need a national health care plan
We need a stronger retirement system.
We need to keep companies from dumping pensions on the government.

These are the things that worry me.
I could care less about abortion
I could care less about a president that sticks a cigar in an intern
I could care less about a president that can't speak.

I want a sane government.



Older than I just was ,and younger than I will soo be.
User currently offlineDeltaGator From United States of America, joined exactly 9 years ago today! , 6341 posts, RR: 13
Reply 10, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1841 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 6):
Quoting Derico (Reply 4):
The US is a 'nominal' democracy. Has been for quite some time now.

The U.S. is a republic. Has been since 1776.

A very common misconception perpetuated in textbooks. We are most definitley not a democracy. That is letting the insane run the asylum. Of course some might argue we do that as a republic also.

Quoting CasInterest (Reply 9):
The problem with the republican party is that it is starting to be steered by the religious right,

Very true and that disturbs me. In Cobb County, GA where I call home the GOP is very much fundamentalist Christian. While on the surface that doesn't bother me it is their "are you of the right religion" litmus test that gets me. If you don't go to the "right" church they won't support you. They are also very much anti-abortion. If you even remotely have an opinion of choice it's out the door with you as far as they are concerned.

I'm also bothered by the whole gay marriage thing. I could care less if a couple of guys or girls get married. It is a legal contract and not the role of the Federal government to stop it. If your church doesn't support it then pick another church more tolerant but the government shouldn't give a rat's ass.

Quoting CasInterest (Reply 9):
We need fiscal restraint at the federal level, we need states to be able to handle many requirements locally.

Amen Brother!

Quoting CasInterest (Reply 9):
We need a national health care plan

I disagree with you here. Safety net...yes. Entitlement...no

Quoting CasInterest (Reply 9):
We need a stronger retirement system.

The individual should still be responsible for their retirement.

Quoting CasInterest (Reply 9):
We need to keep companies from dumping pensions on the government.

Agreed, although if you put all your retirement in a company pension you are risking trouble.

Quoting CasInterest (Reply 9):
I could care less about abortion

It's not that I don't care about it...I just don't think it is a federal issue.

Quoting CasInterest (Reply 9):
I want a sane government.

You and me both.



"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
User currently offlineBushpilot From South Africa, joined Jul 2007, 0 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1840 times:

Quoting CasInterest (Reply 9):
We need a national health care plan
We need a stronger retirement system.
We need to keep companies from dumping pensions on the government.

These are the things that worry me.
I could care less about abortion
I could care less about a president that sticks a cigar in an intern
I could care less about a president that can't speak.

I want a sane government.

Im tellin ya folks. A centralist party is the logical answer to this. It gives a referee and some reason to these two parties who are only interested in raising thier own standing and keeping the other down. Granted there are many hurdles in the way of such a party. Mostly money but also the 2 parties would do thier best to keep a viable centralist party at a minimum.
I would envision a party based around more civil liberties for the people(pro-choice, against a gay marraige ban etc)
fiscal responsibility
fair and consistent foreign policy
a much better health and education system (id aim for the top 3 in the world)
a strong military
campaign finance reform
tort reform
less entitlement spending but spending where its needed
I want a party that is progressive and open minded in its thinking. Willing to explore new and better ideas and one that is in touch with a rapidly changing world. Fuck it, im just going to start my own party.


User currently offlineFDXMECH From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3251 posts, RR: 34
Reply 12, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1811 times:

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 10):
Very true and that disturbs me. In Cobb County, GA where I call home the GOP is very much fundamentalist Christian. While on the surface that doesn't bother me it is their "are you of the right religion" litmus test that gets me. If you don't go to the "right" church they won't support you. They are also very much anti-abortion. If you even remotely have an opinion of choice it's out the door with you as far as they are concerned.

I'm curious. Did Cobb County Georgia just make this "radical" change or has it always been this way, even when the south was solidly Democratic?



You're only as good as your last departure.
User currently offlineDeltaGator From United States of America, joined exactly 9 years ago today! , 6341 posts, RR: 13
Reply 13, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1807 times:

Quoting FDXMECH (Reply 12):
I'm curious. Did Cobb County Georgia just make this "radical" change or has it always been this way, even when the south was solidly Democratic?

It has probably been this way for a long time even when Democratic. It just seems to be right out there in the open now. The dirty politics, name calling, and so on that we see at a national level is alive and well in Cobb County. I just see no room for debate among the party in the county anymore. If your opinion differs from the leadership (and thus the majority) you are given no room to speak. They do everything they can to squash you out lest you let someone think for themselves and genuinely debate the issue.



"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
User currently offlineNorthwest_guy From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 217 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1803 times:

Several years ago, I would have thought that the Reform Party was on its way to becoming a more viable party. They did well in the Presidential election in 1996, capturing nearly 10 percent of the vote, and the leader of the Reform Party, Ross Perot, did relatively well in the Presidential elections back in 1992 capturing nearly 20 percent of the vote. Furthermore, I believe Jesse Ventura originally ran as a Reform Party candidate for Governor of the state of Minnesota (then after winning the election he left the party and founded the Independence Party.) Also, the Reform Party had Pat Buchanan who had been a relatively high profile Republican. There was also talk of Donald Trump running for President under a Reform Party ticket. So, there were several high profile people who were members of the Reform Party, however, the party basically fell apart (around year 2000 I believe) largely because it was too dependent on Ross Perot.

I don't believe there will ever be a strong third party. It would be nice to have a viable third option, but I don't see it happening.


User currently offlineTbar220 From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7013 posts, RR: 26
Reply 15, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1801 times:

The sort of third party I envision is a grass roots, progressive party. The problem with both parties now, especially the Republicans politicians in power, is that I feel we're not trying to move forward. We're not trying to progress our country to be better. Instead we're concentrating on trivial stuff like homosexuality and religious issues.

I would like to see a progressive party which aims to return to the foundations of scientific progress, educational progress, economic stability founded on workers rights, and a clean lobbyist free system of government.

Too many people in this country, from the rural farmer to the inner city families feel like they aren't even living for themselves anymore. Sure, the "American dream" says we all have the opportunity, but I think the American dream is dead and a lot of people share my opinion. We need to get back to a government that shares the best interests of the hard working middle and lower class people of this country first over those in other countries. And over the rich investers and corporate interests, who do just fine looking after themselves.

Am I an idealist? You bet. Do I think that we can see a grass roots progressive movement in this country? Yes. There's a LOT of discontent from voters in both parties as we have nobody representing us and our interests in D.C. anymore. And I'm talking about both Republicans and Democrats.

We need a new political party or voter revolution really bad in this country. I think its overdue and if it doesn't come soon the country just might become bankrupt. Both economically and politically.



NO URLS in signature
User currently offlinePope From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1798 times:

Here's my two cents on the matter. I don't see a viable third party really gaining any footing until one of the two major parties really screws up and upsets a big portion of its base. That being said, the GOP leadership seems intent on being that party.

The difficulty for establishing a third party nationally lies in the fact that it will never win an election it's first time out. Therefore, and I'll use myself as an example, if I'm forced to chose whether to support a democrat, a republican or a third party that certainly won't win and will probably result in a democrat winning, I feel that the lesser of the two evils is to support the GOP candidate whether or not I believe he's the best one out there.

In elections that are literally being decided by fractions of a percent (forget the aggregate national vote, look at how close elections are in Florida) every vote counts and a Floridian or Ohioian ends up having a bigger say in the outcome of the national election that say a voter in CA.

I just can't bring myself to vote for Mr X if I know that such a voter is likely to result in the election of someone like John Kerry or HRC to the office of the Presidency.


User currently offlineDeltaGator From United States of America, joined exactly 9 years ago today! , 6341 posts, RR: 13
Reply 17, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1791 times:

Quoting Tbar220 (Reply 15):
trivial stuff like homosexuality

Do you have any idea what the queers are doing to our soil? Just kidding! i couldn't pass up a reference to The Dead Milkmen. (look up the lyrics to the song Stuart if you want to know more.)

Quoting Pope (Reply 16):
That being said, the GOP leadership seems intent on being that party.

I couldn't agree more here.

Quoting Pope (Reply 16):
The difficulty for establishing a third party nationally lies in the fact that it will never win an election it's first time out. Therefore, and I'll use myself as an example, if I'm forced to chose whether to support a democrat, a republican or a third party that certainly won't win and will probably result in a democrat winning, I

Very true and unfortunate. I run into the same dilemna when voting. I think 3rd party boy might fit my ideals better but then I take away a vote from GOP boy who is a world better than Democrat boy (reverse parties where neede folks) so I'm stuck with selecting the lesser of two evils because I "think" but don't "know" that 3rd Party Boy will lose anyway. Debate aside on Ross Perot vs. Bush the Elder but we came close in 92 to tossing aside this thought process. Maybe one day it will work.

Quoting Pope (Reply 16):
In elections that are literally being decided by fractions of a percent (forget the aggregate national vote, look at how close elections are in Florida) every

Florida is always a crazy example to use. The debacle of 2000 can be heaped upon Broward and Miami-Dade Counties. Without those 2 counties and their oversized Damn Yankee, "back North we do things this way", slouched down, old fart, liberal attitude the election there wouldn't have been so close. The rest of the state minus pockets in the major cities trends conservative and before Clinton in 1996 had been a GOP stronghold for quite some time. For all the Yankees that think back north is so much better...Delta's got a ticket for you when you're ready.



"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
User currently offlinePope From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1791 times:

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 17):
Florida is always a crazy example to use.

Maybe, but I'm a Floridian. Gainesville's been home for the last 8 years. Moved back from Atlanta in 1998.


User currently offlineFDXMECH From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3251 posts, RR: 34
Reply 19, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1789 times:

If a 3rd party does come. It'll be an isolated case of the two parties not nominating a hugely popular candidate. The American psyche believes in a clear majority. Hell, look at the near debacle of 2000. We are not a parlaimentary minded society. We like a winner and a loser. Not the soft fuzzy middleground.


You're only as good as your last departure.
User currently offlineDeltaGator From United States of America, joined exactly 9 years ago today! , 6341 posts, RR: 13
Reply 20, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1788 times:

Quoting Pope (Reply 18):
Maybe, but I'm a Floridian. Gainesville's been home for the last 8 years. Moved back from Atlanta in 1998.

We've crossed paths then as I moved to Atlanta in 1997. I'm a native Cracker from Titusville on the Space Coast and as you probably can tell by my username I am a Gator alumnus. Hoggtown is a great town.



"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
User currently offlineLentigomaligna From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1786 times:

Quoting FDXMECH (Reply 19):
We like a winner and a loser. Not the soft fuzzy middleground.

So does the constitution, the absolute majority of a single candidate in a single race required in elections prohibits any more than 2 major political parties. The few times there's 3 is when one of the 2 major parties is on the way out of the political spectrum. Very unfortunate in my opinion.


User currently offlineMKEdude From South Korea, joined May 2005, 1011 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 1756 times:

The presidential system as set forth in the constitution does not specifically prohibit third parties, but it most certainly discriminates against them. The American political system is designed to funnel separate political factions into a duopoly, so American parties function more as broad coalitions than groups with targeted agendas. Ideally this is supposed to insure that the main parties to not stray too far from the center...ideally

Throughout history there have been many 3'rd parties, and each one of them has failed except for one (the Republican party which survived because of the collapse of the Whig party) They fail because each and every time their issues are co-opted by one of the major parties. The Reform party of Perot fame has largely been folded into the Republican party. Same with the Dixiecrats of the late 40's and 50s, those voters eventually found a home in the GOP. The Progressive party, early in the 20'th century, lost most of its voters to the Democrats when they started to echo their platform.

It is in this respect that a third party could be successful, not in straight-out electoral success, but rather in raising an issue and rallying people around it.

Given the current state of affairs talk of a third party is premature. Raising a viable second party should come first.



"You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline." Frank Zappa
User currently offlineCadmus From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2004, 186 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 1745 times:

Could end up with a third party in the US if it were to be formed by existing politicians deciding to renouce their current parties? If both the Republican & Democratic parties continue moving to the left a right would you end up with the more moderate members concluding that they have more in common with each other that with their party leadership?


Understanding is a three-edged sword
User currently offlineLentigomaligna From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 1738 times:

Quoting Cadmus (Reply 23):


Sure this could happen. Many politicians have become disenfranchised with their parties and have switched, so it's not all that inconceivable that they might want to form a new party. There would be problems with issues like fundraising for example. Also, if this third party were to become successful, it would usually throw one of the existing parties out of the running---eventually causing another two party system and a return toward the same evils.

Take the Presidential Election for example, if any one candidate fails to gain an absolute majority (over 50%) of the Electoral Vote, then the House of Representatives---not the electorate chooses the President. So if there were a moderate candidate or three equally appealing parties, and everyone took 33% of the vote, the entire election would be for naught. So people have a tendency to vote for the candidate they like best AND they think others will vote for.


25 Bushpilot : I think this would be the likeliest way a new party with national leverage could form. But they would also need to bring with them some of the fundin
26 Himmelstormer : [quote=Cadmus,reply=23]Could end up with a third party in the US if it were to be formed by existing politicians deciding to renouce their current par
27 Superfly : We would need to have national runoff or instand runoff election in order for the U.S. to have a viable third party. Otherwise you end up with candida
28 BHMBAGLOCK : You're thinking of the Senate group that got together to block filibustering of judicial candidates in most cases.
29 DeltaMD11 : Well, "ever" is a pretty definitive term and in this case it wouldn't be correct. America has had many third parties in the past that have been viabl
30 Northwest_guy : I agree with you and should rephrase my comment. I do not believe there will ever be three viable political parties in the United States at the same
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