DeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 7980 posts, RR: 51 Posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 1971 times:
I think most people would agree that the state of politics in the US is pretty sad to say the least. Although the US isn't officially a 2 party system, voting for anyone else is basically a waste of a vote. So who do I vote for? Both sides have their terrible, partisan ugly sides. Do you think we'd be better off with a parliament like system so we could have multiple parties that better suit our needs??
Negative...the system that was founded was and is fine...it was based on principals...all we need back in place are the men that possess these principals and the visions this nation was once focused on. Lying and greed as we see today are not the principals that mold great nations and sustain them.
squared From Canada, joined May 2005, 387 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1921 times:
The American legislative system has problems, but so do other systems. No system is perfect...
Parliamentary systems can still result in, what amounts to, a two-party system... The Westminster style of Parliament has often resulted in power shifting between two major parties, with an occasional third party providing support in times of minority governments.
Partisanship is still pervasive, and can be even stronger in Westminster Parliamentary systems as governments can fail if government members don't support bills (even those that might be detrimental to the particular MPs' ridings). Party discipline is crucial in parliamentary systems, which means politicians tow the party line, and rarely veer from it.
What is admirable about the American system is that, in theory at least, local representatives can be more attuned to local concerns, and can express concerns more freely by voting accordingly. In Westminster systems, those local concerns are often overridden by fears of triggering the failure of the government, and hence government MPs are "whipped" to vote with Cabinet's decision on a particular bill. As such, backbench MPs of the the governing party are more like benchwarmers; they mindlessly vote with Cabinet to ensure the government's continued survival, and their voices are only heard during caucus (a dubious assertion, perhaps).
Some of these concerns can be addressed with proportional representation systems, but they can be notoriously unstable. They often require grand coalitions piecing together disparate parties under one general banner, and can lead to frequent elections (which leads to inefficient governance).
Every system has problems, some are more serious than others. But replacing Congress and the Presidential system with a Parliament is merely importing different problems into the same environment. I'm not sure if it would really solve anything...
LAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26169 posts, RR: 50
Reply 7, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1916 times:
Seems to me a parliamentary system in the US would be even more unstable than what we have. I could see successive governments falling one after another due to inability muster votes in parliament, forcing yet a new election.
At least with current system we have some stability as one president and party is given the chance to push along their agenda for the nation for a fixed amount of time, and then it becomes a sink or swim for them at the ballot box. There is less worry about the next election as its at a know time frame, not potentially next month if things fall apart in parliament.
A potential good I would say however with a parliamentary system is that unless if we mandated some minimum thresholds for entry, there would likely be the opportunity for more 3rd party candidates and views to get elected directly and participate.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
Zkpilot From New Zealand, joined Mar 2006, 4866 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1905 times:
I wouldn't think so, IMHO it doesn't really matter too much once you are talking about a large country like the USA.
What I personally think needs to change in the USA is the lobby/special interests influence on politicians... Basically it borders on corruption on how much influence can be had by paying money... Also there does need to be a move away from just having two parties. I think the best system is when you have 2 main parties (left and right) with a smaller center party that helps to stop the partisan politics, perhaps several independants also just to keep everyone honest. There will be times when one of the main parties does really well and can govern perhaps with just a few of the independants, other times they will just need the center party.
America has become more partisan as the years go by, particularly ever since Vietnam War. They seem to spend more time blocking each others efforts and spending massive amounts of money undoing each others efforts for little net result.
This causes the government to be a lot bigger in areas (Republicans don't like this) that it shouldn't be, whilst not providing a lot of services that most other developed nations offer their citizens (the Democrats cause).
cpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4881 posts, RR: 37
Reply 10, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1899 times:
Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 2): We have a parliament system here in Australia, The Westminster System, and its not without its foibles, but generally speaking, its a system that works very well.
It does generally work well, for the most part - with the exceptions of where you have minority governments, then things become quite slow. One thing that is important is rules preventing members wasting time of the house - eg, trying to talk down bills (what Americans might call filibustering).
Quoting squared (Reply 6): governments can fail if government members don't support bills (even those that might be detrimental to the particular MPs' ridings).
That's why you have a Whip whose job it is to ensure party discipline in a legislature. That includes mandating members to turn up for votes on bills tabled in parliament, etc. It's very necessary for "broad-church" type of parties.
However, we have an upper house which can vote down legislation too and send it back to the lower-house. But then of course, you have the possibility of the double-dissolution election in certain circumstances:
cpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4881 posts, RR: 37
Reply 12, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 1865 times:
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 11):
No. We'd end up with all sorts of crazy ass parties standing for this and that and actually getting votes.
Not likely. You'd most likely end up with the usual centre-left and centre-right parties in power, with some far right extremists getting a few votes here and there.
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 11): It's better having two non-ideological parties that don't stand for anything.
Er, if I'm not mistaken, they are both idealogical, just at the extreme ends of each spectrum, if we are to believe the rhetoric thrown around on this forum. Non-ideological parties just wouldn't work in America.
474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 1864 times:
I remember some years ago the parliamentary elections in Trinidad. The two major parties captured the same number of seats. A minor party won just two seats. It put the minor party in charge, because whom ever they went with would form the government.
rfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 15, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1826 times:
Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 1): the system that was founded was and is fine...it was based on principals...all we need back in place are the men that possess these principals and the visions this nation was once focused on.
Unfortunately those principals had disappeared and were replaced by two parties at each others throats and partisanship over principlals by the elections of 1796 in the United States.
Unfortunately we have a large country. We cannot have a small government unless we have a smaller country.
Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 9): it doesn't really matter too much once you are talking about a large country like the USA.
What I personally think needs to change in the USA is the lobby/special interests influence on politicians...
Every government in every country has special interests which influence the political process and politicians. You can't legislate that out of any system.
Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 9): America has become more partisan as the years go by
It is not currently the worst it has been in our history. The one difference today is the intense media coverage.
Politicians cannot be statesmen when every time they try to behave in the best interest of the country, they talk show criticism, partisian TV reports, e-mail campaigns and internet forums screaming at them.
Because I'm a newly born moderate and voting for either party goes against a bit of what I believe. I think Democrats have a lot of great ideas and intentions but (these democrats at least) cannot be trusted to put them in place--they just form inefficient messes. And I wouldn't mind voting Republican, but they are so homophobic (among other things) they turn me off too. I guess I know the plight of the moderates and just gotta suck it up and vote for someone I might disagree with on a lot of issues (or just vote for Mickey Mouse or something, what a waste)
Keep in mind what I just said is my current opinion and is very simplified, I don't want to debate this or that on what each party stands for, that's not the point. I still think this sentence sums it up the best:
Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 9): What I personally think needs to change in the USA is the lobby/special interests influence on politicians.
Flighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8774 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1823 times:
Great people created the American system of checks and balances. I know they are greater than me. If I set up the system, it would be simple. All the people fooling around not doing the right thing, can go to the guillotine. Lobbying for no-bid drug provisions in Medicare? Try it headless. Agitating for war? Instant beheading. Trying to repeal environmental protections? What's that? Can't hear you without your head. As I say, the Founders taught us a better way.
PacNWjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 980 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1804 times:
This question requires clarification because it conflates two distinct issues of democratic governance: 1) Form of government and 2) electoral systems.
1) Governments can take on a variety of structures. Among democracies, the two most common forms of government are presidential and parliamentary systems. In presidential systems the head of state is elected independently of the legislative branch of government. The United States employs a presidential system. In parliamentary systems the head of government (usually called the prime minister but also known with other terms such as the chancellor in Germany) is elected by the legislative branch of government. Parliamentary systems typically also have a head of state (either a monarch or elected president), but typically the head of state has very limited political powers. Most Western European countries have a parliamentary form of government. There are also hybrids known as dual-executive systems in which there is both a president with real political power and a prime minister. France employs the dual-executive system.
2) There are any number of electoral systems, any of which could be utilized in presidential, parliamentary, or dual-executive systems. The two most common electoral systems in democracies are single-seat winner-take all and proportional representation. Among countries that use single seat winner-take all are Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Among countries that use proportional representation are Belgium, the Netherlands, and Spain. However there are hybrids and variations on these themes. For example, Germany uses a combination of proportional representation and single-seat representation, while France uses a variation on winner-take-all known as the double ballot system. There are also other electoral systems that are used throughout the world including limited vote, preference voting (sometimes known as single transferable vote), and cumulative voting.
Now, here is the important point: The form of government a country has (presidential, parliamentary, dual-executive) is not synonymous with any particular electoral system (winner-take-all, proportional representation, limited vote, preference voting, cumulative voting, etc.). A country can have a presidential form of government and any type of electoral system. A country can have a parliamentary form of government and any type of electoral system. A country can have a dual-executive form of government and any type of electoral system. The original poster conflates the United States presidential system with winner-take-all electoral systems that typically result in two parties. However, and here is the rub, presidential systems can exist with proportional representation electoral systems which typically result in multiple viable parties, and at the same time parliamentary systems can exist with winner-take-all electoral systems which typically result in two main political parties.
So, by confusing the U.S. electoral system (winner-take-all) with the presidential form of government, the original poster mistakenly assumes that switching to a parliamentary form of government will result in multiple viable parties in the United States. But if what the original poster wants is a multi-party system in the United States, the best way of bringing that about is not by changing the form of government, but by changing the U.S. electoral system from single-seat winner-take-all to proportional representation.
seb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 11807 posts, RR: 15
Reply 21, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1745 times:
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 14): Put 100 Democrats or 100 Republicans in a room and see how much they agree on. The party in American politics is about like a record label.
What I have noticed is (using the example provided) 100 Democrats will have 100 different ideas and want to have them all included in any talks. 100 Republicans will have a small minority scream and shout their ideas and demand it is their way or the highway because that is the way it is and anyone else is a traitor. Neither way is really helpful.
What I think should happen is completely get rid of money and favors from politics. Elections, lobbyist, staffers... all of it. Get rid of the Senate. Make the House a voluntary position with per dium pay.
sccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5617 posts, RR: 28
Reply 22, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1736 times:
Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 16): And I wouldn't mind voting Republican, but they are so homophobic (among other things) they turn me off too.
I gotta tell you, I am a firm believer in conservative principles - and I happen to believe that one such principle is that of keeping government the hell out of my life - and out of yours, too.
Very few folks I know, Republican folks, give a rat's teawhistle about another person's sexual orientation. That fits neatly into a clearly-defined box, the one labeled, "Nunya!"
Nunya business if I like men better than women.
Nunya business if I want to ride a motorcycle without a helmet.
Nunya business if I prefer simple, cheap incandescent bulbs over compact fluorescents.
Nunya business if I want to go visit Cuba.
For every example of some thing or another which "Republicans" think, I can cite an equally foul principle held by "Democrats." Which is to say, don't presume to know what thoughts are in the heads of people simply by virtue of their political leanings.
I am four-square for whomever it is who will recall that the government governs best, which governs least, and executes in accord with that essential truth.
I have no desire - and no right - to tell you how you should live your life; Don't tell me how to live, either. Don't take the hard-earned fruits of my labor to give to some other able-bodied, lazy-ass goofball.
Government is not the answer, and it almost never is.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
Derico From Argentina, joined Dec 1999, 4318 posts, RR: 11
Reply 23, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1726 times:
The world is slowly moving towards Virtual Direct Democracy anyway.
Now this is 100% solely my theory, but with radio first, then television and now the internet, more and more governments (politicians), react in real time to public opinion to formulate policies. That did not happen 100 years ago, back then politicians had far more time to deliberate or stay a specific course. Not today.
I think this is a very long term process, I'm talking hundreds of years... similar to the transition from purely despotic governments to greco/roman republicanism and back to imperial rule with Rome. Then it tooks hundreds of years for the medieval monarchical Germanic system to take place... and then hundreds of years to go from the Strong monarchies of yesteryear to today's forms of government.
I think in 200 to 300 years, people will in real time from their homes, perhaps with their thoughts, determine the course of government actions, propose laws and debate. I even envision politicians evolving into ''aids'' and not as direct representatives, with them only smoothing out and making sure laws proposed are rational, dealing with budgetary issues, and voting on passage. It will the people that will deliberate and edit the legislative process.
Sort of a virtual wikipedia but where what is edited and updated is how nations are run.
My internet was not shut down, the internet has shut me down