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The Tide May Be Turning Seemingly unrelated, but...

#1 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2013-June-14, 11:54

Two articles on Huffington Post caught my eye that the tide may finally be turning against the "Return to the Dark Ages" Republicans who have controlled the party's image for far too long. First came this:

Quote

Arizona will expand Medicaid to cover nearly 300,000 poor residents next year after a bipartisan coalition passed a measure backed by Gov. Jan Brewer ® through the state legislature on Thursday.


And then this

Quote

The Kansas State Board of Education voted Tuesday to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), a new science curriculum that treats evolution and climate change as fact and promotes hands-on learning.


A win for the ACA in a strongly Republican state followed by a crushing defeat of Intelligent Design in another dominantly red state may well have the old guard on the ropes. Anyway, we can hope...

So here is the question: would a change of voice in the Republican Party be a good thing not only for the party but for the US?
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#2 User is offline   ArtK78 

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Posted 2013-June-14, 12:52

View PostWinstonm, on 2013-June-14, 11:54, said:

Two articles on Huffington Post caught my eye that the tide may finally be turning against the "Return to the Dark Ages" Republicans who have controlled the party's image for far too long. First came this:

And then this

A win for the ACA in a strongly Republican state followed by a crushing defeat of Intelligent Design in another dominantly red state may well have the old guard on the ropes. Anyway, we can hope...

So here is the question: would a change of voice in the Republican Party be a good thing not only for the party but for the US?

Absolutely.

The current voice of the Republican Party caters to the ill informed. Any change towards more rational thinking might usher in a new age of cooperation and compromise rather than confrontation and gridlock.
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#3 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2013-June-14, 14:43

View PostWinstonm, on 2013-June-14, 11:54, said:

So here is the question: would a change of voice in the Republican Party be a good thing not only for the party but for the US?

Yes for the Rs, else they stand to become near totally irrelevant.

And yes for the country, because we would get a more realistic alternative to the Ds. The root of the problem really is the two party system, which I hate.
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#4 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2013-June-14, 14:53

View PostArtK78, on 2013-June-14, 12:52, said:

Absolutely.

The current voice of the Republican Party caters to the ill informed. Any change towards more rational thinking might usher in a new age of cooperation and compromise rather than confrontation and gridlock.


I agree. Regardless of what some believe to be my views, I am not opposed to free markets whatsoever, and I do not think big government is always the solution. At the same time, I understand that the "free" in markets does not indicate an anarchist approach but rather free within the boundaries set up to safeguard everyone. Ronald Reagan was simply wrong when he thought free markets were the answer to everything - the free markets of Adam Smith cannot be extrapolated to mean unregulated world-size conglomerates that effectively eliminate any local competition, local competition being the heart of the Smith free market modality.

A return to the Republican party of pre-Reagan would help. At which point the party itself should disassociate itself from people like Rush Limbaugh, et al.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#5 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2013-June-14, 15:35

View Postbillw55, on 2013-June-14, 14:43, said:

The root of the problem really is the two party system, which I hate.

Just out of curiosity, what's your alternative?
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#6 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2013-June-14, 18:02

View Postblackshoe, on 2013-June-14, 15:35, said:

Just out of curiosity, what's your alternative?


A one party system.

If it's my party.

Which it wouldn't be.

Back to the drawing board.
Ken
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#7 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2013-June-15, 07:12

View Postblackshoe, on 2013-June-14, 15:35, said:

Just out of curiosity, what's your alternative?

Even one more viable national party would go a long way to increasing alternatives. Ideally I would like to see four or five. Two candidates per office isn't nearly enough to adequately represent the population (or me).

View Postkenberg, on 2013-June-14, 18:02, said:

A one party system.

If it's my party.

Which it wouldn't be.

Back to the drawing board.

We might have that if the Rs don't make some adjustments soon. And in a one party environment, the Ds are no better, as evidenced in Illinois. Power absolutely must be shared.
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#8 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2013-June-15, 11:41

I don't remember where it was, but years ago I read that two parties fits our psychology. People often think about things in terms of dichotomies, and the two-party system accomodates that.The problem you may run into is that you agree with some planks in the R platform, and other planks in the D platform. But that doesn't happen too much, because there's often quite a bit of correlation.

With more parties, they tend to become more specialized, and it becomes hard for any one of them to get majority support. And it's just harder for voters to keep track of where they all fit into their personal preferences.

#9 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2013-June-15, 11:50

View Postbarmar, on 2013-June-15, 11:41, said:

I don't remember where it was, but years ago I read that two parties fits our psychology. People often think about things in terms of dichotomies, and the two-party system accomodates that.


And just how does this theory explain the fact that some countries have more than two major parties?
Alderaan delenda est
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#10 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2013-June-15, 18:37

Well, like any simple explanation it probably isn't exactly all right but it may not be all wrong either. We do seem to have a predilection for yes and no, good and bad, etc. We all know that conservative and liberal does not fall on a straight line. Neither does smart and dumb, nor good or bad.

Still, we are a two party system and I favor trying to make it work a little better rather than scrapping it. Which no doubt is the conservative part of my brain speaking.
Ken
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#11 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2013-June-15, 20:00

I certainly would prefer a sane republican alternative to keep the democrats in check.

But I don't see that a significant third party (or fourth party) would hurt anything. It would just mean that temporary coalitions would work together on areas of agreement and not otherwise. And no party would be large enough by itself to obstruct all progress. However, the democrats and republicans -- however much they disagree on many matters -- agree on the importance of making it difficult for other parties to emerge in the US.
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#12 User is offline   awm 

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Posted 2013-June-15, 23:26

The problem is that the US system doesn't support more than two parties. Races for particular seats are winner-takes-all. This means if three or more viable candidates run, then the winner may have much less than majority support; it could be that a candidate that the vast majority of the electorate finds awful wins because the other candidates split the vote. In fact there have been some recent cases where (for example) a popular left-of-center independent ran and the net result was that the Republican candidate won with slightly more than a third of the overall vote (the Democrate and Independent splitting the liberal vote down the middle). Similar things have happened on the other side.

It also creates a situation where voting for a third party is effectively "throwing your vote away" -- you improve the chances that the major party you dislike more will actually win the election!

Countries with more-than-two-party systems normally have some form of proportionate representation, where a party that receives 20% of the vote gets (approximately) 20% of the representatives (rather than quite possibly zero, as in the US system).
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#13 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2013-June-16, 07:22

View Postawm, on 2013-June-15, 23:26, said:

The problem is that the US system doesn't support more than two parties. Races for particular seats are winner-takes-all. This means if three or more viable candidates run, then the winner may have much less than majority support; it could be that a candidate that the vast majority of the electorate finds awful wins because the other candidates split the vote.

I suppose you are right. I was thinking more about the House, where the sheer number of districts would tend to minimize those problems. But for the Senate and the Presidency, the problems you mention would be substantial.
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#14 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2013-June-16, 09:58

View Postbarmar, on 2013-June-15, 11:41, said:

I don't remember where it was, but years ago I read that two parties fits our psychology. People often think about things in terms of false dichotomies, and the two-party system accomodates that.

fixed ;)
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#15 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2013-June-16, 21:38

View Posthrothgar, on 2013-June-15, 11:50, said:

And just how does this theory explain the fact that some countries have more than two major parties?

Are those the countries where we frequently hear that they have trouble forming a coalition government after electing a new parliament?

#16 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2013-June-16, 22:21

Lee Kuan Yew presents a critique of USA style government.

At the very least it shows a different point of view of the role and purpose of government from what we grow up with.

What is the role of government?
What is the role of a leader?
What are the risks of democracy?
And for this forum what is the proper balance between competiveness and equality or between law and order?

He states that one person, one vote is a most difficult form of government. A radical point.
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#17 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2013-June-17, 00:51

Reference, Mike? Book, website, anything?
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#18 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2013-June-17, 01:02

View Postblackshoe, on 2013-June-17, 00:51, said:

Reference, Mike? Book, website, anything?



yes all. you know how to find it all better than me.

I READ a book..yes hard copy book for starters but I am old.

He writes many many articles......
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#19 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2013-June-17, 04:10

And many books - and I'm not inclined to buy all of them to find what you're talking about, even though it interests me. I'm guessing you read his latest - something about Singapore, the US, and China, published last February in the US - but I don't know.
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#20 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2013-June-17, 06:17

View Postmike777, on 2013-June-16, 22:21, said:

Lee Kuan Yew presents a critique of USA style government.

At the very least it shows a different point of view of the role and purpose of government from what we grow up with.

What is the role of government?
What is the role of a leader?
What are the risks of democracy?
And for this forum what is the proper balance between competiveness and equality or between law and order?

He states that one person, one vote is a most difficult form of government. A radical point.


Actually a somewhat trivial point, in my opinion. Of course one person one vote leads to difficulties. I am probably in the upper half, maybe even the upper twenty or thirty percent, of U.S. citizens with regard to having some idea of what is happening in national and international politics. I can actually find France and Germany, maybe even Paraguay, on a map for example. At least I know which continent to look at. Still, I often am very unsure of what should be done. So yes, giving us all a voice in shaping the country's direction complicates the life of a president.

A more interesting point from Mr. Yew would be what he suggests should be done about this. Is he recommending that we should dis-enfranchise some people? We already do, somewhat. In many states felons cannot vote. There is some sense to this. If a person is too dumb to stay out of prison, probably we should not be all that interested in his views on foreign policy. Still...

Anyway, yes it's a difficult form of government. Churchill had his well-known observation about this. Probably not original with him either.
Ken
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