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Post Reply Are political parties harmful to the political system and society as a whole?
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Posted 11/8/15
Trying to get collective action off the ground while avoiding people collecting into factions is pretty much impossible in the context of a representative democracy. People have different interests and priorities, and will do whatever they need to for the sake of bringing those interests they place the highest priority upon to realisation. Since it is the case that in a representative democracy the most effective way to do that is to gather into groups and coordinate your voting patterns parties are going to arise, particularly if your society is especially large.
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Posted 11/8/15

hnrbledischarge wrote:

I wouldn't say it dampens extremism, just because of theories that have sprung up in both parties during the last 15 years. There's a lot of weirdness in the arena right now, and the bizarre nature of most presidential candidates this time around is staggering. But I agree with the rest of your point, especially with reform.


I agree that extremism has been increasing lately, but only within parties. The centralizing effect of the 2 party system is more of a long-term average, as extremism goes in and out of vogue, but it has been successful in preventing radicals at the presidential level. Even our most liberal and conservative presidents have nothing on some politicians who have risen in other countries.

The presidential candidates certainly are weird, with crazy GOP forerunners and a morally dubious DFL frontrunner, but I wouldn't bring that into this particular conversation until voting begins.
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Posted 11/8/15
I see you've answered your own question.
I'd recommend trying to critique your own views now.
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Posted 11/8/15
All parties. Your goal should be to improve the nation and solve real issues in our country, not to stick to a party and battle with other parties.
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Posted 11/8/15
Modern political advertising is not about convincing the middle because Independents and Undecided voters often just don't vote. Rather it is more about mobilizing their already convinced voters to go vote. I don't like either major in the US and registered with a 3rd party. And while I agree the party system is at fault, they are at least complicit with the media, lobby groups, billionaire PAC contributors, and existing government apparatus.

For example, it is extremely difficult to get on the ballot as anything but a Republican or Democrat in most places in the United States. Neither party has an interest in allowing additional voices to be heard so they do their best to snuff any notions out. Thus most people who do want to run for office have to get in bed with the R or D. And if they want any support they will have to tow the party line.

My solution would be that at each level of government there is a community war chest set aside of funds and each candidate that gets on the ballot gets an equal share of the funds. Maybe allow individuals, not corporations, to contribute up to maybe $1,000 directly to a candidate they support. This makes politicians debate issues rather than pander to special interests.
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33 / M / Seattle
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Posted 11/8/15
Well, my take on this question is that it depends on the systems as not all political systems are created equal and there are times where the answer is yes, while at other times the answer is no. I'll just leave it at that seeing that I'm not really an expert on this issued, but I do realize that political parties are a way to bring structure seeing that politics is quite complicated, and that not everybody has the presence of mind to keep up with this aside from the major things.
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Posted 11/9/15
At the end of your long paragraph you kinda seem like you would be leading to Anarcho-Communism or Anarcho-Capitalism. More like anarcho-capitalism if you really support individualism.
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Posted 11/9/15

BlueOni wrote:

Trying to get collective action off the ground while avoiding people collecting into factions is pretty much impossible in the context of a representative democracy. People have different interests and priorities, and will do whatever they need to for the sake of bringing those interests they place the highest priority upon to realisation. Since it is the case that in a representative democracy the most effective way to do that is to gather into groups and coordinate your voting patterns parties are going to arise, particularly if your society is especially large.


I find your conclusion to be somewhat questionable. If people are inevitably going to rally together as a group then why couldn't they do so under a single candidate? Why would an organized party be the only means of supporting their respective interests? I could see the argument that it's to get the least bad alternative in cases where they're outnumbered in support, but couldn't individuals simply choose to vote for said alternative candidate based off of polls, speculation, et cetera?


Ravenstein wrote:

Modern political advertising is not about convincing the middle because Independents and Undecided voters often just don't vote. Rather it is more about mobilizing their already convinced voters to go vote. I don't like either major in the US and registered with a 3rd party. And while I agree the party system is at fault, they are at least complicit with the media, lobby groups, billionaire PAC contributors, and existing government apparatus.

For example, it is extremely difficult to get on the ballot as anything but a Republican or Democrat in most places in the United States. Neither party has an interest in allowing additional voices to be heard so they do their best to snuff any notions out. Thus most people who do want to run for office have to get in bed with the R or D. And if they want any support they will have to tow the party line.

My solution would be that at each level of government there is a community war chest set aside of funds and each candidate that gets on the ballot gets an equal share of the funds. Maybe allow individuals, not corporations, to contribute up to maybe $1,000 directly to a candidate they support. This makes politicians debate issues rather than pander to special interests.


That solution would be something I'd fully support. Super-PACs need to go if we're ever going to start combating corruption within the political system.


redleader22 wrote:

At the end of your long paragraph you kinda seem like you would be leading to Anarcho-Communism or Anarcho-Capitalism. More like anarcho-capitalism if you really support individualism.


I'll admit that I possess some anarcho-capitalist sympathies. However, the government is a necessary evil and anarchy would do far more harm than it would do good. Who would prevent corporations from overlooking environmental concerns, attaining monopolies on their respective markets, and crushing small businesses underfoot? Who would create and enforce the law? Are we supposed to rely on untrained vigilantes to protect the innocent and uphold order? Other countries would also be a serious concern. What if one decided to wage war against us? Would we rely on private-sector mercenaries to protect us or would a militia be preferable? And as for a militia, who would fund it and supply it with the weaponry necessary to even stand a chance against a developed country?

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. An anarchist nation, or even a community of a significant enough size, would constantly be dealing with incredibly dangerous issues and problems while lacking an organized force to combat them. It seems incredibly naive to suggest that an anarchist state could survive, let alone thrive within a globalized, industrialized world.
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19 / California
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Posted 11/9/15
I don't think anarcho-capitalism could work across an entire continent, but in a smaller area with maybe 50,000 people or so it could probably work, otherwise for a nation i think minarchism could be an effective replacement.
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