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  •  a stupid question (9+ / 0-)

    from germany where does the idea come from
    that a two party system is a democracy anyway
    but for my question why not more party's why fixing the both
    party's already bought up by corporate america .
    ps i am just curious and dont want to offend with my comment but i never understood it really

    •  2 Parties Come About Naturally Under Our System. (6+ / 0-)

      That is often said when this question is raised.

      It may be because of the fixed length of terms of office and the election cycle, where it's not possible here to call for early elections if enough politicians sense a change of mood in voters.

      I don't see how any significant party could avoid being bought up by corporate America. Government would have to have ways to keep corporate America from being so powerful. We did this in the middle 20th century but since then everybody agrees we mustn't protect our nation that way any more.

      I'll be interested to see other replies to you.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:01:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  thanks for the reply (6+ / 0-)

        and yes any significant party would be bought unless
        the money for election campaign's comes from the taxpayer
        and no corporate finance is allowed.
        for media all party must have same (free not paid for)time on tv station for their campaign ads
        i know maybe i have to much sympathy for our system which
        roughly works like this but hey i dont know any other's
         and still our party's are bought too

        •  Exactly my point... (4+ / 0-)
          and yes any significant party would be bought unless the money for election campaign's comes from the taxpayer
          and no corporate finance is allowed.

          "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

          by markthshark on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:18:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  A major problem is that even if there's no (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sunny skies, shaharazade, 3goldens

          money allowed for campaigns, the corporations and special interests just buy commercial time for advertisements urging people to contact their Congressperson to vote in favor or against a type of legislation (usually not fairly presented, like "vote against the job-killing health care bill).  The freedom to express an opinion is enshrined in this country's Constitution even above the right to blast anyone and anything with guns (though that may be hard to believe at times).  Money will always be spent trying to influence legislation, whether it is spent directly on a candidate or not.

          •  Another major problem (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            No Exit

            is that the US doesn't have a parliamentary system, but it is behaving like it does.

            Good and bad things about both systems. I like the idea of having a more direct democracy in the form of local representatives, but Gerrymandering and rediculous rules like only bringing something up for a vote if the majority of the majority will vote yes, makes it dysfunctional.
            The Republicans use the rules of a parliamentary system that are advantageous to them. But they don't have to suffer the consequences when majority vote fails in a parliamentary system, i.e. the fall of the government and new elections.

            •  You are correct sir! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              amsterdam

              And unfortunately both parties are now invested in this dysfunctional system

              A standing army is like a standing member. It's an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure. Elbridge Gerry - Constitutional Convention (1787)

              by No Exit on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 07:43:25 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  gerrymandering must be stopped (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              amsterdam

              at the state levels, and it will take the same kind of coordination that won the necessary precincts and districts and states in the last presidential (and some senate races) We have to hope many of the same campaign staffers are keeping an alert eye on their opportunities between now and next year to re-energize the democratic cause where it will do the most good at the statehouse level.  There's no good reason why states like Pennsylvania and Ohio should have such lopsided majorities of US Representatives when their electorates voted more for democrats overall.

              The  -dinosaur protection-  gerrymandering laws have to be restored to something more equitable (we all know this) but we need to remind ourselves to keep the issue alive, at least among the activists and in our discussions...

              "Really, GOP, please proceed." -Mark Sumner

              by Beastly Fool on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:47:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  For the government to function (0+ / 0-)

                as it was intended these are the changes that I think should be made.

                Stop Gerrymandering.

                Each elected official in congress is supposed to represent his/her district not a party platform. There should not be a rule to prohibit an up or down vote if the result of that vote doesn't support the majority party's preferred outcome.

                Change the filibuster rule. It makes sense that the minority has a tool to extend debate before a vote is taken. But there should be a debate, and within a certain set period an up or down vote should be taken.

                Set federal rules for federal elections.

                Get money out of politics.

      •  Where's a real trust-buster when you need him? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ColoTim, Simplify, shaharazade, 3goldens

        (or her)

        We did this in the middle 20th century but since then everybody agrees we mustn't protect our nation that way any more.

        "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

        by markthshark on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:39:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

        if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:19:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  No offense taken... (7+ / 0-)

      It's not a true democracy.

      I agree. We need more choices. But the parties we have now are stubbornly resistant to change, and they're solidly backed by big money, and complacency on our part.

      "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

      by markthshark on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:14:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's never too late to get involved. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        markthshark, mightymouse

        Visit, e.g., fairvote.org or, if you're inclined, investigate your state's local efforts along those lines.

        Election reform across the political spectrum, from dog-catcher to Chief Executive, is far more important and meaningful than campaign finance law, in my opinion.

        You can still vote LOTE (Democrats, presumably, since you're here on DKos) while putting your activism efforts in places that actually might make a difference (as opposed to donating to or working for Democratic Party candidates who don't have a record of supporting election reform--and not just a rhetorical record).

        •  But how do you achieve the former without... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW

          the latter? Big money can stop a campaign just as quick and efficiently as it can start one.

          Election reform across the political spectrum, from dog-catcher to Chief Executive, is far more important and meaningful than campaign finance law, in my opinion.

          "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

          by markthshark on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:34:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'd even say money can stop it faster than start (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pescadero Bill, markthshark, JesseCW

            a campaign.  It's almost always easier to tear stuff down than to build something up.  The Republicans and smear merchants (and even some Democrats) have learned this lesson and they apply it ruthlessly.

          •  Consider the Fair Districts amendments here in FL (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mightymouse

            for example. The key is to essentially just take for granted that Big Money (and, in the case of election reform, both major parties) is going to fight tooth and nail any effort, press on and build a critical mass of popular support.

            The F.D. amendments in Florida were viciously opposed by members of both political parties, the state legislature (who attempted to get the Amendments thrown off the ballot) and Big Money, but passed with fairly healthy margins because enough people had finally grown tired enough of the status quo to overcome the opposition.

            This is the sort of thing that requires a certain minimum momentum to get rolling. As long as "two parties is all we got; no sense in even trying for something better" prevails, the efforts will fail. On the other hand, as soon as enough people "get over it", so to speak, it can be made a reality.

            Campaign finance reform is at best indirectly related to actual reform.

            Besides, as I noted elsewhere, I don't think Big Money has as much influence as people think these days.

            •  I don't think the ink was even dry before... (0+ / 0-)

              the goons in Tallahassee were already figuring out how to get around them. Valiant efforts though. I voted for both of 'em.

              Consider the Fair Districts amendments here in FL
              We need a new legislature.

              "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

              by markthshark on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 07:26:04 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  and they have (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, 3goldens

        managed to declare an endless state of war, with no nation state as the enemy. Anyone anywhere can be declared a enemy of the state or a 'terrist who will kill yer family'. The 'economy' is not about our societies well being and neither is the obscenely huge war machine. None of this is in our national interest  but strangely nationalism of the worst kind is whipped up through mindless fear, and fake crises, all to feed the multinational entities that are by their nature anti-democratic.

        I don't think it's complacency that maintains their grip on our government, it's fear. The remedies provided in our system including the mechanism of governance from the electoral process,  executive, legislative branches and even the judicial have had spanner after spanner thrown in their works. The whole process is upside down and our sacred document's have been reinterpreted and tweaked so that their is no 'public' or legal remedy. Citizens have no power, no representation, voting only let you pick your poison.

        Where's my habeas corpus? Where's our common good? Where's some trust busting?            

        •  Whipping up fear often seems to be the sole reason (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gerald 1969

          Television news exists.

          A standing army is like a standing member. It's an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure. Elbridge Gerry - Constitutional Convention (1787)

          by No Exit on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 07:46:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not complacent (0+ / 0-)

        I just don't see any way we can change things through the Democratic party. Dean tried to do that, and now he's working for a lobbying firm talking about austerity, because nobody in the Obama administration could find a decent job for him to do. Of course, if he were working for the Obama administration, he'd be talking austerity too. So, really, unless we all want to sit down and figure out how and why our effort to change the Democratic party ended up with a Democratic party that is far to the right of where we were at the time that Dean said this:

        then I'd say nothing of use can be accomplished through the Democratic party.  That means we have to either look to establishing an effective third party against the odds, or turn to non-party politics as a means of changing things.

        The people who believe in working within the Democratic party at all costs should be sitting down and having the above discussion of why and how it all went wrong in 2008, and how our hard-won victories turned into even worse politics than we had before (I mean, fighting with Democrats to convince them not to cut Social Security? This is a win in whose book?)

        Unfortunately, the people who believe in working within the Democratic party at all costs can't admit that anything is wrong.

        if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:30:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  A few generations ago, we had minor parties (9+ / 0-)

      (Farmer Labor, Progressive, even Socialist) that managed to elect members to the House and even occasionally the Senate.

      Never that many, mind you, but a few.

      In theory, a Third Party could be as viable here as in Canada or England.  They don't have Proportional Representation either.

      It's just that our silly Presidential Races seem to suck all the  air out of the room and make it impossible for us to get small parties off the ground at the regional level.

      "Furthermore, if you think this would be the very very last cut ever if we let it happen, you are a very confused little rabbit." cai

      by JesseCW on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:17:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Two parties come about naturally (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, renbear, FG, shaharazade, 3goldens

      in our system because we have first-past-the-post elections. In the past, those two parties were able between them to represent most of the ideological spectrum in the US. Today, they represent a much narrower spectrum of thought, especially the Republican Party.

      But as Gooserock mentions, our problem is not that we have only two parties. It is that our present two parties are excessively under the influence of corporations. And it could even be considered a stretch to call it "corporate America", since so many large corporations today are truly multinational. This situation cannot be changed without new legislation, and most of the present Congress would be voting against their personal self-interest if they did that.

      "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

      by sidnora on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:32:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Canada and the UK have first past the post. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shaharazade

        They still have multiple viable parties.

        "Furthermore, if you think this would be the very very last cut ever if we let it happen, you are a very confused little rabbit." cai

        by JesseCW on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 08:09:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And when was the last time (0+ / 0-)

          that a representative of one of their minor parties led a government? And I'm not counting that weird Tory/Liberal coalition. That was a product of pure power seeking, with no ideological sense to it at all.

          "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

          by sidnora on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 10:32:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Until very recently, the New Democratic Party (0+ / 0-)

            was just an "alternative" party in Canada.

            They're now the Opposition, and they've pretty much replaced the Liberal party.

            They'll produce the next Left Government as by far the senior partner with the Liberals.

            "Furthermore, if you think this would be the very very last cut ever if we let it happen, you are a very confused little rabbit." cai

            by JesseCW on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 10:46:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The key phrase in your comment is (0+ / 0-)
              replaced the Liberal party
              (emphasis mine).

              I never said that we were fated to always have the presently constituted Democratic and Republican Parties. What's more, I fervently hope that is not the case, and that a major change in party alignment comes asap. I've been anticipating this since W. was still in office.

              But when that change is over, what I expect to see is one party composed of the moderates sane among the present day Republican Party and the conservatives among the present-day Democratic Party, and a second party composed of the remaining moderates and liberals in the present-day Democratic Party. I'd be thrilled if that "New Democratic Party" were liberal enough to attract healthy fractions of Greens, or whatever other left-leaning splinter parties are out there, and equally thrilled if the "New Republican Party" marginalized the teabaggers, Paulites and other crackpots in their ranks as effectively as they did back in the late 50's 60's and 70's. In other words, a wholesale shift of the ideological spectrum to the left, and closer to where the people of the US actually are.

              But it's still going to end up two parties, because the structure of the government pushes it there.

              "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

              by sidnora on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:39:22 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yeah, I was kind of expecting that. Some people (0+ / 0-)

                simply can't admit they're wrong.

                "Furthermore, if you think this would be the very very last cut ever if we let it happen, you are a very confused little rabbit." cai

                by JesseCW on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 07:08:27 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Just looking at the entire history of the US. (0+ / 0-)

                  "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

                  by sidnora on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 11:02:58 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  proportional voting or IRV would help (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, SethRightmer

      allow for > two parties.

      the way voting works here now is you either vote for one of the two main parties or you throw your vote away.

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 07:57:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Because it costs so much money to (0+ / 0-)

      run an effective party here. And most of that money goes toward TV and radio ads. Some goes to other kinds of outreach/communications, but most of the gold goes to big media. In a country of 300 million people, you need to have access to big media in order to reach all the people you need to reach in order to be a successful political party.

      Most smaller parties haven't got anywhere near enough money to get onto the media. Thus, people in this country don't know about them, don't know who they are, don't even know they exist. Therefore, they don't succeed.

      Also, there's the fact that big media, and the big money that supports it, are constantly fighting to make sure that third parties do not get covered and thus do not succeed. You'll notice, for instance, that no one outside of the Big Two (Dems and Repubs) are allowed to join in our presidential debates.

      Also, there's the fact that Democrats are terrified to turn away from their party for fear that crazy Republicans will get into their office. That, in particular, is a kind of shock doctrine all its own:  don't you dare stray from the Democratic party or YOU will be responsible FOR THESE TERRIBLE PEOPLE WRECKING THE COUNTRY!

      These terrible people end up wrecking the country anyway, just slower than they otherwise would have, and we're told to celebrate that slowing of our destruction as a victory.

      And so it goes.

      if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:15:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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