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View Diary: Is a Progressive Third Party a Viable Option? (94 comments)

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  •  And then they'd have to join a caucus (0+ / 0-)

    The GOP caucus or the Democratic caucus. And we are back to 2-party control.

    Or they could join no caucus, hold no committee seats, and achieve nothing.

    •  Coalition is not union (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quicklund

      The smaller parties would extract concessions for their support. That's how coalitions work.

      There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

      by slothlax on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 04:12:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe they would, maybe they wouldn't (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slothlax

        If Third Party Members X. Y, and Z were needed to push one of the real parties into the majority, then the 3rd party folks would be in position to get some concessions.

        But most of the time those members would not be needed. And in such a case they would get nothing more than the juniormost chairs on a few committees.

        Most times are not Joe Lieberman Applies The Screws Time.

        Now OTOH has Members X, Y, and Z advanced up through the ranks of a real political party, then they would earn seniority, leverage, and committee chairs within their own team. They would have earned some genuine influence. As a member of a real party, they might win re-election long enough to get off the back bench.

        •  I get the difference (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Quicklund

          Its all hypothetical.

          What I'm talking about would take more than a decade.  So yes, in the short term, a handful of third party members would be relegated to reaching some middle level leadership.  But if there's a splinter party on both sides, both major parties will be harder pressed to get a majority on their own.  And if the smaller parties can accumulate twenty to thirty seats, the third crappy committee chairs are all of a sudden king makers because they have the clout and visibility to get people to listen.

          As a totally separate but completely related question:  Is there another democracy in the world with only two parties in the legislature?

          There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

          by slothlax on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 07:54:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Another poster put it best (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pierre9045

            It is a longer and harder road to create a new party to replace the GOP or the Democratic Party than it would be to reformulate an existing party's structure.

            As for another democracy operating on a 2-party system, I believe there are but I have no confidence in that answer. I am pretty sure most democracies operate on a parliamentary system in which 3rd parties are usually much more viable.

            Personally, I am really on the fence when it comes to our Constitution. At times I feel it is too inefficient in the modern world of air travel and the internet. Then other times I see a parliamentary government do something really stupid and I realize no system stops humans from that sort of thing.

            •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pierre9045

              Anyone who looks at US political history knows the parties are organic and its "the people" more than anything who change them over time.  But I think the parties as they stand now are continuing on a path of ideological and regional uniformity (urban liberal/rural conservative) that opens up space for other voices.  As a liberal, I look to those huge margins in some urban House districts and doubt that the voters in those districts are really that uniform in their opinion.  There should be other options.

              I do think the Constitution is purposefully inefficient.  That is one reason we have the longest standing Constitution in the world.  Whatever its faults, I'm still on board.

              Australia comes to mind as a two party type system, but even there they have other minor parties in the national Parliament.  Same with Japan.  No European country has only two parties.  Even first past the post countries like the UK and Canada have more than two parties in the national Parliaments.

              There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

              by slothlax on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 11:53:04 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

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