Independent Voting

InLove

at peace
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Hi-

As usual, I wish peace to all here.

Not too long ago, I started a thread with the purpose of trying to understand a little bit more about why people in the U.S. adhered to certain political parties. My question was rather broad--too broad, I think. And I think it threatened anonymity. Many of us probably don't want to just lay our voting persuasions right out there on the screen and invite the same old debates over and over again. I mean, we got friends here of many and varied persuasions. I understand this. So, I'm thinking that maybe I can still explore the situation without the unwanted intrusions.

I will try it this way:

Why can't independent parties seem to get a foothold in modern U.S. politics? (Responses do not have to be limited to U.S. citiizens--input from others might be valuable here.)

I have some ideas of my own, but they are probably pretty simple. I would like to hear what some of you think.


InPeace,
InLove
 
In Love,
You are in luck today. I happen to have a Bachelors degree in Political Science (echo)LOL :) from a U.S. university. (Im still broke though):)

Any way, the other parties cant get a strong foot hold becasue of "numbers"
and money and plain old networking superiority of the two larger political parties along with tradition and not being able to tell the people what they want to hear. Most of them want to tell the truth. (Thats just a "no no" in american politics.) :)

The combination of all these factors causes other parties to not get as much coverage in the press or allow them to be part of the political main stream.

For example:

Ross Perot the millionaire who ran on the "independent" ticket a few years back. He received a lot of coverage, and put the "Independent" on the map so to speak. He had a lot of money, but did not get much long term support to be effective.

There is also the consumer advocate "Ralph Nader" who is always on the ballot and gets coverage now and again. Due to lack of Long term funding his campaign does not due as well. He IMHO tells a lot of truth too. (again a real "no no")

Bottom Line

The party with the most money and people get the coverage and wins the election, Unless you pull a "Florida" thing and you get "decided" in by the Supreme Court. That's another story in the saga though.;)

Now thats the official version.

IMHO, I think that something that started out as fair and equitable in the begining has turned into the money and power game.
 
Thanks for your input, YO. (By the way, do you mind me using this short version of your screen name? Ha-ha--you have one of those names that can easily be played around with. I am continually resisting the urge to do so.:D)

The talk around many dinner tables seems to go something like this: I'd really like to see some changes in the status quo, but if I vote independently (or even for an established third party candidate, for that matter), I run the risk of wasting my vote. If too many people vote independently of the two major parties, it undermines the chances of either given one to implement the very changes they would like to see.

If this is true, and I think it probably has played out this way in past elections by splitting parties, then can that cycle ever be broken? Should it be?

Thoughts?

InPeace,
InLove
 
The main reason a party other than the two major parties can't gain a foothold is because the two major parties control the system. The Demoblicans and Republicrats both really don't care who is control...as long as it is them.

Any political party which wishes to get on the ballot in any state has to get hundreds of thousands of signatures to do so. (check it out each state is individual and each requirement is different) If you are going to make a run at it, you better get on the ballot in every state.

Next hurdle as described is getting heard. There is the money to run ads, but also without the incumbency which allows you so much free press ie 'news' you've got another battle....and then of course just try to get into a debate...

However...imho your vote is never wasted. Third party politics and third party voting is the ONLY way to make major changes in this country. Ross Perot single handedly gave us a balanced budget for years. His little charts and graphs...and then the small percentage of the vote he garnered were enough to scare the pants off both parties and both co-opted his ideas.

While third parties rarely win, if they make a significant dent...2-5% of the population voting...the D/R crowd starts looking at them, and worrying, if they get over 5% it is enough for both parties to realize a grass roots movement by this party could possibly eliminate one of them, so they both try to co-opt some of the ideas to suck people back into their control.

Look at our history....we've had various parties over the years but three don't last...it seems to always boil down to two....so I think both parties worry about their demise should a third party get a foothold.

But major changes in policy come from third party radical notions which get co-opted....so support your ideals...never vote against someone....always vote for someone.

my thoughts.
 
Hi wil--thanks for that.

Interesting...what you are describing seems to be happening here in my home state in the governer's race. We actually have two valid independent candidates on the ballot, and the race is heating up. To tell the truth, I think both of them have some pretty good points to make. The incumbant is a Republican who has pretty much worn out his welcome with a lot of Texans, and I'll bet if you took a survey, many people would not even know who the Democrats are pushing. It's really something....

Would it be scary on a national level, though?

InPeace,
InLove
 
originally posted by wil

The main reason a party other than the two major parties can't gain a foothold is because the two major parties control the system. The Demoblicans and Republicrats both really don't care who is control...as long as it is them.

Absolutely. Republicans and Democrats vie for dominance in the United States, which means that their control is always shrinking and expanding. But, for instance, a mostly Republican-run government isn't all that bad for Democrats. Once people get around to being unhappy with the way things are going, the Democrats know that they are the shoe-in for reclaiming control again...since most people consider them the only other option. Thus, Republicans and Democrats, although they are often perceived as strictly opposing groups, are actually very much indebted to eachother...because they cooperate to keep power within their ring.

I see that the idea has been expressed about the classic double-bind of voting for an independent. That being: If I vote 'independent' and they don't win, then that means that I didn't vote for the better of candidates between 'republicans' and 'democrats'. This is certainly an accurate sentiment, but if we go by this line of thinking, then we will certainly never make any changes. The fact of the matter is, so long as people allow themselves to be 'cornered' into voting 'republican' or 'democrat', the process simply continues. Now, if everyone under this line of thinking were to go for it, vote 'independent', and simply accept that the more lame of the 'republicans' or 'democrats' might win...will this really change anything? Maybe not...who knows? But, if independents are ever going to have a place in politics, the movement has to start somewhere, and it's not as if your vote is ever really wasted.

-jiii
 
InLove said:
Thanks for your input, YO. (By the way, do you mind me using this short version of your screen name? Ha-ha--you have one of those names that can easily be played around with. I am continually resisting the urge to do so.:D)


I do not mind at all what you do with the screen name. :)

Trust, I have a thick skin when it comes jokes on my screen name..:)

You should hear my real name, that would really get your funny bone going.:)

Besides, it is easy for people to remember and its kinda catchy too..;)

By the way, their is a song that is popular in RAP right now that has "inlove" in it, but I leave that for another thread.:D



InLove said:
I run the risk of wasting my vote.

I truly feel that no Vote is a waste if done in good conscious.
Voting is a chance for you to express who you want in a political office and should not be considered wasted unless you do not vote at all.
Not voting at all is what I would consider a wasted vote.

InLove said:
can that cycle ever be broken? Should it be?)

Being an African American male in America, gives me a unique view of the whole "breaking the cycle thing" Every time their is a presidential election in this country the african american community is encouraged to rally for the democratic party, and to not waste their votes on the republican party becasue they are supposed to not represent our interests as well.
For the most part that idealogy has influenced the voting rates for african americans. In the last few years though, that has changed somewhat. To make a long point short, Any cycle that causes a society not to grow and change for the positive needs to be broken.
Personally I feel that the 2 major parties may need to be put to the challenge and if I have to sacrifice a few policy changes to get that accomplished, then so be it.

By the way, just so you know, my father always votes for Ralph Nader every year, and gets scoffed at by many of his buddies for not ralling with other african americans. Now, thats what I call voting your conscious.:)


yo-eleven-11
Political Scientist-Man (((((echo)))))) away!!!!
 
i never thought much of ralph nader (reading pj o'rourke's scathing deconstruction of the issue about unintended vehicular acceleration accidents "boat-footed nincompoops unwilling to accept responsibility") but i understand jesse ventura's done rather well as governor of minnesota. to say nothing of arnie in california, who although republican seems to be pretty independent-minded, which i think marrying into the kennedy family you'd have to be. i think independent candidates with strong personal brands - like frank zappa z"l, for example - have a chance to make some kind of impact. but overall i find american politics rather fossilised. and british politics, although it has changed a lot in the last 30 years, is almost as bad. i do enjoy "the west wing" though, as a real issues-driven cri de coeur.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
Arno and Jessi both state a different portion of American politics. And more shame to the public I believe.

In towns all over the US it seems the way to get elected to city council, county exec, mayor races...is to stand on street corners during the morning and evening commute with your sign and wave...

Name recognition...that is how we vote in our public leaders. Sure plenty of us research the issues, get an issue sheet from the various candidates and make selections. Others of us vote party lines...could care less who is running just go in and pull the blue or red handles... Then there are those that vote on cuteness. And the votem out syndrome, trying to rid the world of the old boy network and insure they don't get pensions (most state and federal positions are eligible for retirement benefits after TWO terms)

But reason for the millions of dollars in adverts, the reason to stand on the corner, is many a voter, a large percentage...enough to get elected...vote on name recognition! Hmmmm don't know that guy, don't know that one....hmmm I've seen that name someplace. Kennedys, Bushes, Arno and Jessi....all won in my opinion due to name recognition.
 
wil said:
But reason for the millions of dollars in adverts, the reason to stand on the corner, is many a voter, a large percentage...enough to get elected...vote on name recognition! Hmmmm don't know that guy, don't know that one....hmmm I've seen that name someplace. Kennedys, Bushes, Arno and Jessi....all won in my opinion due to name recognition.

I agree to an extent here, but with Jack Kennedy (and maybe even Teddy), I tend to think or hope that there were some real issues involved--like civil rights? Of course, I 'm sure the surname didn't hurt...

bananagrain said:
i think independent candidates with strong personal brands - like frank zappa z"l, for example - have a chance to make some kind of impact. but overall i find american politics rather fossilised. and british politics, although it has changed a lot in the last 30 years, is almost as bad. i do enjoy "the west wing" though, as a real issues-driven cri de coeur.

"The West Wing" rocks! I think it actually had a real impact on U.S. politics. I miss it (and Zappa). Bananabrain, I'll bet you would enjoy watching this Texas race unfold. We got a Republican-female-turned-Independent, mainly over issues like health care for children, and a cigar-smoking Jewish musician and writer whose being backed by people like Jimmy Buffet and probably Willie Nelson. It's great--they are truly shaking things up around here.

YO-ELEVEN-11 said:
I do not mind at all what you do with the screen name. :)

Trust, I have a thick skin when it comes jokes on my screen name..:)

YO-ELEVEN-11 said:
By the way, just so you know, my father always votes for Ralph Nader every year, and gets scoffed at by many of his buddies for not ralling with other african americans. Now, thats what I call voting your conscious.:)

Yo, YO! (You saw that one coming, didn't you?) Wow--I am somewhat in tune with the voting situation concerning the African American community here, and I know that your dad must endure much ostracism for standing up for his personal principles.

jiii said:
Absolutely. Republicans and Democrats vie for dominance in the United States, which means that their control is always shrinking and expanding. But, for instance, a mostly Republican-run government isn't all that bad for Democrats. Once people get around to being unhappy with the way things are going, the Democrats know that they are the shoe-in for reclaiming control again...since most people consider them the only other option. Thus, Republicans and Democrats, although they are often perceived as strictly opposing groups, are actually very much indebted to eachother...because they cooperate to keep power within their ring.

Kind of like the pendulum. I guess that this can sometimes work out for the best. But it can take so long, and some of the compromises that are made come up less than beautiful. One example might be the health care system. Just my opinion....

InPeace,
InLove
 
InLove said:
Yo, YO! (You saw that one coming, didn't you?) Wow--I am somewhat in tune with the voting situation concerning the African American community here, and I know that your dad must endure much ostracism for standing up for his personal principles.

ROTFL
:)
Actually I had not thought of that one. Good one. Obvious yet elusive.

Did you see the commercial with the B-ball player named "Yow" who did not speak english well and went into the hip hop store in New York?
:D
 
YO-ELEVEN-11 said:
Did you see the commercial with the B-ball player named "Yow" who did not speak english well and went into the hip hop store in New York?

I'd forgotten about that one. Funny.

Ever seen "Airplane"? "June Cleaver" talkin' jive?
 
Okay, maybe this thread has just played itself out for the time being. I certainly hope I did not commit any taboos for which I need to apologize. But in the event that I did, please let me know what it was, and I will consider groveling.:)

If I have not transgressed, then I may stop in later on down the line to update and ponder the aforementioned gubernatorial game as it progresses. If for no other purpose than blog therapy.:)

InPeace,
InLove
 
Surely you meant John Fitzgerald Kennedy and not Jack, the one that increased his fortune by running booze in from Canada during prohibition...and then went to Germany to help fund that up and coming politician??

JFK was a sieze the moment kind of guy...neither he nor Lincoln went into office on a civil rights or anti slavery platform...for both it was a wave they decided to ride and for both their party was not pleased at their participation.
 
Hi wil--

First let me say that I am here to learn. I think we all know that I am not the brightest star in the political science class.:)

Sooo...are you talking about Joe? The dad? I don't know much about the Kennedy family history. Maybe you can elaborate, if you want? Was there another "Jack"?

JFK was not running on a civil rights platform? If he wasn't, then a lot of people who voted for him did so under the wrong impression?

I know that the party was unhappy with him for wanting to pull the troops out of Vietnam. And I hear that he may have engaged in some very inappropriate pillow talk with a certain blonde bombshell. But I still thought that civil rights was something for which he really stood?

Hmmm....guess I could spend the day surfing, but frankly, I like it here.;)

InPeace,
InLove
 
Was it only after the Freedom Riders were killed that the civil rights issues were forced?
 
two strikes against me...memory failing....yes Joe Kennedy, I never think of JFK as Jack...we weren't as close as that blond was...

And JFK did ride the wave in 1960 after voting for the watered down 1957 civil rights bill.
 
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