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The Seminal gets stupid on third parties. - Adventures in Engineering — LiveJournal
The wanderings of a modern ronin.

Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2008-04-21 22:26
  Subject:   The Seminal gets stupid on third parties.
Public
  Music:Stranglers - No More Heroes
  Tags:  politics, reddit

Third-party candidates are the butt of jokes here in the United States, but Ross Perot's success in 1992 is nothing to laugh at. He received just under 20 million votes, nearly half Clinton's 44 million. And that 20 million would've been higher, perhaps considerably higher, if Perot hadn't sapped his own momentum by reconsidering his bid. Contrary to popular opinion, there is room for a 3rd, even a 4th, party in the United States. We just have to decide if we want to make room for it.

http://www.theseminal.com/2008/04/19/saturday-morning-open-thread-co-sen-and-the-viability-of-3rd-party-candidates/

I generally like The Seminal, and I read the site whenever I see a link to it come up on Reddit. The guy who runs it seems to have a fairly good correspondence with my own personal feelings on politics.

Which is why I can't believe he's spewing this ignorant bullshit. I can't believe that someone who lives here in the state of Colorado just as I do, who no doubt sat by and watched just as I did in 2006 when both parties in this state openly trashed and destroyed Amendment 36, the amendment that stood the best chance ever of prying open the door for third parties, can say stuff like this with a straight face.

"Decide if we want to make room for 3rd parties"?? Are you out of your frikkin' mind? WE ALREADY DECIDED THAT! And the conclusion was blindingly clear: there is no room for third parties in this state. None. And furthermore, you're better than this kind of self-deluding bullshit. Stop it. Stop thinking that the vast majority of people in Colorado (or, indeed, in the USA) want anything aside from bread and circuses. Quit being a delusional idiot. You are so much smarter than this.
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  User: (Anonymous)
  Date: 2008-04-22 05:27 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
The fact that even in extremely wing bat states - such as Vermont and Alaska - third party candidates can not get enough votes to win a single state is indicative of what the founding fathers intended - as few parties as possible (preferably none - although then Jefferson went and screwed that pooch).
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2008-04-22 06:11 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
When humanity has transcended political parties, I doubt we'll need governments any more either. Needless to say, this is not going to happen in my lifetime.

Since we can't avoid parties, the second best strategy is probably to divide power up among as many of them as possible. Which is exactly why the current duopoly sucks so hard, and why the current duopolists will fight to their last breath to prevent any third party from coming to power.
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Alex Belits: mona
  User: abelits
  Date: 2008-04-22 09:26 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Keyword:mona
Usually you can't simply divide power between too many parties, either, however when parties are trying to form coalitions they have to court other parties who don't share their peculiarities (or sources of bribes), so overall power is indeed shared between multiple entities that have to avoid treating the country as their exclusive playground. If coalition alienates some party, party will simply not go along with coalition's strategy when it comes to proposing legislation, votes and propaganda -- they are elected already, nothing keeps them from being thorns in large coalitions' sides.

With one or two parties, and multiple factions inside them, this process is reversed -- party already has its ideology-enforcement machinery, pooling of bribes, etc. going on, so weak factions have to adjust themselves to be compatible with the party line, or be denied access to the trough.

This is why I see little difference between US and USSR systems -- in either case there is/was one ideology shared by everyone in power (Republicans and Democrats share about as much as factions among Communists did), and various differences between factions that can't go too far without triggering some kind of purge. I guess, factions inside CPSU were more brave, or maybe stupid, because on various occasions they DID trigger a purge, but this is as far as the real differences go.
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