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The last time the US saw a truly multi-party election was 1860. There were six parties running presidential candidates and the electoral vote was split between four of them. That election was an immediate precursor to civil war. Since then various arrangements and factors have worked to create am enduring two party duopoly. One result and arguable benefit of this has been a high level of political stability. Many other countries have multi-party systems. They seem to contribute to an increased level of political instability in most cases. Depending on one's point of view that may or may not be a bad thing, but it is a difference from the US.

There are structural political arrangements that work to exclude third parties from attaining political leverage. The principal one is the winner take all laws that govern the allocation of state electoral votes. Maine and Nebraska are the only exceptions to this. While this is a matter of state law rather than federal constitutional law, the courts have never questioned their constitutionality. It is also very rare that anybody ever gets elected to either house of congress who is not a candidate of one of the two major parties.

There have been a few bumps in this generally level road. In 1948 and 1968 southern segregationists mounted third party challenges and because of their solid regional base managed to capture a bloc of electoral votes. Ultimately their cause did not prevail.

The 1992 presidential election saw Ross Perot mount an independent challenge to the major party candidates. This came in the midst of a high level of populist angst over a major recession. Perot ran a bizarre on again off again campaign and was still able to get almost 20M popular votes. He got no electoral votes. To speculated about the impact he had on the outcome requires an assumption as to whether he took more votes away from Bush or Clinton. Regardless it is difficult to argue that Perot had any lasting impact on programs and policy.

In countries with multi-party parliamentary systems small parties can hope to join a coalition government and receive some ministerial post in the bargain. The US system doesn't offer such possibilities. In the highly unlikely event of a third party candidate being elected to the presidency, he or she would have absolutely no base in congress. When a president of a major party loses the congressional majority that party still has a substantial minority which leaves room for horse trading on specific issues.

The two greatest political upheavals in American history have been the civil war and the great depression. The conflicts that led to the civil war did create a fundamental restructuring of the party system and brought the fledgling Republican Party to power. However, the great depression only ended the position of the Democratic Party being out of power. To gain the power that pushed the new deal through required a coalition of northern labor activists and social democrats with conservative die hard segregationists. But it all happened within the two party system.

I am among those people who would like to see some fundamental change in prevailing US economic policy. However, I don't really think that it is going to come about anytime soon. If it does happen it would have to be as a result of a policy shift within the Democratic Party. That has happened before and it could conceivably happen again. However, I do not think it will come about at the hand of a third party. History and the prevailing political culture are fundamentally stacked against it.    

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Comment Preferences

  •  Shhhhhhhh! (13+ / 0-)

    Don't tell the Tea Party! I'm living for the day the split the Republicans and run on their own ticket.

    •  lol I said the same thing below (3+ / 0-)

      the woman who is easily irritated

      by chicago minx on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 10:14:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The fact that they haven't (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ExpatGirl, joedemocrat, Johnny Q

      likely means that in this and ONLY THIS they see things the same way that I do.

    •  Why should they split (7+ / 0-)

      when increasingly they call the shots?

      What you see instead are loathsome but not entirely wacko Republicans fleeing their own party -- to take home in (and further dilute the effectiveness of) ours.  Charlie Crist, anyone?

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 10:19:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's why 2016 will be interesting (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CenPhx, poco

         I said in another diary that we will see how far the inmates will be running the asylum--or will the Republican establishment assert control?  The teabaggers are the greatest voting bloc in their primaries.  

        the woman who is easily irritated

        by chicago minx on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 10:29:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Because they don't have the money. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ExpatGirl, CenPhx, antirove

        It won't be the TeaBaggers splitting from the GOP, rather the big money backers of the GOP expelling the TeaBaggers. Because the extreme candidates they promote are losing elections for Republican party. And that makes the Party less powerful, hence the Billionaire Backers lose clout.
        One or two more cycles like 2008 and 2012 and the TeaBaggers will find themselves shut out.
        And since they are a large part of the rank and file Republicans, their exit will leave the GOP fragmented into a couple of "third parties" facing one behemoth Democratic Party.
        I expect the Billionaire Backers to then do everything they can to buy as much of the Democratic Party as they can.
        And if we're smart, we'll excommunicate those Dems that go that way, since they won't at that point form a large enough challenge.
        Why not start that excommunication now? Because we still balance elections on a knife edge, the loss of 5% of our voters would mean losing the Senate and fuggetabout the House.
        But once the GOP is smashed to pieces, we will have enough cushion that we can do something about making Better more important than More.

        If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

        by CwV on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 10:34:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Umm, the Democratic Party has no way (5+ / 0-)

          of "excommunicating" its members.   The best example for that is Joe Lieberman's rejoining the Democratic Party the September (in Stamford, CT to be exact) after he won reelection on his ad hoc party ticket.  Of course, as far as most of the Party hierarchy was concerned, he never ceased being the candidate worth supporting.

          And if there were a way to excommunicate Democrats, it would be the DFHs who'd be kicked out.   After all, they commit the cardinal sin of not having lots of money.

          And really, based on our Party's performance, it doesn't look as though the Republicans are going to have a lot to worry about in 2016, unless we've ungerrymandered about 100 congressional districts by then and unless Hillary Clinton develops truly magical coattails.   Our chances of getting the White House are good, and we might keep (or regain) the Senate, but really, that's it in any scenario.

          Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

          by corvo on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 10:41:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  He never rejoined the party (4+ / 0-)

            He served his (stolen) turn with an (I) after his name.

            If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

            by CwV on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 10:50:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Actually, according to the Stamford Times, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Johnny Q

              he did so on August 30, 2007.  

              Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

              by corvo on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:44:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  That is really depressing. :( (0+ / 0-)

            N/T

            "Disappointment is anger for wimps," -Dr. Gregory House

            by freakofsociety on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 10:58:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I completely disagree with the premise of (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greenbell, Johnny Q

            this diary. I also note that the commenters  seem mostly to be focused solely on The Republicans  and the Tea Party.

            BUT while I agree that creating a TRADITIONAL Third Party will probably not happen anytime soon,

            I do believe that it is an entirely possible that a MOVEMENT, as opposed to a party could shake things up

            There is absolutely nothing to prevent a social media campaign from catching fire and having masses of people WRITE-IN a candidate of their choice. I can't see that there is any prohibition against this or any Constitutional requirement that Parties be the only vehicle for a candidate.

            I think this could happen from any part of the spectrum of the political sphere, left, right or middle. Personally, I would laugh my ass off, as it would be one way of completely negating the effects of Big Money and Citizens United.

            “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

            by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:07:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Of course you can write in a candidate (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              freakofsociety, poco

              You always could.  That's not what the diarist is saying.

              the woman who is easily irritated

              by chicago minx on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:11:49 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The diarist seemed to be saying that no (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                skohayes

                candidates other than those of the two traditional parties would ever break through.

                I'm saying that this premise is possibly no longer true.

                People can communicate and organize nowadays and bypass any part of the stifling political infrastructure that exists if they really wanted to.

                What prevents anyone from writing in "Ted Cruz" if they get stuck with Chris Christie? The answer is nothing. What prevents Ted Cruz from burning down his own party if he loses the nomination and asks his followers to do so? Suppose Rand Paul does it?

                Quite honestly, most candidates of a Party would never ask their voters to such a thing, but there's always a first time. And the voters themselves are out of a candidate's control. They could decide on their own to write in their candidate even if the person lost the nomination.

                I don't think anyone anywhere has really harnessed the unleashed power of the write-in vote.

                “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

                by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:21:42 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The diarist seems to be describing (5+ / 0-)

                  the futility of a third party in the current US.  I said describing which is not the same as advocating for the current system.  Unfortunately it is what is (and I hate that term).  You're probably too young to remember John Anderson's run in 1980; he drew a lot of disaffected Democrats, fewer Republicans--they were all in love with Reagan, who won in a landslide.  1992 was interesting because so many Republicans hated GHW Bush (the economy was terrible) but they couldn't bear to vote for Bill Clinton, so they went with Perot.  There was an almost Paulite fervor for Perot and his goofy handmade charts. And that's the vast history of third party politics in America post-1968 George Wallace.  It is simply stalled.

                  the woman who is easily irritated

                  by chicago minx on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:49:11 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  That's not the point. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  skohayes, poco
                  What prevents anyone from writing in "Ted Cruz" if they get stuck with Chris Christie? The answer is nothing. What prevents Ted Cruz from burning down his own party if he loses the nomination and asks his followers to do so? Suppose Rand Paul does it?
                  Can third-party or write-in splitters torpedo their own party's chances? Absolutely, no question. But except in locally-particular circumstances (a la Murkowski in Alaska or Sanders in Vermont), they can't win.

                  A Ted Cruz or Rand Paul write-in campaign could certainly bring down Christie if he's the nominee, but there's no chance in hell that the campaign could result in President Cruz or President Paul.

                  "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

                  by JamesGG on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 01:19:22 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Americans are increasingly declaring their (7+ / 0-)

              independence and aligning with neither party.  They don't all agree but what one thing they agree on is that neither party warrants their identification.  

              •  And what kind of government do you vote for then? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                freakofsociety

                May be the Capitol will be remodeled as a Smithsonian Museum for tourists to enjoy in remembrance of the times, when votes somehow reflected still what the people want ?

                •  Just saying people are ripe for a realigning (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mimi, CenPhx, Garrett, corvo

                  Sure we're stuck with two parties but that doesn't mean an external movement or force can't upset the current configuration of the two parties.  But you need a catalyst to make that happen whether that's a charismatic populist candidate or a re-defining issue.  A 3rd Party can help leverage such a candidate or give an issue focus.  Just because they don't survive as permanent parties doesn't mean that they can't be useful to force change.  

                  •  I can follow that, but it's hard to believe in it, (0+ / 0-)

                    as I believe it only happens  when the re-defining issue arises from quasi-catastrophic incidents. If I ever get to the point to educate myself, I tried to out how in history and globally constitutional changes that are designed to promote democracy equality of all, have come about. My suspicion is that it always is preceded by severe social unrest among the average citizens of a country due to unbearable hardships they have been subjected to.

                    Probably a re-defining issue arises out of catastrophic environmental disasters, which can be traced to predatory, corporate exploitation of natural resources in a way that it causes sudden, immediate and irreversible destruction, sickness and death.

                    As long as the health related damages from radiation, water contamination, soil contamination, air pollution and food production and scarcity, are not noticeable, hidden, slowly progressing and not deadly to a large number of people, the movement to protect the environment and fight against climate change will not win against corporate interests.

                    It's just a human fact that people have to feel the pain locally to start a movement on a local level that may grow into a national and international movement. But then you see how hard it is to get anything moving.

                    A re-defining issue that is affecting all races, religions and classes the same, is the one that can build such a movement, I hope. That's why it's the movement to protect our environment and climate is the  only one I would have some hope to initiate political change to restrict corporate money and influence in the political process, which then should lead to more democracy.

                    Well, that's what I hope and dream about.

              •  American Centrist Party... (0+ / 0-)

                I would think that if there is any hope at all for a third party in my lifetime, it would be some kind of centrist party that would attract independents, Blue Dog Democrats and non-Tea Party Republicans. Will it happen? I have no idea, but I think of anything it would have the best chance. A couple of very charismatic leaders might pull it off, but they have yet to emerge.

            •  yes, but that would mean that you rely (0+ / 0-)

              on one single candidate to initiate the change through a movement. That's not sustainable, you would have one movement after the other for all the candidates you trust and those movements are money dependent as well, they are not publicly funded. I think relying on the movements to get one candidate of your choice through is even more dangerous today than it was pre-internet and pre-MSM times.

              There are plenty of efforts to organize movements, so many with so little impact on the elected officials that basically "you just get depressed and want to go to Costa Rica" :).

        •  But here's the thing--the Kochs still have (7+ / 0-)

          to get voters to cast votes for their establishment candidates.  They tried to get rid of Obama in 2012 and they couldn't.  This is why I'm saying 2016 will show how much of a force teabaggers are, because they will be fighting against their own party.  No one is conservative enough for them.  And the whole race is muddled now that Christie is gone because he would have been the big money candidate and we would have seen pretty early on which side was winning, because teabaggers despised Christie.  So we'll have to wait a little longer to see how it all shakes out.

          the woman who is easily irritated

          by chicago minx on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 10:49:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah I have comfort in the fact (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            chicago minx

            that the minorities are beginning to show up to vote a lot more and eventually the republicans will die out or have to change their stance.

            "Disappointment is anger for wimps," -Dr. Gregory House

            by freakofsociety on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:02:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Don't count on it (0+ / 0-)

              Democrats may just begin to lose whites at a faster rate because they offering nothing to the white middle class.

              •  I don't agree (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                TomP, virginislandsguy, TFinSF, poco

                They are for raising the minimum wage. And they passed the ACA.

                "Disappointment is anger for wimps," -Dr. Gregory House

                by freakofsociety on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:50:03 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Clearly, those two things are enough. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Richard Lyon, blueoasis




                  Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ Garcia

                  by DeadHead on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 12:00:41 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Minimum wage is not a middle class issue (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  blueoasis
                  •  I wonder (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    freakofsociety, TFinSF

                    if any middle-class people have teenagers or kids in college who are affected by the minimum wage? Naw, can't possibly be.

                    There was only one joker in L.A. sensitive enough to wear that scent...and I had to find out who he was!

                    by virginislandsguy on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 01:04:52 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Minimum is by definition not middle (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      OrganicChemist

                      Sure kids may be happy getting a raise but middle class families don't define themselves around that issue.  I swear I don't understand the Democratic Party's abandonment of middle class issues.   I just don't get the new model of plutocratic Wall Street elites and poor immigrants with this gigantic hole in the middle.  Well, actually I do get it.  No one has more contempt for the middle class than the centrist elite.  

                      •  Are you serious? (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        poco

                        Kids may be happy with getting a raise? Do you know how many people are on the minimum wage now trying to raise a family? And do you not understand that there's virtually no middle class left? This comment astounds me. You seem to have very little knowledge of what the demographics of our country is like right now. You using the same non truths that a republican would to argue against raising the minimum wage.

                        "Disappointment is anger for wimps," -Dr. Gregory House

                        by freakofsociety on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 01:23:24 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Well, I am in the middle class as are most of my (0+ / 0-)

                          friends and family and neighbors and so it is unfortunate that the Democratic Party is losing touch with us but we are out here, we are registered to vote and we will be determining who wins the midterm elections.  

                          I am not arguing against an increase in the minimum wage.  I am simply stating the obvious.  It is not a middle class issue.  

                      •  Perhaps you misread my comment (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        poco, freakofsociety

                        The teenagers or college students are the ones working for minimum wage, not their parents. An extra $4 an hour is huge for these people.

                        Also, there are middle class families where a spouse is working for minimum wage. Their job is what boosts them into the middle class.

                        I have no idea what your idea of middle class is. I know many people, including myself in the past, where the minimum wage is very relevant to their lower middle class living standard.

                        There was only one joker in L.A. sensitive enough to wear that scent...and I had to find out who he was!

                        by virginislandsguy on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 01:30:12 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Well considering the Democratic Party's (0+ / 0-)

                          zeal to cut Social Security and Medicare I guess I'd better start campaigning for the minimum-wage though it's going to be ironic having them means test someone making minimum wage and that's about where they're going to be if they start means testing Medicare down to about $40K where you'll find seniors working to supplement Social Security.  By the time you get your minimum wage increase, they'll be stealing it for your Medicare premium.  

                          Don't get me wrong, I support the minimum wage increase.  I'm just saying I can't take them seriously when they have such utter contempt for people making less than $100K or even less than $50K when it comes cuts in the benefits we have EARNED and PAID TAXES to receive.  

                  •  Umm okay... (0+ / 0-)

                    You're right it has nothing to do with the middle class. (sarcasm)

                    What in your opinion is a middle class issue then?

                    "Disappointment is anger for wimps," -Dr. Gregory House

                    by freakofsociety on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 01:18:18 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Perhaps Democrats should (4+ / 0-)

                go back to racism to offer more to the white middle class?  Dems offer much to the working class including the so-called middle class. If members of the "white middle class" decide to fuck themselves by voting for Republicans who represent the wealthy, then I say fuck them.  

                Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

                by TomP on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 12:06:32 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yup, that's exactly the attitude that's going to (0+ / 0-)

                  defeat Democrats.  You think you have to go back to racism to offer more to the white middle class?  You believe that.  Well, keep telling white middle class voters exactly that and you'll have 90% of them voting for Republicans.

                  •  Many already do. I don't kiss racist ass. (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    TFinSF, poco, freakofsociety

                    I support policies that support all working people regardless of race or color or ethnicity.  White people are beginning to learn that their white passport does not ensure middle class status.   Perhaps they need to let go of their "whiteness."

                    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

                    by TomP on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 01:30:05 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  oh, minorities always show up, but (0+ / 0-)

              what guarantee do you have that the minority is the one that promotes your political ideas? Most "evil doers" start out as a minority and all of the sudden they show up and vote and make a mess out of democratic government. No guarantees whatsoever.

              And right now the 99%-ers are the largest minority there is, and they all vote, but their political goals are in no way represented.

  •  Of course they don't (7+ / 0-)

    I can't believe there are people who still can't understand this basic electoral reality. This is why I am hoping the teabaggers take their ball and form a new party when their favored 2016 candidates are ignored by the Republican establishment.

    the woman who is easily irritated

    by chicago minx on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 10:13:07 AM PDT

    •  Its not only the tea partiers (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, fcvaguy, poco

      that are the problem sadly. :( Theres people on this website that want to form a third party.

      "Disappointment is anger for wimps," -Dr. Gregory House

      by freakofsociety on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 10:50:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They won't be allowed to promote it (8+ / 0-)

        on this web site. They have a constitutional right to do that if they want to, but they can't do it here.

        •  I know but they talk about (0+ / 0-)

          not voting for dems anymore on this website...

          "Disappointment is anger for wimps," -Dr. Gregory House

          by freakofsociety on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:03:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I believe that is permitted but you (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CenPhx, freakofsociety, blueoasis, poco

            can't say you're voting say Green, or, god forbid Republican.  We've all seen people say they simply won't vote, and that's their right.  But you can't actively advocate for someone who isn't a Democrat against a Democrat in a race.

            the woman who is easily irritated

            by chicago minx on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:07:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Oh okay, now it went from... (5+ / 0-)

            "wanting to form a third party" to "not voting for Democrats."

            Perhaps your next comment will inch even closer to the actual sentiment expressed — that people are getting fed up with enabling shitty Democrats who aren't all that different from Republicans.




            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ Garcia

            by DeadHead on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:10:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well if you aren't voting for deems (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              WB Reeves, TomP

              then what are you doing? That was kind of a dumb comment.

              "Disappointment is anger for wimps," -Dr. Gregory House

              by freakofsociety on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:13:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Sorry my computer (0+ / 0-)

                automatically corrects when I try to type Dems.

                "Disappointment is anger for wimps," -Dr. Gregory House

                by freakofsociety on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:26:41 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I agree. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                allenjo, blueoasis

                Your comment was rather dumb.

                You're the one who, over the course of two or so comments, changed your claim from people here "want to form a third party" to they "don't want to vote for Dems."

                They aren't the same thing.

                There are undoubtedly registered, straight-ticket voting Democrats who, for whatever reason, may not vote for a particular Democratic candidate.

                These same people aren't necessarily considering leaving the Democratic Party to form another one in order to carry-out this vote-withholding.




                Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ Garcia

                by DeadHead on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 12:14:03 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Can you please explain to me (0+ / 0-)

                  why they would not vote for the dems if they didn't want to vote third party? Because you aren't making any sense.

                  You said up there in specific quotes not voting for democrats. You didn't say anything about not voting for a specific democratic candidate. Stop moving the goal posts.

                  "Disappointment is anger for wimps," -Dr. Gregory House

                  by freakofsociety on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 12:20:55 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  What part of... (0+ / 0-)

                    "Not voting Democratic" ≠ "voting third party" don't you understand?

                    Would a Democrat who voted for a Republican be voting third party?

                    Would a Democrat who decided not to go to the voting booth on Election Day be voting third party?

                    Look, one of us is getting confused and moving goalposts, and it ain't me.

                    Instead of being vague, why not learn how to blockquote specific parts of people's comments, and then respond to them?

                    Like this:

                    You just claimed I did this:

                    You said up there in specific quotes not voting for democrats. You didn't say anything about not voting for a specific democratic candidate. Stop moving the goal posts.
                    When what I was doing, when I said this:
                    Oh okay, now it went from "wanting to form a third party" to "not voting for Democrats."
                    ...was characterizing two of your comments, this one:
                    [T]heres people on this website that want to form a third party.
                    and this one:
                    I know but they talk about not voting for dems anymore on this website...
                    Yet you provided nothing but vague references to stuff people said in other diaries.

                    In conclusion, I have no fucking clue what you're trying to say, because you're having problems articulating your thoughts in a clear manner.

                    Have a nice day.




                    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ Garcia

                    by DeadHead on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 04:28:49 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  It's their vote. (10+ / 0-)

            Not yours and not the Democratic Party's. They are allowed to use it how they see fit and they are even allowed the privilege of saying so on this blog. I'm not sure what the rule is about advocating for other people not to vote, but I think it is also important to distinguish between people advocating for sabotage of the Democratic Party and people who genuinely want the party to change, for the better, but who feel so disconnected and powerless that the only recourse they feel they have left is to start withholding their vote.

            I can't speak for everyone, but from what I've seen of this talk, isn't not coming from people who want Democrats to fail, but people who want the Democrats to be and do better.

            Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves. -Thoreau

            by CenPhx on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:11:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  They can (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CenPhx, TomP

              I just don't agree with them and I think it hurts the democrats and its not supposed to be promoted on this site. Don't understand what your problem is. You are being very defensive for no reason.

              "Disappointment is anger for wimps," -Dr. Gregory House

              by freakofsociety on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:14:47 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I understand why people wouldn't agree. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                freakofsociety, DeadHead, poco

                I think you are right, it does hurt the Democrats. I was trying to explain the thought process of someone willing to hurt the Democrats, but is still a person who hopes for the long term success of Democrats.

                If that came across as, or was, defensive, I suppose it was because it is not the first time I have read criticism of those who are thus disenchanted. I think we, as a party, need to consider why people are so disheartened, rather than chalking it up to foolishness or shortsightedness. People, who have worked their hearts out for Democrats, who are now saying they may not vote is a symptom of a greater problem. That's my take on it.

                Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves. -Thoreau

                by CenPhx on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:27:15 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Right, and we all talk in an abstract way (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              freakofsociety, CenPhx, TFinSF, poco

              about how we would vote, in what situation and for what candidate.  Or that we won't vote. And primaries have always been a free-for-all on this site.  But when it comes down to an actual race you can't promote the person running against the Democrat and I think that's a perfectly reasonable rule.

              the woman who is easily irritated

              by chicago minx on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:18:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Doesn't always sound so abstract to me (0+ / 0-)

                But I don't feel like debating about this so okay...

                "Disappointment is anger for wimps," -Dr. Gregory House

                by freakofsociety on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:22:46 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  What is the last comment of this diary supposed to (0+ / 0-)

                mean?

                Did I completely misread it? Because it sounds like someone is saying to not vote for dems anymore.
                http://www.dailykos.com/...

                "Disappointment is anger for wimps," -Dr. Gregory House

                by freakofsociety on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:25:59 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You mean this? ... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  blueoasis, BradyB
                  When a Democrat fails you, after you've given what you can, how can you hold them accountable?

                  You can take your vote back the second time around.

                  It's a question and a possible answer to it. It also uses the singular form of the word "Democrat," implying a specific candidate, not all Democrats in general.

                  So yes, I think you either misread, or read too much, into it.




                  Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ Garcia

                  by DeadHead on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 12:24:34 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  She didn't say (0+ / 0-)

                    anything about voting for a different democrat. She said you can take your vote back. IF you are implying that no one on here ever advocates not voting for democrats you have not been reading. But again I'm not surprised at this.

                    Where did she imply a specific candidate there?

                    "Disappointment is anger for wimps," -Dr. Gregory House

                    by freakofsociety on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 12:27:24 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'm sorry, but... (0+ / 0-)

                      No offense, but right now, you're being way too dense to hold a conversation with.

                      I'm not sure if this how you are normally, or if you're just having a bad day, but you're being unbearably obtuse.

                      Have a pleasant day.




                      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ Garcia

                      by DeadHead on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 04:05:50 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

      •  And you know this how, exactly? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Johnny Q, blueoasis

        Did you see a bunch of comments declaring such, or are you offering us an embellished recollection?




        Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ Garcia

        by DeadHead on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:06:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Umm hello? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TomP

          Its all over the torture diaries. And was all over Bobswerns diary comments yesterday. If you are trying to tell me people don't say that here you are a laugh riot. I'm really not having this debate for the 50th time as I've seen you guys try to deny people say that here over and over.

          "Disappointment is anger for wimps," -Dr. Gregory House

          by freakofsociety on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:16:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Good Afternoon. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueoasis

            Given the accuracy of your other comments in this diary, I'm disinclined to take your word for it.

            Especially when you expect others to have read the exact same diaries you claim to have seen such commentary.




            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ Garcia

            by DeadHead on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 12:30:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  you're right (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poco, freakofsociety
        I worked for Jill Stein for president in the last presidential election and she rocked.
        http://www.dailykos.com/...

        KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

        by fcvaguy on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 02:35:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I tend to agree (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    freakofsociety, CenPhx, TomP, doroma, poco

    I think we desperately need and I want a major change in U.S. economic policy. But I don't think it will result from a 3rd party.

    It will happen when what is progressive today is considered mainstream and to accomplish that you have to persuade.

    •  I am hoping to see some active debate (7+ / 0-)

      about policy in the Democratic primaries. That IMO is where it should happen.

      •  It's not going to happen. (5+ / 0-)

        Unless you have a way of stopping things like this. IOW, taking over the Democratic party, like Dean tried to before, but with more success.

        Actually, I take it back:  there might be some debate, before the conservative/centrist/DLC/New Democrat/Third Way/whatever-the-heck-they're-calling-themselves-this-week candidate takes the seat because they get D-trip funding as well as probably funding from whatever big business interest they serve, while the progressive goes on line and tries to get 25 bucks from people who have considerably less wealth than they did in 2008, the last time we attempted this.

        In order for primaries to work as you describe, you either have to take over the party machinery or invent a way that low-budget campaigns can, reliably and at least 50% of the time, beat high-budget campaigns.

        Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:09:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There are ways a debate could happen. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WB Reeves, TomP, blueoasis, Zinman

          For example Sanders could decide to run as a Democrat.

          •  Sure. And then he'll lose to the big funding (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Johnny Q

            candidate.

            That won't change anything in the electoral result or the institutional Party sense. However, it could be useful for building a movement, IF you had a plan for how you were going to pick up the pieces and keep people from dissolving into demoralization after the loss, including a plan for the work they would do next.

            Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:18:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I didn't say it would. (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TomP, blueoasis, poco, AaronInSanDiego, Zinman

              I just said it could create a debate.

              •  So would re-starting the Occupy movement. (0+ / 0-)

                So would anything that gains media visibility, and even a few things that don't.

                I'm just not sure where you're going with this. It's not that I object to Sanders running or Warren running, necessarily, but if what you're looking for is a highly visible conversation/debate I think there's ways to get that that wouldn't cost the massive amounts of money it takes to run a Presidential campaign these days, and wouldn't include the possible demoralization factor that would have to be taken into account so that the Presidential run didn't do more harm than good.

                Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

                by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 01:06:21 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  My experience with the Occupy Movement (0+ / 0-)

                  contributed greatly to my pessimism. I have a theory that I am working on that the middle class and the people who have fallen for the spin that they are part of it are blocking any possibility of real change in economic direction. I may get up the energy to write a dairy on it. I suspect that it would sink quickly into obscurity.

                  When I say that I would like to see a debate I do not claim that it would change the direction of the party. For the reasons above I  do not believe that is going to happen in the immediate future. I just would like to see some diversity of opinion.

                  •  You've already got diversity of opinion. (0+ / 0-)

                    Even on this site.

                    Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

                    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 08:12:32 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  What you seem to be talking about is (0+ / 0-)

                    representation.

                    Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

                    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 08:12:48 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Sanders for President as a Democrat (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Richard Lyon

            There's a campaign I would join and work for. The excitement  might be like that engendered by Howard Dean for President.

            Even if Bernie did not win, he could change the content of political discussion for the better, and if he gained enough support, he might have delegates at the Democratic Convention. If we had enough delegates, we might be able to extract concessions on policy or who was to be selected for Vice President. How about Elizabeth Warren? Wouldn't that be something - two women on the ticket.

            Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is now 400ppm. That is "Climate Cluster Chaos". (hat tip to JeffW for CCC)

            by Zinman on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 04:00:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  it is pretty mainstream (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CenPhx, joedemocrat, Johnny Q, poco, Zinman

      on the issues, the public is to the left of democrats, including on taxing the wealthy more to provide more government services. when polled, single payer also polls very well. as does much stricter gun regulation.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:00:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Create a movement (5+ / 0-)

    The minute people organize, they can win. It is a job for the long haul but if start from a local level and win public office, it is a start.

    Too many political parties are only interested in presidential elections and spend too much time and resources when they should be reaching out to voters on a street by street system.

  •  to defeat the duopoly, the entire districting (7+ / 0-)

    system would have to be revised

    In countries with multi-party parliamentary systems small parties can hope to join a coalition government and receive some ministerial post in the bargain. The US system doesn't offer such possibilities.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 10:22:25 AM PDT

    •  This is why I think it is not going to happen. n/t (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli, ExpatGirl, TomP
      •  No, there are other ways (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CenPhx, Johnny Q

        however you'd have to fiddle with the basic nuts and bolts political machinery in other ways. Like how money relates to media relates to wins.

        Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:09:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  which means there is no democratic way (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenbell, freakofsociety

        over a vote to start any structural changes. I don't understand why this is apparently seen as something positive. The US system needs to offer such possibilities, today more than ever, as in fact very little policy changes are initiated by political elected representatives anymore (aside from those that don't cost money - see the anti-abortionist influence), they are initiated by lobbyist who defend corporate interests, who have millions to spend to influence and buy out the votes.  With today's media and internet technologies it's even more important than it might have been in the eighties.

  •  well, since I understood the basics of your (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, greenbell, blueoasis

    electoral system, I found it pretty undemocratic and I doubt the change will come

    as a result of a policy shift within the Democratic Party. That has happened before and it could conceivably happen again.There are structural political arrangements that work to exclude third parties from attaining political leverage.
    Why is there not a movement to change those structural political arrangements? And which ones are they?
    Many other countries have multi-party systems. They seem to contribute to an increased level of political instability in most cases.
    I think I need a list that proves the point right. Stability works two ways, it can keep the bad guys in power or the good guys, so I rather have the option to get the bad guys out and risk a little bit of instability feeling than the other way around.

    Senators, who have a life-long position til in their eighties and nineties, I don't know ... I think it's too much of a stability.

  •  Not until there is a constitutional reform (5+ / 0-)

    But the current system is so dysfunctional, so gerrymandered, so rigged, so corrupt and so unrepresentative that it may collapse.

    Citizens United alone will require a constitutional reform.

    The political polarization is as great as it was right after the Civil War.  The tensions are increasing and when this happens things may snap.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 10:38:22 AM PDT

  •  Good post. (7+ / 0-)

    Bemoaning the two-party system is basically pissing into the wind.  It's baked into the constitutional cake.  When 50%+1 wins (or a plurality), a third "viable" candidate simply loses to whomever has the broadest coalition.

    •  The chances of baking a different cake (6+ / 0-)

      seem pretty slim.

      •  It is a long term vision. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TomP, poco

        But in the short term you still have to win elections.

      •  Are we ready for the Costa Rican trip yet? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CenPhx, Johnny Q

        People ready to give up on politics and go out partying yet?

        Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:10:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, if difference/change is not a possibility (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis, mimi, musiccitymollie

          then what we're going to get is more of the same. So why should we waste our heartbeats getting more of the same?

          To put it another way, I didn't have to walk Fairfax county till I (and it) were blue in the face and phone bank for hours in order to get an indefinite detention policy, endorsement of warrantless surveillance, and attacks on Social Security. I could have gotten that sitting on my ass at home--or watching the waves down in Costa Rica with OPOL. I'm sure  John McCain would have been happy to give me all those policies.

          Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 01:10:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Don't forget that OPOL said one of the (0+ / 0-)

            reasons he goes to Costa Rica is that as a retiree, living on his savings and SS, is not going to pay for his expenses in the US. He needed a cheaper place to live and I feel not that comfortable with those subtle accusation that people hide but use to downgrade those, who leave a situation or place, when the going gets tough.  

            There is that either envious or downgrading impulse to judge them as quitters. This is done too often by too many people. I would say, it's ok to leave a situation behind when it's unbearable to you, actually it's normal.

            The sad fact is that not everybody has the options to leave and that's were it becomes hard to accept or to respect such a decision by those who are stuck and can't move. It's natural that those feel bitter and betrayed by that.

            So, let's leave OPOL out of this. Take myself, I would have the option to return to my home country and would have less social hardships than I will have here. So far I haven't done it, also for good (private) reasons.

            And of course you don't know what Costa Rica might become in the future.  

            Just saying, don't fall into that trap.

            •  you think I'm dissing OPOL? (0+ / 0-)

              Not at all.

              I'm talking about visiting him and having a big party as MY version of quitting. It's nothing to do with what OPOL is doing, or might do, other than the fact that I think he wouldn't mind being visited, and having a party.

              And I obviously don't downgrade "quitters" since I'm contemplating becoming one.

              Further, I'm making a rhetorical point:  doctrines of political inevitability lead directly to disengagement.

              Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

              by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 08:09:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Nonetheless, I'll leave him out of it. (0+ / 0-)

              I can have a party in some awesome (warm) place that's cheap to live without it being a visit to OPOL.

              Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

              by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 08:10:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Incidentally, (0+ / 0-)

        the inability to bake a different cake is also baked into the cake.

  •  Where other countries have many parties... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    freakofsociety, TomP

    ...we have primaries.  That is where you fight over which direction will prevail.  Two things that would help though are IRV, which gets rid of the spoiler concept, and access to debates.  Presidential debates should include all candidates on the ballot in enough states who could theoretically get 270 electoral votes strictly by the math and debates for other offices should include all candidates who made the ballot.  Basing participation on the chance someone supposedly has of winning just becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  •  Conservatives would probably benefit (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    freakofsociety, fou

    From a multi-party proportional system.

    Imagine the Republican Party being split into the Tea Party and a non-Tea Party conservative party that is able to win back some of the votes of people who used to vote Republican but stopped because of the Tea Party wing.

  •  In order for Thirds to be effective, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    freakofsociety, CenPhx

    one or both of the big parties need to break up.
    And that's not too far fetched.(see my comment above)
    But without a major overhaul of the structure of our government (and I will fight it to my grave) to make us a parliamentary system, a bunch of small parties in place of the two big ones can't function.
    First-past-the-post is about electing the PERSON you want to a specific position, Parliamentary system is about electing the PARTY or coalition of parties that you want and letting them decide who gets what job. And when there is no single majority party, those seats become fodder for horsetrading.
    Ask Britain's Liberal Dems how that worked out for them in their coalition with the Conservatives.
    As for the stability aspect, it is inherently unstable. Italy went through almost fifty collapses of government before the settled on a gangster to hold it together for a decade. Israel is constantly under threat from the tiny ultraright parties that are necessary coalition partners and those fragmentary parties then call the shots, preventing progress on crushing issues, like Palestine, et cetera.

    “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried.”
    ~ Winston Churchill

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 10:49:04 AM PDT

  •  Your diary needs to make the rec list (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Lyon, chicago minx

    But I doubt its going to happen. :(

    "Disappointment is anger for wimps," -Dr. Gregory House

    by freakofsociety on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 10:51:30 AM PDT

  •  i prefer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Johnny Q

    a multi-party parliamentary system.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:00:56 AM PDT

  •  Telling me the odds are against success (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Johnny Q

    doesn't mean anything much to me unless you can show me a plan where the odds of success are better.

    Taking over/shifting the Democratic party? We just tried that, 2002-2010. We failed, and I'd argue that circumstances including Citizens United have shifted the terrain to being even more hostile to our aims now than it was then, making it even more unlikely that we'll be able to accomplish the goal of shifting the Democratic party leftward or taking over the governance of the party ourselves.

    Show me how you can do it better than Dean, and believe me, you will find a willing listener.

    Otherwise? I guess I'd have to ask you when you'd like to abandon the field so I can plan the party at OPOL's, which is where we're all going to go and party over puerco pibil and fine tequila when we decide all is lost and we intend to go out dancing.

    Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:02:18 AM PDT

    •  I am simply making my obversations (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chicago minx, blueoasis, poco

      of what I see political reality as being. Personally I find it depressing, but I still think it is real. If you intend to take a different path, I wish you a safe journey.

      •  Well, then, are you giving up? (0+ / 0-)

        Or have you not decided and you're waiting with little hope for something better?

        Or do you have some idea for how to make Democratic primaries effective?

        Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:13:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have some interest in trying to (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Chitown Charlie, greenbell, CenPhx, poco

          put up some resistance to the Clinton juggernaut within the party. If nothing else it appeals to my personal sense of perversity. I wrote a diary yesterday about the possibilities of Biden exercising his traditional prerogative as VP to make a bid for the presidency.

          I had really thought that it was too early to get mixed up in the 2016 election, but it does seem to have become necessary. I plan to explore other possible candidates for the nomination. At the moment my goal is to present the notion that alternatives do exist. I don't have to endorse any alternatives to do that. I most certainly do not know what I will be doing two years from now.    

      •  Those are real questions, not taunts. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis

        As I said, I respect you.

        Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:14:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You want to create the OPOL party? :) /nt (0+ / 0-)
    •  Can you put together a 50%+1 coalition? (0+ / 0-)

      That's what it takes to win elections.

      •  Money and stories win elections. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis

        That's how you get to 50%+1.

        You need the stories to get people to vote (and, obviously vote for you) instead of tuning out politics. You need the money to get the broadcast time.

        Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:43:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Two parties vs multiple parties (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    freakofsociety

    It's not the number of parties.  Our constitutional system makes it more likely that we'll have a two-party system.  

    But that means that our side gets to win if we can convince a majority to vote for our candidates.  It means their side loses unless they can convince a majority to vote for their candidates.  

    We should be campaigning to eliminate gerrymandering wherever possible.  

    But the most important thing we need to do is convince the majority of voters that progressive policies are best for the nation.  

    That's the job ahead of us.

  •  It would take a revolution (6+ / 0-)

    Nothing else would ever change the political system in a way that would give non-corporate voices a chance at participating.

    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

    by gjohnsit on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:20:26 AM PDT

  •  The closest we have had to a third major party (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Lyon

    was the 1890s Populist party the bull moose party was a one man show, and perot didnt win any electoral votes in 1992,, and did far worsein 1996 when he ran again. ultimately, we need to do, 5 things
    1, overturn citizens united and declare officially that money is not speech. donating limits will apply to all, regardless of income. corporations cannot donate money
    2 eliminate gerrymandering
    3 have runoffs in elections where there is 3 or more candidates- this prevents someone like lepage from sneaking in with 35%
    4 public financing of elections and barring third party groups from airing ads
    5 corporations are not people, they are subject to the will of the government on the federal level and the state and public at the state level.basically give repeat violating companies like bp the ' death penalty' by barring them from doing business n this country and seizing their assets.

  •  Democracy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, poco, freakofsociety

    was put on life support when the Supreme Court selected Bush, corrupted politics and gutted the Voting Rights Act.  There is a reason Daryl Issa is allowed to shut the microphone when something is said he does not like.  The power of money is running all systems of government.  We are allowed to pretend our vote means something unless we rock the boat and the Koch will give us a pre-checked ballot.

  •  I see a somewhat different story (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Burned, CenPhx

    in what political science says, and what American history says, about the possibilities of a third party in America.

    We have strong structural reasons leading to a two party system. New parties face very strong obstacles to success.

    But new party systems can arise, as a rare event. And when the change happens, it can be very rapid. Across 4 or 6 years or so, the whole party alignment of Americans can just shift and rearrange.

    It's near on impossible to predict when the rare occurrence of major party realignment might happen again here.

    And some local third parties certainly do exist now in the United States, and are strong enough to win some elections.  The Progressive Party in Vermont and the Independence Party in Minnesota, as examples. "No Chance" is not right.

  •  The only way we'll ever have third parties... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sny

    ...is to work the ballot laws at the state level.

    I'd suggest that Instant Runoff Voting is the best way to get that ball rolling.

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 02:15:38 PM PDT

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