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Three Party system [Nov. 8th, 2006|11:07 am]
Lachlann mac Lachlainn
This is something I have been thinking about for some time. We have two giant political machines out there, both with arguably their own faults. Recent years have seen the parties swap stances on the issues that I deem as important in order to hold tight to some of the more newsworthy issues. And while I can happily change parties to go with my issues, there is no reason to believe that they won't swap back at a later date.

So how does one get one's personal issues to the forefront of politics with these two political giants out there being blinded by other issues? My idea has always been forming a third party. The Swing Party.

If the Democrats have 51% of the vote, and the Republicans have 49%, we don't need to grab 33% of the vote to make them pay attention. All we need is that 2% difference to make each side know they need to cater to our needs to get our support. The Green Party has that 1% or 2% quite often, but they squander it by devoting their votes to their own candidate who has no chance of winning. If instead they let it be known that they would support either a Democrat or a Republican that promises to uphold Green Ideals, they then get the candidates fighting for that 1%-2% that could make the difference, and hopefully BOTH candidates agree to support your ideals. So either the swing vote or a guaranteed win for your issue. All with a small but noticable minority.

My third party isn't the Green party, however. It is a moderate party devoted to fiscal responsibility. In the past, the Republicans were fiscally responsible and the Democrats were big spenders. Now adays military spending is through the roof and Howard Dean speaks of being more fiscally responsible. Who knows when it will flip back. The only solution I have is to form a political party based on Fiscal Responsibility and getting both parties to fight for whatever swing vote I can get together.

The plan would be simple
1) Get as many people registered for the Third Party (or whatever it is called) as possible.
2) Make a platform that is simple and focuses only on the issues that matter to those involved. In this case it would involve spending control and fiscal responsibility.
3) Communicate this platform to both the Republicans and the Democrats clearly
4) Rate candidates in different races based off of how well they adhere to the Third Party platform. Include research into past decisions for incumbants, and make it all fit into an easily interpretable scale with some grey areas in the middle.
5) Get a reputation for the entire Third Party voting along those ratings, letting people know that they are throwing away that 1%-2% if they do not put some effort into catering to the Third Party platform.
6) With a reputation for being a deciding factor, grow. This would be both in members of the Party and the scope of the platform, provided those involved in the Party can accept new planks without causing too much internal strife.

At first there would be no need to actually win elections, but eventually we would want people in the House and Senate so we can be the swing vote there as well. Make it so every bill written knows that it will lose a couple of votes guaranteed if it doesn't have an accurate and fiscally responsible budget associated with it. Make it so neither party has 51%, so neither feels comfortable writing extremist policies it thinks it can ram through the congress on the strength of its majority.

Victory would not be a Third Party President. Victory would be all candidates addressing Third Party needs, knowing that without them they cannot win. I think the Third Party would form a bridge in the ever widening gap between Republicans and Democrats. I think it would give the Moderate view a little more of a voice. It would make it so it isn't us and them, but just those of us we agree more with and those of us we agree less with.

I think it is possible.

[User Picture]From: pantharos
2006-11-08 03:18 pm (UTC)
I think it's a great idea, but what do the party members do when neither of the other parties cater to the third?

I imagine at first, neither party will take the new party very seriously, so where do the voters cast their votes when neither party is considering them?
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[User Picture]From: _lackey_
2006-11-08 03:37 pm (UTC)
In the early days the parties won't notice the Third Party and we won't be catered to. We should still be able to rate them with one slightly better than the other on some factor. The idea behind the ratings is that they would not be rock solid, but be a resource to know how fiscally responsible a candidate is. They might be something like:

5: This candidate has our full support
4: Strong fiscal policies, but could improve
3: Above average fiscal policies, please give this candidate some consideration
2: Below average fiscal policies, we advise against this candidate
1: Bad fiscal history or no attention to fiscal policies, we are in strong opposition to this candidate
0: Unknown

So often you may have campaigns where both candidates are 4's, or both are 1's. In that case the party members choose what they think is best based on other issues.

But still, if 2% of an area is registered Third Party, and both candidates know this, it is unlikely that either would take the chance and ignore the Third Party. We would be another outlet for them to get support, an organization that would strongly advise that 2% to vote for them or against them.

Early on they won't pay attention to us, but we will still have past history and analysis of their platform to make some decisions on. And if one candidate notices that this small group can help them win and caters to us, and wins for it, then we have our swing vote.
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[User Picture]From: etherial
2006-11-08 03:27 pm (UTC)
This is exactly what Question 2 was trying to accomplish.
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[User Picture]From: _lackey_
2006-11-08 03:40 pm (UTC)
Question 2 was doing this in the wrong way. It was just allowing some people to spam the ballot with their name with any old trumped up party. It would lead to either someone with their name on the ballot 10 times to their opponents 1, or strict party registration laws forming to prohibit fake parties, thus prohibiting weaker parties as well.

It would have been better to just allow a candidate to be endorsed by several parties and note that on the ballot, rather than having a seperate listing for each and every party.
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[User Picture]From: etherial
2006-11-08 03:56 pm (UTC)

Um, no.

Any old trumped up party that had the 3% of the vote in a previous election could pick any candidate who was already going to be on the ballot. It would make the ballot precisely zero lines longer.

It provides your "swing party" with the means to prove, unequivocally, that they are the deciding factor.
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[User Picture]From: the_smith_e
2006-11-08 05:00 pm (UTC)
So, are you planning on starting this?
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[User Picture]From: _lackey_
2006-11-08 05:06 pm (UTC)
Thinking about it.

I am not sure the general method used to start a political party, and I would need some grass roots energy to start it. Plus I want to draw from both the Democrats and the Republicans to make it, especially since I have heard this sentiment from both sides, but I am not sure if other issues would keep that from happening.

I have successfully organized 50 or so people into combining their resources and energy to get things that they were otherwise unable to get on their own. I am not sure if I can expand that to the tens of thousands of people needed to make a blip on the political radar. And of course there are a lot of kinks to work out.

One man does not make a political party. But if there are enough like minded people out there we can begin talking, and from those talks maybe this idea or another like it could arise.
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[User Picture]From: jducoeur
2006-11-13 06:43 pm (UTC)
Ayep. Modulo the fact that I've tended to focus on civil liberties as The Big Issue (with fiscal responsibility as a secondary), this is pretty much the approach I've been advocating for a good decade or so now.

I believe, though, that you have to get money involved. The rude fact is that money is what Washington listens to. If you can get a fund that's large enough to swing some key elections, *then* you really start getting Congress listening to you. Doesn't have to buy the elections outright -- just make enough difference to change the result.

Do that smart enough, and you may be able to forge an informal caucus on Capitol Hill. Get the congressmen you helped elect working together, and build up the notion of a joint identity -- "I'm a Democrat *and* a member of the Responsibility Brigade".

Indeed, I would probably recommend not calling the thing a "party" for exactly this reason. You can't afford to run your own candidates; instead, you're trying to swing the existing ones. The word "party" is a red flag, and invokes a lot of memes that aren't quite right.

Frankly, you need to recognize that it's very akin to what the religious groups do now on the extreme right, and that they've been fairly successful at it. Think about how to steal their better ideas and recast them in a secular mold.

And do keep in mind: the group you're talking about *does* more or less exist. It's the Concord Coalition, founded a fairly long time ago, when the budget really started to spiral out of control. I was a charter member, but wound up lapsing because I've been unimpressed at their inability to organize and get out the vote. Take that group, give it more attitude and nerve, and you might have something...
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[User Picture]From: djmtsd
2008-11-10 03:18 pm (UTC)
You are an idiot to think that a few paragraphs and your popularity in your pseudo-domain gives any worth to the kilobytes wasted on your post. Barack Obama got elected with MONEY! Money and his inherently motivating orations. That and oh um the fact that Bush had the worst ratings in modern history. I think that a third political party would sooner be squashed by a bi-partisan mission than get enough credence to achieve a political caucus.

A better idea is do what Markos over at Dailykos.com did, get an Internet presences strong enough that the MSM pays attention to his opinion and politicians ever so slightly cater to his posters.

You are light years behind with your short list and millions of people and dollars short on execution.

Only you would attempt to fathom what creating a 2% popular political party on livejournal.com would entail. Thank God some comments here have taken your megalomania down a peg.

2%!!??!!? Your idea is not even 2% baked enough so that you would study the failed third parties in the United States just in the last 8 years.

I have really missed you Lack.
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