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Do we need new law on political parties?

haymarket

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One of the good things that is coming out of both the Trump and Sanders campaigns is that people are beginning to see that some of the state primary delegate selections rules are not exactly what some people would call as fair. With the proliferation of primaries over the last twenty years - today a vast majority of convention delegates come from the primary process unlike decades ago when only a minority were.

I would suggest that primary voters expect that their vote determines who from their state goes to the convention and who they vote for. The reality is that does not always turn out that way - and that is by intentional design where party power brokers still want a large voice in the process.

But political parties are not part of the Constitution and generally exist outside of legal regulation and control on purpose. But at the same time, states give over ballot access to the parties convention nominees and there is a close relationship between them.

And we hear Trump complaints about Colorado and a few theory states where the Cruz people appear to be picking his pocket of delegates and Sanders complains about the super delegates which resonates with some voters. Even Trump says Sanders has a legitimate beef.

So my question is this: given the role of the primaries now in the selection of our next president, is it not time for certain legal reforms to make sure the primary and nominating process is what most people would call fair and honest? or - have we not gone beyond the stage in our history where we simply leave the parties alone to do their thing as private entities outside the law despite their amazing impact on government itself and who will eventually hold office?
 

OrphanSlug

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You are talking about a Constitutional issue here, people have the right to associate and it not be subject to government guidelines. It sucks, but political parties are within their right to not only organize in this manner but allow themselves both establishment support via delegates not bound *and* the ability to change the rules on the go.
 

haymarket

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You are talking about a Constitutional issue here, people have the right to associate and it not be subject to government guidelines. It sucks, but political parties are within their right to not only organize in this manner but allow themselves both establishment support via delegates not bound *and* the ability to change the rules on the go.

Yes - but at the same time government makes a huge accommodation to parties by allowing them automatic ballot access for every election. I would think that could be used as some sort of leverage in this entire issue.

Lets face it - even though the parties are private concerns - they also have a few toes over the line into government. So in some ways they are neither fish nor fowl.
 

Thrilla

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One of the good things that is coming out of both the Trump and Sanders campaigns is that people are beginning to see that some of the state primary delegate selections rules are not exactly what some people would call as fair. With the proliferation of primaries over the last twenty years - today a vast majority of convention delegates come from the primary process unlike decades ago when only a minority were.

I would suggest that primary voters expect that their vote determines who from their state goes to the convention and who they vote for. The reality is that does not always turn out that way - and that is by intentional design where party power brokers still want a large voice in the process.

But political parties are not part of the Constitution and generally exist outside of legal regulation and control on purpose. But at the same time, states give over ballot access to the parties convention nominees and there is a close relationship between them.

And we hear Trump complaints about Colorado and a few theory states where the Cruz people appear to be picking his pocket of delegates and Sanders complains about the super delegates which resonates with some voters. Even Trump says Sanders has a legitimate beef.

So my question is this: given the role of the primaries now in the selection of our next president, is it not time for certain legal reforms to make sure the primary and nominating process is what most people would call fair and honest? or - have we not gone beyond the stage in our history where we simply leave the parties alone to do their thing as private entities outside the law despite their amazing impact on government itself and who will eventually hold office?

political parties are private organizations than can set their internal rules as they deem fit.... primary elections are internal party matters.
if they decide to ignore the votes and nominate whomever they want. for whatever reason, they should be able to....though the societal consequences would probably be pretty fierce

as for what laws i would like to see?.. well, I'd like to see the parties themselves be held liable for all costs incurred in primary elections/caucuses and the States removed from the party's internal processes.... I don't feel the state taxpayers should be on the hook for costs incurred by the respective clubs having their internal elections....if anything, the State should make money off of the parties (by charging for use of election facilities, personnel, etc)
( States should administer and closely regulate general elections, though)

it's high time these freeloaders stop milking everyone for their little party shindigs.
 

clownboy

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Here's a question, in this day and age, why use delegates at all? The system is derived from the general election's Electoral College and has been a vehicle for the powers that be inside the party to determine the candidate. Involving the party membership has always been a falsehood, an illusion to make the people feel better, involved.
 

SocialD

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One of the good things that is coming out of both the Trump and Sanders campaigns is that people are beginning to see that some of the state primary delegate selections rules are not exactly what some people would call as fair. With the proliferation of primaries over the last twenty years - today a vast majority of convention delegates come from the primary process unlike decades ago when only a minority were.

I would suggest that primary voters expect that their vote determines who from their state goes to the convention and who they vote for. The reality is that does not always turn out that way - and that is by intentional design where party power brokers still want a large voice in the process.

But political parties are not part of the Constitution and generally exist outside of legal regulation and control on purpose. But at the same time, states give over ballot access to the parties convention nominees and there is a close relationship between them.

And we hear Trump complaints about Colorado and a few theory states where the Cruz people appear to be picking his pocket of delegates and Sanders complains about the super delegates which resonates with some voters. Even Trump says Sanders has a legitimate beef.

So my question is this: given the role of the primaries now in the selection of our next president, is it not time for certain legal reforms to make sure the primary and nominating process is what most people would call fair and honest? or - have we not gone beyond the stage in our history where we simply leave the parties alone to do their thing as private entities outside the law despite their amazing impact on government itself and who will eventually hold office?

I was just mention that in another thread. I don't think a law should apply to a private party. people just need to participate more in their state and local elections so their local and state parties force a more legit and transparent process. easier said than done yes I know.
 

Beaudreaux

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Yes - but at the same time government makes a huge accommodation to parties by allowing them automatic ballot access for every election. I would think that could be used as some sort of leverage in this entire issue.

Lets face it - even though the parties are private concerns - they also have a few toes over the line into government. So in some ways they are neither fish nor fowl.

The parties make up the government - the government is not going to chain the parties that the government officials belong.

Look, I know you know all this, but bear with me... We are not a Democracy and what you are describing is not just a Democracy, but a Direct Democracy. A Direct Democracy is the most dangerous threat to equality and the rule of law that could possibly exist - a simple majority of the people could vote to take away the freedoms of the minority - 50.1% could vote to essentially enslave the 49.9%, or use whatever numbers you like but the problem stands, even if the number is 97% over the 3%. We are a Constitutional Republic that relies on a Political Party System where the parties provide candidates for official government offices and allow the eligible voters of the requisite districts to elect certain officials, but when it comes to the President of the United States they vote on electors, not the candidate. In fact, it doesn't matter whether we're discussing the primaries or the general election, the voters are casting votes for electors and not the actual candidates. The candidate's name is on the ballot, but do not fool yourself, you're voting for party electors (called Delegates for the primaries and Electoral College Electors for the general election) not the actual candidate. The political parties are private organizations that are not controlled by nor do they answer to the government - and I like that. The parties can create their own rules, procedures, policies, and platforms. If we begin to regulate the parties, I am truly concerned at what point that regulation would end, or would it end. If we regulate (write a law) that restricts how a political party can nominate a candidate or place a candidate on the ballot, what is to stop us from restricting what type of person the party can nominate - also known as litmus tests?

No, we should not restrict what the political parties can or cannot do. Nor should we trample on the electoral process of the election of the POTUS.

Just my humble opinion.

Edit: BTW, I think this is a great topic for a thread given all the hubba hubba going on with this year's primary season.
 
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OrphanSlug

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Yes - but at the same time government makes a huge accommodation to parties by allowing them automatic ballot access for every election. I would think that could be used as some sort of leverage in this entire issue.

Lets face it - even though the parties are private concerns - they also have a few toes over the line into government. So in some ways they are neither fish nor fowl.

Of course political parties, by intention and process and result, end up over the line. Ultimately we are talking about a government ran by a political party in majority status as the key goal. Lines get crossed.

What you are asking for is regulation of the right to associate. That is a minefield of mess to contend with.

I legitimately am unsure what to do here, and worry about consequence.
 

fmw

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I would support the banning of political parties.
 

calamity

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One of the good things that is coming out of both the Trump and Sanders campaigns is that people are beginning to see that some of the state primary delegate selections rules are not exactly what some people would call as fair. With the proliferation of primaries over the last twenty years - today a vast majority of convention delegates come from the primary process unlike decades ago when only a minority were.

I would suggest that primary voters expect that their vote determines who from their state goes to the convention and who they vote for. The reality is that does not always turn out that way - and that is by intentional design where party power brokers still want a large voice in the process.

But political parties are not part of the Constitution and generally exist outside of legal regulation and control on purpose. But at the same time, states give over ballot access to the parties convention nominees and there is a close relationship between them.

And we hear Trump complaints about Colorado and a few theory states where the Cruz people appear to be picking his pocket of delegates and Sanders complains about the super delegates which resonates with some voters. Even Trump says Sanders has a legitimate beef.

So my question is this: given the role of the primaries now in the selection of our next president, is it not time for certain legal reforms to make sure the primary and nominating process is what most people would call fair and honest? or - have we not gone beyond the stage in our history where we simply leave the parties alone to do their thing as private entities outside the law despite their amazing impact on government itself and who will eventually hold office?

I believe the party should be allowed to override their voters. It's dangerous for them to do so and will cost them, but it is necessary, IMO.

Sanders is not even a Democrat. He has poor history of working with them, as he is more of a "my way or the highway" kind of guy. So, that the party would choose to stop his insurgency makes perfect sense to me.

Trump is barely a Republican. In fact, many people argue quite effectively that he is not one. So, that the party wants to stop him also makes sense.

We do not need a law. Party interference, especially as will undoubtedly be the case in the GOP this year, will cost the party in the general election. That's the price paid. And, that's where the seeds of real change will be sown.
 

fmw

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I believe the party should be allowed to override their voters. It's dangerous for them to do so and will cost them, but it is necessary, IMO.

Sanders is not even a Democrat. He has poor history of working with them, as he is more of a "my way or the highway" kind of guy. So, that the party would choose to stop his insurgency makes perfect sense to me.

Trump is barely a Republican. In fact, many people argue quite effectively that he is not one. So, that the party wants to stop him also makes sense.

We do not need a law. Party interference, especially as will undoubtedly be the case in the GOP this year, will cost the party in the general election. That's the price paid. And, that's where the seeds of real change will be sown.

Of course they should be able to determine their candidate. The problem occurs because they stage an election which, this year has shown what a sham it is. They shouldn't do that. If they are going to be the final arbiters of who is nominee, then they should be the only ones.
 

calamity

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Of course they should be able to determine their candidate. The problem occurs because they stage an election which, this year has shown what a sham it is. They shouldn't do that. If they are going to be the final arbiters of who is nominee, then they should be the only ones.

Usually the sham works out. But, this year, with 18 candidates running for the GOP, a lot of votes were split and the biggest nut got the most votes--albeit nowhere near the majority of them all. This is what would happen if we had multiple mainstream parties, btw. Some nut would win because too many normal candidates would split the vote.
 

fmw

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Usually the sham works out. But, this year, with 18 candidates running for the GOP, a lot of votes were split and the biggest nut got the most votes--albeit nowhere near the majority of them all. This is what would happen if we had multiple mainstream parties, btw. Some nut would win because too many normal candidates would split the vote.

Correct. The fact that the republican field started out with 17 candidates is the major reason the rules didn't work out this cycle. If I were supportive of any political party, I would not participate in primary election.
 

Korimyr the Rat

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The problem isn't that the political parties' rules are unfair. As private organizations, they're free to set whatever rules they want.

The problem is that our government has allowed these private organizations to take over ballot access and election law to keep their competitors out.
 

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