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spud_meister

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It seems to me, through my observations on here, and of the media, that the biggest problem in American politics is the two party system, and I'm curious to know just how it is enshrined in law, is it on the constitution, and what would have to happen to get it revoked?
 

The_Patriot

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It seems to me, through my observations on here, and of the media, that the biggest problem in American politics is the two party system, and I'm curious to know just how it is enshrined in law, is it on the constitution, and what would have to happen to get it revoked?

Political parties aren't enshrined in the Constitution, but is part of federal and state law. If it was removed, nothing would happen since people will still be able to vote and run for office.
 

MaggieD

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It seems to me, through my observations on here, and of the media, that the biggest problem in American politics is the two party system, and I'm curious to know just how it is enshrined in law, is it on the constitution, and what would have to happen to get it revoked?

It's only a two-party system because candidates belonging to the two major parties are elected far and away more than other parties. There's nothing that needs to be done to "revoke" our mainly 2-party system that can't be done at the ballot box. It's just that the Dems and Reps have the backing and the money behind them to make the biggest splash and win elections. Law has nothing to do with it. It's not in the Constitution.
 

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It seems to me, through my observations on here, and of the media, that the biggest problem in American politics is the two party system, and I'm curious to know just how it is enshrined in law, is it on the constitution, and what would have to happen to get it revoked?

Everyone likes to rail about the 2-party system, but the fact is that the two parties do a pretty good job at covering the range of ideologies which the vast majority of the population adhere to.

To "revoke" it, there'd have to be a 3rd party that a significant portion of the population can identify with... that has yet to happen. 3rd parties are a joke, almost without exception, which is why they rarely get more than 5% of the vote.


EDIT: It should probably be made clear that the two-party system isn't technically a part of the Constitution or any law, but there are some state/local laws that make it more difficult for third party candidates to get on the ballot than the main two parties.
 
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Harry Guerrilla

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It seems to me, through my observations on here, and of the media, that the biggest problem in American politics is the two party system, and I'm curious to know just how it is enshrined in law, is it on the constitution, and what would have to happen to get it revoked?

Basically the two parties are law, they sit on all the boards and make all the laws regarding ballot access and debates.
If they weren't exempt they would be in violation of anti trust law.

Our "all or nothing" system has a hand in it as well.
Makes it less desirable to vote for any non established party.
It's kind of self perpetuating, as well because loads of people have no clue, that third parties exist.
 

Korimyr the Rat

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It seems to me, through my observations on here, and of the media, that the biggest problem in American politics is the two party system, and I'm curious to know just how it is enshrined in law, is it on the constitution, and what would have to happen to get it revoked?

It's not enshrined in law, it's just a natural consequence of our "first past the post" electoral mechanisms. The more political parties, the less popular support a candidate would need to hold office.

The only way to effectively broaden the field of political parties in this country would be to adopt different methods of casting and counting ballots. Any form of preferential voting would pretty much immediately lead to a drastic improvement in the viability of third parties.
 

Hoplite

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It seems to me, through my observations on here, and of the media, that the biggest problem in American politics is the two party system, and I'm curious to know just how it is enshrined in law, is it on the constitution, and what would have to happen to get it revoked?
There is no real law set up to enforce the two-party system, it isnt legally in place to begin with.

The problem you run into if you ditch the system is you have to pick something else and other systems have their own problems.

You can go with a parliamentary system similar to what the UK and many other countries have, but then you run into the problem of serious in-fighting amongst the different parties. Bipartisanship (Technically multi-partisanship) gets harder to achieve and the amount of wheeling and dealing that go on to secure alliances for votes and measures goes up. Partisanship tends to be a little bit less of an issue as there are multiple sides.

You can go with a single-party system. I need not go into the drawbacks of that system for obvious reasons.

You can get rid of political parties altogether, but then it gets hard to organize voters. Your system becomes TRULY a game for the super rich as they can simply out-spend competition for publicity. Your elections also get rather fuzzy because it's harder to predict where moderates will go and moderates usually decide elections.


Our two party system is somewhat of a compromise between the three, but it has it's own problems. Partisanship is EXTREMELY high due to the "us vs them" mentality and there is a great deal of pandering to voters that goes on to gain support from swing voters and moderates.

I would be in favor of a modified parliamentary system. We need to ensure that there is representation for as many groups as possible in the US.
 

Korimyr the Rat

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I would be in favor of a modified parliamentary system. We need to ensure that there is representation for as many groups as possible in the US.

I am not in favor of any system which changes the fact that any given lawmaker has a specific set of constituents, nor any party in which one votes for party lists instead of candidates.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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I would be in favor of a modified parliamentary system. We need to ensure that there is representation for as many groups as possible in the US.

How do you feel about agonism?

Agonism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Basically, it's automatic party representation.
Where every belief gets a voice in the process, instead of majority rules, it's a competition of ideas.
 

DrunkenAsparagus

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We have a pretty strong two party system, but the flip side of this is very little party unity, I.E. Senator John McCain and Congressman Ron Paul are both Republicans, but they have very little in common. In Britain, don't know if it's the same in Australia, if an MP goes against the Prime Minister, they're thrown into a district where they're sure to lose next election. America still has party whips, and politicians don't go too far apart on the issues, but just look at the difficulty that Obama has had passing major legislation even with a filibuster proof or near filibuster proof majorities in both houses. Voters have a wider range of choices than one may think. They just have to vote in the primary. However, this isn't really a substitution for 3rd parties as most states only let you vote in the primary for the party that you're registered in, and candidates really only compete for the base in these elections.

I think parliamentary systems are good at some things, but overall I prefer the presidential system. I'm not a big fan of proportional representation, but I do think that our voting system could use some improvement. This mostly revolves around holding run off elections when no one can gain a majority. This would help create more viable third parties as well as keep the control of party heads loose.
 

Hoplite

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How do you feel about agonism?

Agonism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Basically, it's automatic party representation.
Where every belief gets a voice in the process, instead of majority rules, it's a competition of ideas.
Its an interesting thought, but how would it be implemented? There are thousand, if not tends of thousands of different viewpoints across the US. How do we ensure that they are all heard?
 

samsmart

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It seems to me, through my observations on here, and of the media, that the biggest problem in American politics is the two party system, and I'm curious to know just how it is enshrined in law, is it on the constitution, and what would have to happen to get it revoked?

The two-party isn't enshrined in law; it is a result of plurality voting. Plurality voting naturally lends to the creation of a two-party system. This is called Duverger's Law.

Duverger's law - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In order to change the two-party system, the U.S. would have to change to some other voting system, such as Instant Run-off Voting. In some elections some states have tried to initiate IRV but they were challenged in the courts, and judges have struck them down for violating "One Man, One Vote," a concept that's pretty strong here in the U.S. In IRV, a person gets more than one vote, technically, which is why it gets struck down, but personally I think that's bull****.

One difference between the two-party system of the U.S., however, and the multi-party system of Europe and elsewhere is that in the U.S. there much less party unity. That is it is more allowable for a member of a party to vote against the platform of the party they belong to.

Take, for instance, the Blue Dogs, the faction of Democrats who are conservatives despite the Democratic Party being the leftist party. The Blue Dogs often vote against the rest of their party.

Another example is the Log Cabin Republicans, a faction in the rightist party that favors advocacy for homosexuals, such as gay marriage and gay adoption, which is generally opposed by the mainstream Republican Party.

This system allows much more "wriggle room" for politicians to personalize their platform in order to benefit their constituents.
 

Aunt Spiker

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It seems to me, through my observations on here, and of the media, that the biggest problem in American politics is the two party system, and I'm curious to know just how it is enshrined in law, is it on the constitution, and what would have to happen to get it revoked?

Yep - I agree. Though, as others pointed out, it's not written into the Constitution.

It's human nature to want to be part of a group - and the Republican and Democrat party simply take advantage of that and are shouldered together in their efforts to prevent other parties from taking any dominance. . .People are told that if you vote for someone other than a Dem or a Rep you're wasting your vote.

Our system shouldn't be set up that way - because very few people are happy with it and few people actually cleave 100% to their chosen parties beliefs and goals. I surely don't - thus - I will no longer vote for the traditional two - even if it means my vote never elects anyone into office.
 

rathi

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I would say that the biggest problem with our two party system is that you can win purely by bringing down your opponents. When you are the only other option, you only have to appear more attractive than your opponent. A few sleazy attack adds combined with sabotaging attempts by the other party to accomplish anything, and it isn't hard to make yourself look better.
 

Goobieman

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It seems to me, through my observations on here, and of the media, that the biggest problem in American politics is the two party system, and I'm curious to know just how it is enshrined in law, is it on the constitution, and what would have to happen to get it revoked?
Its not enshrined in law, and so there's no way to repeal it.
It exists because that's what's developed here, over time. Nothing necessitates it, other than its own intertia, and it is impossible to legally 'repeal', in any sense.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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Its an interesting thought, but how would it be implemented? There are thousand, if not tends of thousands of different viewpoints across the US. How do we ensure that they are all heard?

I think a minimum standard of membership should be established.
Maybe 100k verifiable party members.

I think it would curb district vote buying and really focus everything down to which ideas will work, instead of which party has the most money.
 

Hoplite

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I think a minimum standard of membership should be established.
Maybe 100k verifiable party members.

I think it would curb district vote buying and really focus everything down to which ideas will work, instead of which party has the most money.
Then I'd worry about it turning into a LFG chat. "Join my political party! I'll pay you $100!"

You're also still back to majority rules.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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Then I'd worry about it turning into a LFG chat. "Join my political party! I'll pay you $100!"

They kinda do that already through other means but for the sake of argument lets say it's made illegal, for now.

You're also still back to majority rules.

Ahh, this is where that is different.

A party only gets one seat or a predefined set of seats.
None more than what was originally designated, no matter how many additional members they get.
 

MKULTRABOY

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The US has had 5 party system changes in its history or so. Makes me wonder if another one is possible at this point.
 

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The US has had 5 party system changes in its history or so. Makes me wonder if another one is possible at this point.

But none of those party system changes has developed into a long lasting multi-party system. Instead, one of the two parties takes on the issue of the smaller third party, which results back into a two-party system.

If you are referring to the Tea Party Movement, it's happening already. Tea Party candidates aren't trying to develop their own political party to run against Democrats and Republicans. Rather, they are trying to take control of the mainstream GOP and purge the RNC of elements that don't agree with them. that would indeed be a change of our party system, but it won't fundamentally get rid of the 2-party system.
 

MKULTRABOY

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I wasnt really referring to the tea part but some sparkly -other- party system or some sortof fundamental shift in politics but that wouldnt occur barring some major cataclysm.
 

Aunt Spiker

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I wasnt really referring to the tea part but some sparkly -other- party system or some sortof fundamental shift in politics but that wouldnt occur barring some major cataclysm.

It often happens and that schism breaks free and remains their own separate entity - or is reabsorbed into one of the other parties. The Democratic party has split maybe 6
 

samsmart

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It often happens and that schism breaks free and remains their own separate entity - or is reabsorbed into one of the other parties. The Democratic party has split maybe 6

And the Republican Party has had it's splits as well. Take, for instance, the schisms between the Solid South, made up of former Dixiecrats, who joined it during the '60's and '70's and the Rockefeller Republicans from the Northeast.
 

Aunt Spiker

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And the Republican Party has had it's splits as well. Take, for instance, the schisms between the Solid South, made up of former Dixiecrats, who joined it during the '60's and '70's and the Rockefeller Republicans from the Northeast.

Exactly - it's happened a lot, and sometime it *stays split* but often it's reabsorbed.

The Tea Party, however - isn't an official split from the Reps, it's a movement that became more than that.
 
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