The two-party system (US)

HillsboroMom

Active member
The Republican Party seems to be imploding. The Democratic Party doesn't seem to be faring much better.

Should we get rid of the 2-party system? If so, how, and what should replace it?
 

vibise

Well-known member
I don't see much of a problem on the Dem side. They are a big tent and so there are internal factions that disagree on policy, but I would not call that an implosion.

On the right, however, the GOP is attempting to solidify itself as the Trumpublican Party, censuring Cindy McCain and the AZ Repub Gov for producing an accurate vote count, censuring Sasse for voting to impeach and attempting to remove Cheney from leadership for doing the same. And McCarthy had to make a pilgrimage to Mar-a-lago to smooth things over with Trump.
 

Authentic Nouveau

Well-known member

Claudia Tenney Declares Victory in NY-22 Congressional Race – Republicans Win All 27 House “Toss-Up” Races in 2020 Election


All means all.

So the dirty Dominion

Looks like Dominion Minions only worked on Biden votes and forgot to manipulate Congressional Ballots.
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
The Republican Party seems to be imploding. The Democratic Party doesn't seem to be faring much better.
FWIW, I see the problems in the two parties as completely different. The GOP is fighting to keep itself whole, despite the fact that it's values were tossed into the trash like last week's chicken. The Dems, on the other hand, have some division, but their bigger problem a lack of strong leadership as a whole; there are strong individuals, but the party seems weak.

Should we get rid of the 2-party system? If so, how, and what should replace it?
Well, if I had my druthers, I wouldn't get rid of the two party system; I'd simply find a way to remove money from elections. This by itself might remove some of the barriers to "third party" candidates...

We give corporations a lot of public money in this country; why don't we instead put some of it towards an election funding system.
 

vibise

Well-known member
FWIW, I see the problems in the two parties as completely different. The GOP is fighting to keep itself whole, despite the fact that it's values were tossed into the trash like last week's chicken. The Dems, on the other hand, have some division, but their bigger problem a lack of strong leadership as a whole; there are strong individuals, but the party seems weak.


Well, if I had my druthers, I wouldn't get rid of the two party system; I'd simply find a way to remove money from elections. This by itself might remove some of the barriers to "third party" candidates...

We give corporations a lot of public money in this country; why don't we instead put some of it towards an election funding system.
I agree about the need to get rid on money in politics. Not only does it corrupt the system, but Congressmen spend almost as much time fundraising as they do legislating.

Another way of removing barriers to third party candidates would be to institute ranked choice voting.
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
I agree about the need to get rid on money in politics. Not only does it corrupt the system, but Congressmen spend almost as much time fundraising as they do legislating.

Another way of removing barriers to third party candidates would be to institute ranked choice voting.
Yes! I'd forgotten about that option. It's a little complicated to understand at first, in terms of what kind of effects it'd have on elections, but the reading I've done on it makes it sound like a good idea.
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
Another way of removing barriers to third party candidates would be to institute ranked choice voting.
You reminded me that I'd voted for instituting it here in MA, during the 2020 elections - and I don't remember ever having found out what'd happened.

Unfortunately, even though this state is big on education, it still has conservative roots that resist change :(

 

Faithoverbelief

Well-known member
The Republican Party seems to be imploding. The Democratic Party doesn't seem to be faring much better.

Should we get rid of the 2-party system? If so, how, and what should replace it?
Yes, 2 things this country desperately needs and multiple parties is one of them. The other for the curious is term limits across the board.
 

vibise

Well-known member
You reminded me that I'd voted for instituting it here in MA, during the 2020 elections - and I don't remember ever having found out what'd happened.

Unfortunately, even though this state is big on education, it still has conservative roots that resist change :(

Well, this system is in place in Maine and Alaska and in some local jurisdictions. I think NYC will implement this in 2021. As more jurisdictions do this and the consequences are publicized, maybe more will adopt this system.
 

vibise

Well-known member
Yes, 2 things this country desperately needs and multiple parties is one of them. The other for the curious is term limits across the board.
I disagree with having term limits. I think that institutional memory is important, and if experienced legislators are booted out, we will end up with inexperienced newbies, who will not know their way around and will be more prone to accepting pre-written legislation from lobbyists, rather than being able to do this themselves. Corporate interests who support an army of lobbyists love the idea of term limits.

Also, if a talented and effective legislator is appreciated, why boot them out? In the private sector, valuable employees are retained and even promoted, right?

Finally, voters always have the option of voting out ineffective or objectionable office-holders. I recognize that incumbents have an edge, but election rules should minimize that edge. I would prefer this type of change to the arbitrary setting of term limits.
 

Faithoverbelief

Well-known member
I disagree with having term limits. I think that institutional memory is important, and if experienced legislators are booted out, we will end up with inexperienced newbies, who will not know their way around and will be more prone to accepting pre-written legislation from lobbyists, rather than being able to do this themselves. Corporate interests who support an army of lobbyists love the idea of term limits.

Also, if a talented and effective legislator is appreciated, why boot them out? In the private sector, valuable employees are retained and even promoted, right?

Finally, voters always have the option of voting out ineffective or objectionable office-holders. I recognize that incumbents have an edge, but election rules should minimize that edge. I would prefer this type of change to the arbitrary setting of term limits.
I will have to disagree. Term limits would ameliorate many of America's most serious political problems by counterbalancing incumbent advantages, ensuring congressional turnover, securing independent congressional judgment, and reducing election-related incentives for wasteful government spending.
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
Term limits are a valid point of contention. Retaining politicians keeps the brain-drain down to a minimum, but requiring them to go through a job-review process every few years ensures our representative democracy stays somewhat representative.

I wish congressmen/women had limits like the POTUS: 2 term maximum. Since the House members face re-election every two years, maybe they'd be limited to 6 terms. I dunno; doesn't seem like much of a change, does it...
 

wiseones2cents

Well-known member
I don't see much of a problem on the Dem side. They are a big tent and so there are internal factions that disagree on policy, but I would not call that an implosion.

On the right, however, the GOP is attempting to solidify itself as the Trumpublican Party, censuring Cindy McCain and the AZ Repub Gov for producing an accurate vote count, censuring Sasse for voting to impeach and attempting to remove Cheney from leadership for doing the same. And McCarthy had to make a pilgrimage to Mar-a-lago to smooth things over with Trump.
Just curious Vibise. What do you think would have happened had Trump won? Would the Antifa people have rioted all over the city, and how would be the democratic pundits response? We know NOW they would downplay it, but we all know the truth. It would be just as ugly....

Demcoracy is broken in America. I do agree we need to take big money out of politics though, Ive been saying it for 2 decades. Hilary Clinton also made a comment(minor lip service) about it(while laughing)......

I dont hear much talk about it anymore. I do see big monery trying to punish republicans into submission though.....
 

HillsboroMom

Active member
I also disagree with term limits.

I spent some time compiling a database of the previous congress. For each member, I recorded how many years they'd been in office, and a few non-partisan measures, such as how many bills they'd sponsored or co-sponsored (regardless of whether I thought the bill was "good" or "bad"), how many times they'd gotten bi-partisan or bi-marcerial (sp?) support, how many committees and/or subcommittees they served on, etc. Obviously, the longer you're in congress, the more of those things you should have. And even accounting for seniority (doing a "per year in office" score), overall those who had a "higher" score had been there longer, and those with a lower score were newbies.

Obviously, there are exceptions -- people who've been there forever and done almost nothing -- McConnell is towards the bottom of the list, even with a raw score, not weighted for seniority. And, AOC was towards the top, even though this was her first term. (In fact, my database is color-coded, blue and red, and there was more red at the bottom and more blue at the top, despite me going out of my way to find ways to avoid bias in the scoring.... IMHO more evidence that Republicans have gone down the tubes in the last 20, 40, 50 years).

Is there a problem with incumbents having a campaign advantage? Yes. And we need to address THAT problem. Handicapping the entire congress by booting members when they're just catching their stride, just because many abuse campaign financing, is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. And punishing the American People even more for the sins of the politicians.

Also, if we don't trust Americans to vote correctly, why are we trusting them to vote at all? One may be able to make the argument that the American people should not be trusted to make the right decision. Like I said, McConnell is Exhibit A. Trump is Exhibit B.

Term limits isn't the answer. If we don't trust the American people to vote correctly, then Democracy is already dead.
 

Faithoverbelief

Well-known member
I also disagree with term limits.

I spent some time compiling a database of the previous congress. For each member, I recorded how many years they'd been in office, and a few non-partisan measures, such as how many bills they'd sponsored or co-sponsored (regardless of whether I thought the bill was "good" or "bad"), how many times they'd gotten bi-partisan or bi-marcerial (sp?) support, how many committees and/or subcommittees they served on, etc. Obviously, the longer you're in congress, the more of those things you should have. And even accounting for seniority (doing a "per year in office" score), overall those who had a "higher" score had been there longer, and those with a lower score were newbies.

Obviously, there are exceptions -- people who've been there forever and done almost nothing -- McConnell is towards the bottom of the list, even with a raw score, not weighted for seniority. And, AOC was towards the top, even though this was her first term. (In fact, my database is color-coded, blue and red, and there was more red at the bottom and more blue at the top, despite me going out of my way to find ways to avoid bias in the scoring.... IMHO more evidence that Republicans have gone down the tubes in the last 20, 40, 50 years).

Is there a problem with incumbents having a campaign advantage? Yes. And we need to address THAT problem. Handicapping the entire congress by booting members when they're just catching their stride, just because many abuse campaign financing, is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. And punishing the American People even more for the sins of the politicians.

Also, if we don't trust Americans to vote correctly, why are we trusting them to vote at all? One may be able to make the argument that the American people should not be trusted to make the right decision. Like I said, McConnell is Exhibit A. Trump is Exhibit B.

Term limits isn't the answer. If we don't trust the American people to vote correctly, then Democracy is already dead.
I think with a 15% approval rating for Congress Americans are not making the right choices. The term limit I would like to see would be 12 years, long enough to make a difference but, short enough too cure some of the ills of the system.
 

Gus Bovona

Well-known member
The Republican Party seems to be imploding. The Democratic Party doesn't seem to be faring much better.

Should we get rid of the 2-party system? If so, how, and what should replace it?
There hasn't been some top-down, over-arching decision to have a 2-party system, so we can't really make some top-down, over-arching, global decision not to have it, unless you want to destroy the freedom of assembly, which is what a political party is based on: various individuals decide independently that they want to come together to agree to put forward candidates for public, agree on policies to pursue, etc. Other parties exist anyway, their just not powerful enough to have a significant influence (except sometimes, like Ross Perot in 1992).
 

vibise

Well-known member
Just curious Vibise. What do you think would have happened had Trump won? Would the Antifa people have rioted all over the city, and how would be the democratic pundits response? We know NOW they would downplay it, but we all know the truth. It would be just as ugly....

Demcoracy is broken in America. I do agree we need to take big money out of politics though, Ive been saying it for 2 decades. Hilary Clinton also made a comment(minor lip service) about it(while laughing)......

I dont hear much talk about it anymore. I do see big monery trying to punish republicans into submission though.....
Amazing that you think Dems would behave just like the GOP, without evidence of any kind.
People would surely have been upset had Trump won, and it would have been a disaster for the country, but violence is not a response, and no Dem has proposed that people commit violence for political purposes.

Democracy is indeed broken, and a start would be to take big money out of politics, but other steps would be to eliminate gerrymandering by having district lines drawn by independent commissions rather than the party in power, to rely on ranked choice voting, to strengthen the Voting Rights act to ensure that all Americans could easily vote, to rethink having the Electoral College decide Presidential elections, eliminate rules or traditions that make Congress dysfunction like allowing the Maj Leader of the Senate to be the sole arbitor of what gets put up for discussion and a vote, and allowing Senators to invoke the filibuster without actually filibustering, and give full voting and citizenship rights to the 700,000 people living in DC.
 

wiseones2cents

Well-known member
Amazing that you think Dems would behave just like the GOP, without evidence of any kind.
People would surely have been upset had Trump won, and it would have been a disaster for the country, but violence is not a response, and no Dem has proposed that people commit violence for political purposes.

Democracy is indeed broken, and a start would be to take big money out of politics, but other steps would be to eliminate gerrymandering by having district lines drawn by independent commissions rather than the party in power, to rely on ranked choice voting, to strengthen the Voting Rights act to ensure that all Americans could easily vote, to rethink having the Electoral College decide Presidential elections, eliminate rules or traditions that make Congress dysfunction like allowing the Maj Leader of the Senate to be the sole arbitor of what gets put up for discussion and a vote, and allowing Senators to invoke the filibuster without actually filibustering, and give full voting and citizenship rights to the 700,000 people living in DC.
No evidence? LOL They rioted and vandalized in seattle when Biden was inaugurated? How much worse wouldl it have been if he lost?lol


WHAT??? Politicians and celebrities were encouraging them to riot. Your losing credibility here....

I agree there needs reform ASAP. And agree with most of what you stated. Though do we need a majority leader or a bi-partisan leader to lead the senate? I think we need a centralist. After they debate to see what is eligable for voting.

If the majority leader alone decides, then there will be a lot of voters without representation in government as far as what is up for discussion. What do you think?
 

HillsboroMom

Active member
I think with a 15% approval rating for Congress Americans are not making the right choices. The term limit I would like to see would be 12 years, long enough to make a difference but, short enough too cure some of the ills of the system.
If you did that, you would be kicking out 76 representatives, or 20% of the house. Of those 76 reps, 54 are above the median score. So you're basically removing all of the "good" representatives and leaving all of the chaff. (Remember, these scores have nothing to do with partisanship and are weighted for experience.)

The senate fares even worse. You'd lose 36% of them, and 61% of the top fifth effective (both democratic and republican).

A parable:

Let's say there's a school that is having a major problem with cheating. At this particular school, for every exam, the student is allowed to take it as many times as they want, and there is no rule that says they can't bring in prior exams that have already been graded. Of course pretty much EVERY student is going to do that. I mean, why not? If every student does it, any student who doesn't do it is going to be at a severe disadvantage. And they're going to keep taking each exam until they get 100%, right?

Now, the students who have been at the school the longest are obviously going to have more of an advantage than the students who have just started. If you've been at that school for 10 years, you've got 10 years of exams to pull from, whereas the students who are just starting don't have anything, right?

Well, the result of this practice means that some of the students really aren't learning the material. They're just guessing at each answer, and if they have to take the test 4-5 times until they get it right, they just do that. But of course there are students who are learning. They might take the exam multiple times, but they're also learning the material. Some of them get good grades, and just take it over again to get a higher score. Some don't test well. Some (like me) learn best by doing, not by being lectured, so taking exams is a good way of learning. Whatever. The point is, some are good students, despite this "cheating" practice, and some are bad students, regardless of this "cheating" practice. (It's not really "cheating" because it's not against the rules.)

Now let's say the school wants to weed out the students who aren't learning the material, and just keep the students who are good.

Which action do you think would be most effective to get the result the school desires:
  1. Expel all students who have been at the school for more than 3 years, thereby limiting the number of tests they can "cheat" off of.
  2. Changing the tests to eliminate the advantage of using past tests
  3. Changing the rules to make cheating not allowed.
I think you'd agree that #1 would be silly and unhelpful -- it would kick students out who might be good students, and leave behind students who might not be very good. #2 and #3 would both be reasonable options.

Another parable:

Let's say you start working at a job. You happen to be really good at the job. You start on the same day as another person. That person isn't so good. You get better at the job, and this other person gets worse.

After one year, your boss fires you both, and hires two other people. The only reason your boss gives you for firing you is that the work your boss has seen has been sub-par, so rather than rate you and your co-worker separately, your boss is just firing you both and starting over again.

Is this going to give your boss the results he or she needs?

Setting up term limits does not weed out "good" lawmakers. It basically punishes the American population by removing some of our best lawmakers for no other reason than they're using the rules the way they're designed to be used, and using them well.

Campaign finances need to be amended. Incumbents have an unfair advantage. This is true. Kicking out the person who's in there, just because they're the incumbent, and for no other reason, and replacing them with someone who may or may not be any better, is absolutely ludicrous. Let's get rid of the bad ones.

And if we need to get rid of democracy in order to do that, then that's what we get rid of. Not the good lawmakers.
 

HillsboroMom

Active member
Amazing that you think Dems would behave just like the GOP, without evidence of any kind.
Antifa are not Democrats.

I am neither Antifa nor Democrat, but I can tell you that Antifa do not represent Democrats in any way, shape, or form.

Antifa rioted before Trump lost the election, and had he won, there is no reason to think they would have stopped rioting. They will probably riot under Biden when he isn't liberal enough for them.

I don't think they're quite as dangerous as the Proud Boys and other right-wing groups, but make no mistake: they are an extremist group with extreme ideas, just like Proud Boys and QAnon are extremists within Republicans, and don't represent a majority of Republicans.


People would surely have been upset had Trump won, and it would have been a disaster for the country, but violence is not a response, and no Dem has proposed that people commit violence for political purposes.
Violence is a response. It's not one mainstream Democrats advocate, nor mainstream Republicans.

What is happening in both parties right now is that the mainstreams of both parties are trying to walk a thin line. They don't like the violence their extremists commit, but they rely on the votes. They can't completely disenfranchise those people, but they need to reject those ideas.

Democracy is indeed broken, and a start would be to take big money out of politics, but other steps would be to eliminate gerrymandering by having district lines drawn by independent commissions rather than the party in power, to rely on ranked choice voting, to strengthen the Voting Rights act to ensure that all Americans could easily vote, to rethink having the Electoral College decide Presidential elections, eliminate rules or traditions that make Congress dysfunction like allowing the Maj Leader of the Senate to be the sole arbitor of what gets put up for discussion and a vote, and allowing Senators to invoke the filibuster without actually filibustering, and give full voting and citizenship rights to the 700,000 people living in DC.
This are all good ideas.
 
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