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Old 14th June 2008, 12:54 AM   #1
IchabodPlain
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Americans, What Would You Like to Change About Your (Political) Parties?

Alright, I've been an Independent most of my life (before recently changing to Republican), mostly because I'm split on the issues between them (I tend to be socially and economically liberal).

Example:
Democrats are protectionist on trade
Republicans are fence builders

Now that I am affiliated to the Republican Party, I feel it is totally my place to lay out what I would change about the party.

1. I am completely disgusted with the compassionate conservative/evangelical wing of the party. I understand the logic behind playing to them to get "value" votes, but most evangelicals are big government when it comes to economic issues, which divides the Party -- especially now that it's transparent that they aren't going to overturn Roe v. Wade. Is a constitutional amendement banning gay marriage and vacuous rhetoric about abortion enough to keep these voters from changing Parties?

2. I wish to high hell that the Republican Party of today would remember the lasting lesson of the bearer of my sig and reclaim the conservative = conservation on environmental and energy issues. McCain has done a better job of this than most, but the environmental movement of today is much different from the movement in the 70's, in that it has found the way to make conservation economical as well. Environmentally friendly, and energy-efficient products are making their way into consumer purchases at a growing rate and it is the perfect opportunity to seize upon this with a government policy that sees us importing more fuel-efficient cars (in the US we have two 40mpg cars on the market as of 2007, compared with over 100 in Europe), and offering tax deductions for energy-star rated purchases.

But this leads me to wonder; what would you change about the Major Political Parties in the US?

For background:
http://www.democrats.org/a/2005/09/the_2004_democr.php
http://www.gop.com/images/2004platform.pdf
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Old 14th June 2008, 01:37 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by IchabodPlain View Post
Alright, I've been an Independent most of my life (before recently changing to Republican), mostly because I'm split on the issues between them (I tend to be socially and economically liberal).
Not to derail, but if you're economically and socially liberal, why are you a republican? I think the dems are fairly obviously more socially liberal and it's arguable big-government-wise but I think they're the more liberal economically of the two.
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Old 14th June 2008, 02:03 AM   #3
IchabodPlain
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Originally Posted by quixotecoyote View Post
Not to derail, but if you're economically and socially liberal, why are you a republican? I think the dems are fairly obviously more socially liberal and it's arguable big-government-wise but I think they're the more liberal economically of the two.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_liberalism

ETA: I suppose I am using an arcane version of liberalism to describe myself.
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Old 14th June 2008, 03:19 AM   #4
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Call me a stary-eyed idealist, but what I would most like to change about both is their god-awful (good term!) must-win attitude. There are times when the pendulum swings, and to insist on winning above all else when the pendulum is not in your yard is not only a classic fail but a guaranteed lose of integrity in the effort. There is much to be said about a loyal opposition and grace in loosing that the parties need to take to heart. Yes, that means that some political careers have to go into eclipse at times, and perhaps there will be more turnover of experienced politicians as against those who are not so experienced in beltway politics, but I don't think that is an evil thing.

Every novelist who mentions about Washington in the periphery of his writing does so, as far as I can determine, citing the absolute corruption , the cynicism and basically hateful way of the area. No one sees elected government service as a healthy environment, and I don't think that's right.

As I said, an idealist, but you asked. I'd sure like to see the high road once in a while. Neither party appears capable of it.
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Old 14th June 2008, 03:32 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by IchabodPlain View Post
2. I wish to high hell that the Republican Party of today would remember the lasting lesson of the bearer of my sig and reclaim the conservative = conservation on environmental and energy issues. McCain has done a better job of this than most, but the environmental movement of today is much different from the movement in the 70's, in that it has found the way to make conservation economical as well.
There was a time, in the administrations of Eisenhower and Nixon (heaven help me) that environmentalism wasn't a nastified word like "liberal" was made to be. Both of those worthies supported conservation efforts - they extended funding of National Parks, they invested in scientific research on alternatives, even though the requirement that they do so (mainly OPEC and oil-countries' economic solidarity) was not yet a glimmer. The Kennedy, Johnson and Carter administrations further promoted conservation and research. Only when Reagan was elected was that research and environmental support deemed to be anti-business, and unworthy of government support. As much as I like a lot of what Reagan did, his turn-around of emphasis on this one point set the country's efforts to become energy independent back almost 30 years now, and set the gold standard for the Republican party. Conservation and research was equated with wasteful Liberals, and the rest is history.

In a person anecdote, I was working in solar energy at the time (Carter administration) for a major aerospace firm. They (the industrial side of the M-I complex) were competing to create pilot solar power plants and doing practical engineering research. They had four major contracts - one with Spain, the rest in the US - and a plethora of IRADs (Independent Research and Development projects) in work. In the months after Reagan won election the word was being passed that there would not be any follow-on work after them. All the IRADs dried up as the company read the writing on he wall. The projects were delivered, and the company division closed down. The largest project, placed in Dagget, CA was run for 5 years, and then decommissioned as economically non-feasible by the customer. And they were right, it was, but then it was a pilot project - and it went to no avail. http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=3...14269&t=k&z=16

So I agree with you, Ichabod, on that count (actually on the other as well, but I'm still an independent, so I'll not lean on that). Great thread.

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Old 14th June 2008, 06:58 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by IchabodPlain View Post
But this leads me to wonder; what would you change about the Major Political Parties in the US?

I would introduce a regulation into the "Communications Act of 2008" that instructs the obligation to air a balanced share of political ads during elections from all parties in the United States, prohibiting commercialization of election-ads that does nothing but limiting the democratic process and swepts third parties under the commercial carpet.

After all, there is a reason why so many feel they have to choose between the lesser of two evils - and this reason is that the big 2 parties, as you pointed out, are devided based on their inner wings - and the third parties are pretty much ridiculed. So many people end up like you: "I have no real choice".

Also the Delegate-system and nomination-process is completely out of date. Presidential candidates should register ONCE at federal level if they choose to run - and after that they should be on all states ballots automatically without having trouble with stupid individual state-election laws, which is nothing but chicanery anyway.

And voters shouldn't have to register to a party to vote. They should be registered automatically to vote for whatever party they like, for example via their social security card/-number.
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Old 14th June 2008, 07:08 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
I would introduce a regulation into the "Communications Act of 2008" that instructs the obligation to air a balanced share of political ads during elections from all parties in the United States, prohibiting commercialization of election-ads that does nothing but limiting the democratic process and swepts third parties under the commercial carpet.

After all, there is a reason why so many feel they have to choose between the lesser of two evils - and this reason is that the big 2 parties, as you pointed out, are devided based on their inner wings - and the third parties are pretty much ridiculed. So many people end up like you: "I have no real choice".

Also the Delegate-system and nomination-process is completely out of date. Presidential candidates should register ONCE at federal level if they choose to run - and after that they should be on all states ballots automatically without having trouble with stupid individual state-election laws, which is nothing but chicanery anyway.

And voters shouldn't have to register to a party to vote. They should be registered automatically to vote for whatever party they like, for example via their social security card/-number.
Sorry Oliver, please try to stay on the topic. this is about what you would change about the political parties, not how you would rewrite the Constitution to make Ron Paul leader for life.
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Old 14th June 2008, 01:16 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
I would introduce a regulation into the "Communications Act of 2008" that instructs the obligation to air a balanced share of political ads during elections from all parties in the United States, prohibiting commercialization of election-ads that does nothing but limiting the democratic process and swepts third parties under the commercial carpet.
You mean, you'd amend the constitution to remove Freedom of the Press?

Quote:
After all, there is a reason why so many feel they have to choose between the lesser of two evils - and this reason is that the big 2 parties, as you pointed out, are devided based on their inner wings - and the third parties are pretty much ridiculed. So many people end up like you: "I have no real choice".
Well, when they present an attractive neough pattern to enough people, they have a choice. Until then, I will just note that Americans unlike Europeans tend to vote by the one element in the party they like. Also, for third parties to really work, we'd need a Parlimentary System.

Quote:
Also the Delegate-system and nomination-process is completely out of date. Presidential candidates should register ONCE at federal level if they choose to run - and after that they should be on all states ballots automatically without having trouble with stupid individual state-election laws, which is nothing but chicanery anyway.
Sorry, there's this principle called federalism. In addition, it would require rewritting the Constitution

(As for delegateS? That's up to the individual party. Fail.)

Quote:
And voters shouldn't have to register to a party to vote. They should be registered automatically to vote for whatever party they like, for example via their social security card/-number.
They don't have to in national elections.


Now, for what I'd change about the Democratic Party

1. I'd not have them so paranoid of big buisness. Sometimes, it's entirely right to suspect multinationals, but they take it to an absurd edge. (Or, yes, companies like Enron exist, but we shouldn't suspect say, General Motors of doing the same thing without evidence.)

2. GROW A SPINE.

3. Stop being so paranoid of nuclear power. Both times something went wrong were minor, and Chernobyl was when they disarmed every safeguard system ever. If you modernize our reactors, and add more, we wouldn't be so dependent on coal and oil.

4. Look, I realize things can go badly wrong with offshore oil. But can you at least give a reason besides 'it hurts the environment'? Most oil companies now have a vested interest in not doing that - the fines are large.

5. Re 2: If you want to get rid of the Patriot Act.. stop the war.. other things.. take the appeal to the people in more than just empty rhetoric by TRYING. Sure, Bush and the Republicans may vote it down. But if you try, you might just get a bit more approval, and you at least tried.
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Old 14th June 2008, 06:43 PM   #9
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How about both parties stop wasting time in Congress? They screw around with ******** instead of legislation, take vacations way too often, and ignore important issues all the while taking pot shots at one another like it is the end goal of a congressman to belittle the other side.
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Old 14th June 2008, 07:56 PM   #10
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I saw this as, "What would you change about your panties?"
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Old 14th June 2008, 08:02 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Tokorona View Post
1. I'd not have them so paranoid of big buisness. Sometimes, it's entirely right to suspect multinationals, but they take it to an absurd edge. (Or, yes, companies like Enron exist, but we shouldn't suspect say, General Motors of doing the same thing without evidence.)
The market reduced thier debts to junk bond status at one point. I'm not sure that is a good sign.
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Old 14th June 2008, 08:07 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Policenaut View Post
How about both parties stop wasting time in Congress? They screw around with ******** instead of legislation, take vacations way too often, and ignore important issues all the while taking pot shots at one another like it is the end goal of a congressman to belittle the other side.
It is. Those short 2 year terms mean that the spend the vast majority of the time in campain mode and the system of checks and blances means that taking pot shots and passing feelgood motions has a better risk reward ratio than trying to pass serious legislation.
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Old 15th June 2008, 11:09 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by shadron View Post
Call me a stary-eyed idealist, but what I would most like to change about both is their god-awful (good term!) must-win attitude. There are times when the pendulum swings, and to insist on winning above all else when the pendulum is not in your yard is not only a classic fail but a guaranteed lose of integrity in the effort. There is much to be said about a loyal opposition and grace in loosing that the parties need to take to heart. Yes, that means that some political careers have to go into eclipse at times, and perhaps there will be more turnover of experienced politicians as against those who are not so experienced in beltway politics, but I don't think that is an evil thing.

Every novelist who mentions about Washington in the periphery of his writing does so, as far as I can determine, citing the absolute corruption , the cynicism and basically hateful way of the area. No one sees elected government service as a healthy environment, and I don't think that's right.

As I said, an idealist, but you asked. I'd sure like to see the high road once in a while. Neither party appears capable of it.
[idealist]

It isn't so much that I want the parties not to adopt a must-win attitude, so much as I want them to recognize and admit failures, and say "Hey, I screwed up.". I am fine with the competition, I just want integrity.

[idealist/]


Quote:
In a person anecdote, I was working in solar energy at the time (Carter administration) for a major aerospace firm. They (the industrial side of the M-I complex) were competing to create pilot solar power plants and doing practical engineering research. They had four major contracts - one with Spain, the rest in the US - and a plethora of IRADs (Independent Research and Development projects) in work. In the months after Reagan won election the word was being passed that there would not be any follow-on work after them. All the IRADs dried up as the company read the writing on he wall. The projects were delivered, and the company division closed down. The largest project, placed in Dagget, CA was run for 5 years, and then decommissioned as economically non-feasible by the customer. And they were right, it was, but then it was a pilot project - and it went to no avail. http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=3...14269&t=k&z=16
Cool. I completely agree with your assessment of Reagan. I liked much of his economic policy but his stance on the environment (and the WoD) was appalling.

I am half-tempted to start a solar power thread now, but I'll save it for another time.
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Old 15th June 2008, 11:26 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Policenaut View Post
How about both parties stop wasting time in Congress? They screw around with ******** instead of legislation, take vacations way too often, and ignore important issues all the while taking pot shots at one another like it is the end goal of a congressman to belittle the other side.
What you want to do is change how VOTERS think, not how the parties work.
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Old 15th June 2008, 11:27 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Tokorona View Post
Well, when they present an attractive neough pattern to enough people, they have a choice. Until then, I will just note that Americans unlike Europeans tend to vote by the one element in the party they like. Also, for third parties to really work, we'd need a Parlimentary System.
I know you were responding to someone else, but I wanted to avoid Parliamentary discussion. Primarily, my reasoning is it is a lot easier to change the party than it is to change the system.
Quote:

1. I'd not have them so paranoid of big buisness. Sometimes, it's entirely right to suspect multinationals, but they take it to an absurd edge. (Or, yes, companies like Enron exist, but we shouldn't suspect say, General Motors of doing the same thing without evidence.)
That is probably the #1 thing I would like to see change in the Democratic Party. It's an easy vote-getter to blame big, bad corporations for all of our woes, but I think it is vitally destructive. For one, they usually aren't usually the evil culprit they are made out to be, but I also think it gives people an excuse to feel powerless. "Oh, there's nothing I can do about the price of gas, exxon and GM made it so. They fixed the price so they could make profits".


Quote:
2. GROW A SPINE.
Heh.

Quote:
3. Stop being so paranoid of nuclear power. Both times something went wrong were minor, and Chernobyl was when they disarmed every safeguard system ever. If you modernize our reactors, and add more, we wouldn't be so dependent on coal and oil.


4. Look, I realize things can go badly wrong with offshore oil. But can you at least give a reason besides 'it hurts the environment'? Most oil companies now have a vested interest in not doing that - the fines are large.

Yes, definitely.

Quote:
5. Re 2: If you want to get rid of the Patriot Act.. stop the war.. other things.. take the appeal to the people in more than just empty rhetoric by TRYING. Sure, Bush and the Republicans may vote it down. But if you try, you might just get a bit more approval, and you at least tried.
Wow, Tokorona, we are 5 for 5 here . The only thing I would add is that I dislike the protectionist stance on trade by many Democrats. Trade strengthens ties between allies (or would-be allies) and improves the standard of living for the countries involved, even if it causes some short-term harm at home.
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Old 15th June 2008, 12:53 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Tokorona View Post
Well, when they present an attractive neough pattern to enough people, they have a choice. Until then, I will just note that Americans unlike Europeans tend to vote by the one element in the party they like. Also, for third parties to really work, we'd need a Parlimentary System.
No you'd need proportional representation, that's a completely different thing.
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Old 15th June 2008, 05:05 PM   #17
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The way Congress works, I'm not sure that'd work without a change or reason to work together.

IchabodPlain: After seeing the wreck NAFTA and other freetrade deals have made of several fields? I feel a limited protectionism policy is worth it. But yes, the edge they talk that.. *sighs*

In any case, yeah. I don't get the congressional dems at all at times. If they ran on this platform, why don't they just do it?
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Old 16th June 2008, 05:27 AM   #18
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The parties.
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Old 16th June 2008, 08:13 AM   #19
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Old 16th June 2008, 10:20 AM   #20
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Old 16th June 2008, 10:52 AM   #21
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I just want a party that socially liberal and fiscally conservative, and that gives two (bleeps) about civil liberties.
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Old 16th June 2008, 12:49 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by jj View Post
I just want a party that socially liberal and fiscally conservative, and that gives two (bleeps) about civil liberties.
You mean what the Libertarian Party SHOULD be?
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Old 16th June 2008, 11:18 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Mister Agenda View Post
You mean what the Libertarian Party SHOULD be?
Socially liberal implies things like healthcare, firemen, policemen, an army, and welfare for those who can not work.

So no, it's hardly a libertarian position.
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Old 17th June 2008, 02:51 PM   #24
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Well, I'm not a member of any party; but I'm probably closest to the Libertarians, so what I'd like to see for the LP:
1) Stop pandering to fringe nutjobs.
2) Ditch the ridiculous revolutionist attitude, and move to a gradualist position, focussing on the battles that are winnable now, and save the grand schemes for the future when you actually have the ability and support for them. Stop driving away your supporters with this all-or-nothing nonsense.
3) Stop pandering to fringe nutjobs.
4) Get some candidates who actually have some political savvy, and a realistic idea about how the world works. Harry Browne was a decent candidate; but he was the last decent candidate you idiots managed to produce. Stop driving away your supporters with moonbat nominees.
5) Stop pandering to fringe nutjobs.
6) Repeat after me: "Minarchist, not Anarchist", "Independence, not Isolationism", "Constitutional test for all proposals, even your own", and "Progress is made in small steps in a focussed direction, not great leaps at random".
7) STOP PANDERING TO *#!&$*ING FRINGE NUTJOBS! No single-issue idiots, no drooling potheads, no whacko tax protesters, no anarcho-capitalists, no radical Randroids, no conspiracy-theorist moonbats; no extremists of any sort, regardless. You don't need them, and they'll only hurt your cause in the long run.
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Old 18th June 2008, 12:18 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by luchog View Post
Well, I'm not a member of any party; but I'm probably closest to the Libertarians, so what I'd like to see for the LP:
1) Stop pandering to fringe nutjobs.
2) Ditch the ridiculous revolutionist attitude, and move to a gradualist position, focussing on the battles that are winnable now, and save the grand schemes for the future when you actually have the ability and support for them. Stop driving away your supporters with this all-or-nothing nonsense.
3) Stop pandering to fringe nutjobs.
4) Get some candidates who actually have some political savvy, and a realistic idea about how the world works. Harry Browne was a decent candidate; but he was the last decent candidate you idiots managed to produce. Stop driving away your supporters with moonbat nominees.
5) Stop pandering to fringe nutjobs.
6) Repeat after me: "Minarchist, not Anarchist", "Independence, not Isolationism", "Constitutional test for all proposals, even your own", and "Progress is made in small steps in a focussed direction, not great leaps at random".
7) STOP PANDERING TO *#!&$*ING FRINGE NUTJOBS! No single-issue idiots, no drooling potheads, no whacko tax protesters, no anarcho-capitalists, no radical Randroids, no conspiracy-theorist moonbats; no extremists of any sort, regardless. You don't need them, and they'll only hurt your cause in the long run.
Absolutely. I often find myself being asked "so, are you a libertarian?" because of some of my political views, and I always have to disassociate myself with libertarians; mostly because they're such fringe nutjobs!

Abolish the FDA? What?
Abolish the Dept of Education? Huh?
Abolish the National Parks System? Go to the corner.

If the libertarian movement was much more moderate, I might possibly support them.
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Old 18th June 2008, 04:50 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by IchabodPlain View Post
But this leads me to wonder; what would you change about the Major Political Parties in the US?
Being a closet green, I'd only invite strippers who have not been surgically adjusted to my political parties.

My major political parties tend to be when we have some of the guys over and shoot at pictures of politicians with BB guns in the back yard, burn some meat on the grill, and suck down beer and whiskey.

That's a political party more folks can enjoy.
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Old 18th June 2008, 05:38 AM   #27
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Americans, What Would You Like to Change About Your Parties?

More chicks makin' out with other chicks. That wasn't in vogue when I was a teenager or in college.

I missed out on life, man!
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Old 18th June 2008, 10:20 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by jj View Post
I just want a party that socially liberal and fiscally conservative, and that gives two (bleeps) about civil liberties.
That in the fewest words possible is what I would like also. I would also like a party that is not dominated by lust for wars in the middle east.

My wild ass guess is that such a party would manage to get about 20% of the vote nationally and it might get as much as 40% of the vote around here (In a race with the Republicans and the Democrats).

Today neither Republican nor the Democratic Party is a very close fit for someone with those ideas. The Republican Party has betrayed fiscal conservatives to advance their corporate cronyism, fiscal irresponsibility and lust for war. The Republican Party continues to try to attract the fiscal conservatives with hypocritical rhetoric but the anti-science, pro-war, fiscally irresponsible wing of the Republican Party now dominates. Today, the Republican Party is not necessarily a better fit for the secular, economic conservative, social liberal/moderate portion of the electorate than the Democratic Party is.

While there are elements of the Democratic Party that appeal to voters like me, in my view, the country would be poorly served if the Democrats get enough power to fully implement the worst of their ideas. And for awhile, that is very likely to happen given the abandonment of anything resembling good governance by the Republicans over the last seven years or so.

Last edited by davefoc; 18th June 2008 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 18th June 2008, 12:38 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by davefoc View Post
I would also like a party that is not dominated by lust for wars in the middle east.
Being attacked by al Qaeda tends to bring that out in us. Now if we weren't so dependent on oil in the mid-east, I think things would greatly improve if we left them alone to implode with their dark-ages mentality. I think we should drill offshore while transitioning to clean alternative fuels. Today you can modify a Lincoln Continental so that it gets 100 mpg, has twice the horsepower, is 80% cleaner, and runs on a wide variety of fuels. (http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/...tml?page=0%2C0)

Somehow we live in a strange alternate reality where ideas like this are not immediately adopted.

Originally Posted by davefoc View Post
The Republican Party continues to try to attract the fiscal conservatives with hypocritical rhetoric but the anti-science, pro-war, fiscally irresponsible wing of the Republican Party now dominates. Today, the Republican Party is not necessarily a better fit for the secular, economic conservative, social liberal/moderate portion of the electorate than the Democratic Party is.
I agree in part with what you say, but the Democratic Party doesn't attract the secular, economic conservative either.

Originally Posted by davefoc View Post
While there are elements of the Democratic Party that appeal to voters like me, in my view, the country would be poorly served if the Democrats get enough power to fully implement the worst of their ideas. And for awhile, that is very likely to happen given the abandonment of anything resembling good governance by the Republicans over the last seven years or so.
I agree with what you say about the Republicans, that they have not lived up to their smaller government hype at all. But I do not see them as obsessed with war in the mideast. There was a cause (9/11), which is followed by a response (war in the mid-east). Yes, we went to Iraq too, perhaps for the wrong reason, if you just look at the WMD issue, and don't consider that any WMD had been trucked to Syria before the attack (They did trace a LOT of nerve gas that was going to be used against Jordan from militants in Syria to Iraq. Naturally this received little press.) Or perhaps for the right reasons if you consider there might have been a larger strategic plan for the mid-east. Iraq would certainly have been working against us, and by being in Iraq we are close to a lot of potential enemies, like Syria, Iran, and militants from Saudi Arabia.
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Old 18th June 2008, 12:43 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by luchog View Post
Well, I'm not a member of any party; but I'm probably closest to the Libertarians, so what I'd like to see for the LP:
1) Stop pandering to fringe nutjobs.
2) Ditch the ridiculous revolutionist attitude, and move to a gradualist position, focussing on the battles that are winnable now, and save the grand schemes for the future when you actually have the ability and support for them. Stop driving away your supporters with this all-or-nothing nonsense.
3) Stop pandering to fringe nutjobs.
4) Get some candidates who actually have some political savvy, and a realistic idea about how the world works. Harry Browne was a decent candidate; but he was the last decent candidate you idiots managed to produce. Stop driving away your supporters with moonbat nominees.
5) Stop pandering to fringe nutjobs.
6) Repeat after me: "Minarchist, not Anarchist", "Independence, not Isolationism", "Constitutional test for all proposals, even your own", and "Progress is made in small steps in a focussed direction, not great leaps at random".
7) STOP PANDERING TO *#!&$*ING FRINGE NUTJOBS! No single-issue idiots, no drooling potheads, no whacko tax protesters, no anarcho-capitalists, no radical Randroids, no conspiracy-theorist moonbats; no extremists of any sort, regardless. You don't need them, and they'll only hurt your cause in the long run.

I agree with this 100%. The "Libertarian Party" as it exists today takes what I feel are noble ideals to such ridiculous extremes that they have become a laughing stock.
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Old 18th June 2008, 01:21 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by luchog View Post
Well, I'm not a member of any party; but I'm probably closest to the Libertarians, so what I'd like to see for the LP:
1) Stop pandering to fringe nutjobs.
2) Ditch the ridiculous revolutionist attitude, and move to a gradualist position, focussing on the battles that are winnable now, and save the grand schemes for the future when you actually have the ability and support for them. Stop driving away your supporters with this all-or-nothing nonsense.
3) Stop pandering to fringe nutjobs.
4) Get some candidates who actually have some political savvy, and a realistic idea about how the world works. Harry Browne was a decent candidate; but he was the last decent candidate you idiots managed to produce. Stop driving away your supporters with moonbat nominees.
5) Stop pandering to fringe nutjobs.
6) Repeat after me: "Minarchist, not Anarchist", "Independence, not Isolationism", "Constitutional test for all proposals, even your own", and "Progress is made in small steps in a focussed direction, not great leaps at random".
7) STOP PANDERING TO *#!&$*ING FRINGE NUTJOBS! No single-issue idiots, no drooling potheads, no whacko tax protesters, no anarcho-capitalists, no radical Randroids, no conspiracy-theorist moonbats; no extremists of any sort, regardless. You don't need them, and they'll only hurt your cause in the long run.
You mean there's anything to the party besides fringe nutjobs?

I mean I really love the theoretical principles behind the Libertarian party, but they're really absolutely insane as it stands.

This page kinda illustrates the problem:

http://www.lp.org/issues/taxes

Cut taxes? Okay.
Eliminate a lot of wasted military spending? Sure.
Privatize the few industries our government still owns? I can buy it.
No bailouts? Sounds good to me.
Cut welfare because private charities do a better job? Uh, not what the evidence says.
Rich welfare workers? What? This is insane.
Abolish the income tax? Man, that be some good weed you're smoking.
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Old 18th June 2008, 03:56 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by jj View Post
Socially liberal implies things like healthcare, firemen, policemen, an army, and welfare for those who can not work.

So no, it's hardly a libertarian position.
To the best of my knowledge, libertarians are not against having firemen, police, or a military (or healthcare for that matter, but I'm sure you mean publicly funded healthcare)...are you sure you're not thinking of anarchists? We want people who can not work supported as well, we just don't think the welfare system is the best way to do it.

Socially liberal and fiscally conservative is usually taken to mean one wants government, as much as is feasible, out of both people's private lives and their pockets. Sounds pretty libertarian to me.

It's your view so you get to do the interpretation, just pointing out how I could think differently.
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Old 18th June 2008, 04:00 PM   #33
Mister Agenda
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Originally Posted by GreyICE View Post
You mean there's anything to the party besides fringe nutjobs?

I mean I really love the theoretical principles behind the Libertarian party, but they're really absolutely insane as it stands.

This page kinda illustrates the problem:

http://www.lp.org/issues/taxes

Cut taxes? Okay.
Eliminate a lot of wasted military spending? Sure.
Privatize the few industries our government still owns? I can buy it.
No bailouts? Sounds good to me.
Cut welfare because private charities do a better job? Uh, not what the evidence says.
Rich welfare workers? What? This is insane.
Abolish the income tax? Man, that be some good weed you're smoking.
Moderation does seem to be anathema to the LP. It's like our principles have to be followed to the ultimate extreme to be valid.
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Old 19th June 2008, 10:15 AM   #34
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I would like them to be made of a more lightweight, but still breathable material, with some stretch to them.
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Old 19th June 2008, 12:38 PM   #35
luchog
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Originally Posted by GreyICE View Post
You mean there's anything to the party besides fringe nutjobs?
Not much these days, no; which is why I no longer support them, at least on the national level. The local LP hasn't gone completely bats**t yet; but some of them could stand to put down the bong once in a while.

My sentiments have been echoed by the vast majority of the self-described libertarians I know; but too many of them still insist on voting for the LP just so that it retains a semblance of viability (despite the fact that it really has none).
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Old 5th September 2008, 12:43 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by IchabodPlain View Post
Alright, I've been an Independent most of my life
Like you I have no party. We share a lot of sentiment's tho' perhaps you are more socially liberal than I am. I have always been independent, I have an affinity philosophically for libertarianism, but the ALP are 50% nutjobs and I have suspicions about the other 50%.

The Dems aren't liberal at all except in the "new liberalism", social liberalism sense. If the US didn't have a bugaboo about the term the Dem party would be called the Social Democratic party, something like the UK Labour party. Liberalism is something quite different.
====
What would I change ?

Almost everything. I would like Dems to provide a more serious, less anti-free-market approach to fiscal policy and cut out the class-envy and tax pandering baloney. It's illogical to be pro-worker and anti-employer. I'd like the Reps to ignore the religious and especially anti-science zealots, curb their proclivity to use the military, and take a hard look at the bill of rights beyond the 2nd amendment. I'd like both to stop using Federal money as a pandering tool. That Reps are too far in bed with large-cap business is true, but the Dems are virtual poodles to the legal profession and unions ((see opensecrets.org)).

The only solution that I can imagine is the creation of a significant 3rd party.

If we had a 3rd party with even 5-8% of house & senate seats, (assuming there was no majority) then every issue would have to be negotiated; a compromise. Anyone who has been involved in negotiations realizes that you do NOT try to get the negotiation down to only one issue, since at that point there is no other thing left to bargain with. This is similar to what seems to happen in Congress - there is very little compromise from the two party positions so we have majority takes all solutions (why compromise if your party has the majority ?). With a third party and no majority there would necessarily be compromise.

I'm always cheered when a "gang of 14" or "gang of 10" cross party centrist group forms - it means compromise - but these tiny centrist coalitions always fall apart quickly. A 3rd party affiliation should prevent the early decay.

Our current 2-party system has the unfortunate property that when one party gets the presidency and 51% of Congress they play a "winner takes all/run the board" game, but these excesses are often diminished at the next 2-year or 4-year congressional election and reversed later. This keeps the pendulum swinging unnecessarily to ridiculous extremes.

How ?

Last edited by stevea; 5th September 2008 at 12:54 AM.
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Old 5th September 2008, 01:36 PM   #37
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I would make the Democratic Party actually be Socialist and the Republican Party actually be small government.

And then I would have my own party for my run for Presidency.
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Old 6th September 2008, 11:45 AM   #38
Darth Rotor
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Originally Posted by IchabodPlain View Post
Americans, What Would You Like to Change About Your Parties?
For background:
http://www.democrats.org/a/2005/09/the_2004_democr.php
http://www.gop.com/images/2004platform.pdf
I'd have more exotic dancers, fewer party hats, and more quality Scotch. Also, all parties would permit smoking.

DR
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Old 6th September 2008, 01:15 PM   #39
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Glad to finally see an American realizing that perhaps there might be a need to change the pseudo-democratic system whereby the US citizens have been living for so long, all assuming they lived in a democratic society.
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Old 8th September 2008, 04:35 AM   #40
stevea
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Originally Posted by DanishDynamite View Post
Glad to finally see an American realizing that perhaps there might be a need to change the pseudo-democratic system whereby the US citizens have been living for so long, all assuming they lived in a democratic society.

Finally ? The difficulty isn't realizing there is a problem, but changing the situation. The realization has been here for half a century at least.

The parties have evolved in that time, but not in any coherent way. In any case neither patry lives up to it's image and platform when we get down to specific cases.
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