Should we get rid of political parties? Torn between the parties, and confused! :(

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by dontwalkhand, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. dontwalkhand macrumors 601


    Jul 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I think that we should get rid of political parties because it seems that nothing but trouble comes from categorizing candidates for any type of office, whether if its president, or your local mayor.

    I do not affiliate myself with a political party when I vote, and I vote based upon the individual person's beliefs, unfortunately, my beliefs fall on both ends of the political party system

    For example:
    - I love trains and think that the US should bring more rail to the US (D)
    - Bring on a transit tax if it means better levels of service! (D)
    - I hate abortion (R)
    - I am alright with people owning guns (R)
    - I am for gay marriage (D)
    - I think Bus Rapid Transit, and Light Rail should be explored, and is a viable replacement for crowded freeways (D)
    - I want the same healthcare that Canada has (D)
    - I hate how the government created the NSA crap (R)
    - Illegal aliens shouldn't be allowed in the US (R)
    - More social programs should be created even if it means higher taxes (D)
    - Anti corporal punishment (D)
    - Schools shouldn't get rid of Christmas/ other holiday celebrations, I remember when our school would foster Christmas, rather than now just call it a generic winter holiday, and this was in 1996! (R)

    This can go on and on, but because people are affiliated with a specific party, people like myself, have to compromise, and the candidates themselves always have ALL republican views or ALL democrat views, in order to appeal to their party, especially here in Arizona. There are some exceptions I realize, but without political parties, then a specific person in the government can say, allow a light rail bill to pass, while still allowing the border to be strengthened.

    WHAT would one consider what party I would be in? I always thought it was the independent party, but I guess I was wrong.
  2. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    In the US at the end of the day the Democrats and Republican parties are the exact same pile of crap and stand for nothing.

    They both try to be middle of the road parties so they tend to try to keep everyone happy but stand for nothing.
  3. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    No they are not and I think the OP did a great job of outlining several of the differences.
  4. jb1280 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2009
    You are looking at this in too simplistic of a manner. Only the most extreme leftists are for banning guns, I would wager nobody really "likes" abortions, and there are Republicans who support gay marriage.

    You need to ask yourself the following types of questions:

    What are your priority issues: rank things from most important to least. Not all of those things I imagine are equally ranked.

    You need to ask process questions concerning the role of government. How would you like to see gay marriage come into existence, through a federal mandate or through individual states? How would you like infrastructure to be renewed, etc.

    I don't have any real affinity towards any political party. I admire Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Obama, and Clinton in one extent or another.

    The truth is that I have never been personally as separated from the Republican Party as I do today, and until there is some "agonizing reappraisal" on the role of individuals such as Sarah Palin, unless you absolutely despise the Democratic Party or embrace a Chistianist-valued radical populist agenda, you will not be welcomed in the Republican Party.

    This, however, is your choice to make.
  5. IntheNet macrumors regular


    Oct 6, 2009
    Without bias toward Democratic or Republican parties or their position planks, you should probably judge the caliber and quality of other candidates in the party, their track record of party achievement, and the type of government you would like to live under - as advanced by the Political Party - before you make a decision. No candidate in history will appeal to all your beliefs! All things being equal, liberals favor more government in your life while conservatives favor less government in your life. Visit the websites of the DNC and the RNC for more information so you make a sound decision.

    Moreover, I don't think you should abandon being an Independent; trouble is most political races (local, state, and national) are won in this nation by either Democrats or Republicans. While a third party is a distinct possibly, the conditions for it remain weak. Lastly, speak to candidates if you can; sometimes media portray them one way and they are quite different in person.
  6. iShater macrumors 604


    Aug 13, 2002
    Anywhere else in the world, you would probably find party that matches most of what you listed. Unfortunately in the US, you typically end up with a party that "mostly" matches what you want, depending on how you way the different issues that matter to you.

    I think that leads to examining the candidate in question and going for him/her rather than voting on party lines.
  7. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    if you truly think they are differnet you are kidding yourself.
    The OP kind of made my point as well. To the average person gets split on the 2 parties because they try to please both sides. They are both middle of the road parties and really stand for nothing.
  8. bagelche macrumors 6502


    Nov 2, 2007
    Western Mass.
    When talking about the constraints of the dealing with Republican and Democratic party platforms, it's not so much about the specific details of each platform, but the system that reinforced a 2-party setup. I think our political discourse would be better served by a system that opens up access to a broader spectrum of political thought. It is, however, in the interest of the two dominant parties to maintain the current system that keeps them in power.
  9. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Feb 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    Im not pleased with either side, they can be bought and paid for.
  10. dsnort macrumors 68000


    Jan 28, 2006
    In persona non grata
    Agree to a point. In my opinion, the positions the different parties take on issues are dependent on what mix and match of special interest groups they are trying to appeal/pander to for votes. The only true core belief of any politician is "I need to be elected!"

    Then you get these Jacka**es up to Washington and they realise they have to "toe the party line" in order to get into the really good swag. You end up with people who owe more allegiance to their political party than to their constituents!

    Outlaw the parties! Make every one run as an independent, owing allegiance only to their electorate! Tear down the playhouse these a**holes have built for themselves!

    Then again, I sometimes rant.
  11. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    Fixed that for you.
  12. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    I'm not sure how you can say that...perhaps they should be focusing on different things...but the Iraq war, the Afghanistan war, healthcare, cap and trade, gay rights, abortion, etc

    Yes, there are members of each party that are in the middle, but "main" parts of the party are quite different

    That said, I'd support who ever is better, regardless of party...I lean democratic heavily in national elections, but local, the GOP isn't nearly as bad.(I still disagree with them, but the national GOP and its foreign policy is a huge put off)
  13. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a


    Oct 8, 2008
    Well . . . you're definitely not Tea Party. Not Libertarian. Possibly a moderate democrat. But not a southern-style democrat.
  14. bagelche macrumors 6502


    Nov 2, 2007
    Western Mass.
    for the purpose of aligning with the existing major parties (R/D), I would agree with that assessment.

    I'm kind of curious about this one. I don't know exactly what you're referring to regarding "the NSA crap", but if it has to do with the expansion of unconstitutional surveillance of American citizens, based on the actions and responses of the two parties, I'd be inclined to put a (D) next to that. but maybe I'm misreading what you mean by it. I am curious.
  15. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    Certainly when I read a newspaper article about a women who had yearly abortions I felt pretty uncomfortable, and I'm pretty open minded (and definitely pro-choice).

    How can you stop them getting in? Build a wall?

    How is this a party lines issue?
  16. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I think that one benefit (although I'm curious if there's any kind of scientific assessment of this hypothesis) of parties is that they at least provide a zero-order sort of basis of judging a candidate.

    I vote swing/independent -- I've frequently endorsed individuals from both the Democratic and Republican (albeit never for President) Parties. I've also voted for a number of Independents and occasionally individuals aligned with other parties.

    The problem I frequently run into is that, in the case of a non-partisan election, especially now living in a smaller city, it is very difficult for me to find out anything about the candidates and make an informed choice. The best I can hope to find in many of these situations is a local paper op-ed. This op-ed endorses one of the candidates, and I must both evaluate the claims made to see if they are reasonable as well as to see if I agree with them. This is hardly a way for me to make an informed decision, and yet without referring to that editorial I know literally nothing about the candidates.

    In Chicago granted this happened less, and many of the non-partisan elections were discussed in detail, and candidates interviewed, on NPR. But even there, there were elections, almost always non-partisan ones, where I literally could find out nothing about the candidates running.

    That's not fair to me. I should like to know their policies and records in detail. I try to obtain that information. But in the absence of it, at least a party affiliation provides me some small shred of decision-making material.

    As for the broader issue that political parties inhibit one because they force one to make compromises with people with whom one does not agree in all points, perhaps this is an argument for the presence of more (or perhaps less) parties, but I cannot see it as an argument for their abolition. This idea of making compromise with others in order to live in harmony with them is the very idea of society, and one would need to abandon not only all ways of doing things that make one human but also much of what makes primates of apes, before one could absolve oneself of that need.
  17. PolySciSurfer macrumors 6502

    Jan 9, 2009
    I disagree with almost everything you stand for. But I will say this, the U.S. should move to the British system. Campaigns last for 2 weeks, and your voting for the party and not the candidate. Legislation moves much faster because the party controls the house and passes everything they want through. It works great. Voters listen to each party, decide which partys ideas and direction they like, they vote, and it's done. None of this 2 year, did he smoke a joint when he was 16, BS.
  18. scottness macrumors 65816


    Mar 18, 2009
    Room 101
    I think if we got rid of the party system, more people would take a closer look at who they're voting for. More educated voters... less mistakage.
  19. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    No. You vote for the candidate in the UK for your local constituency. Not the party. Independents can actually do quite well here.

    Plus, campaigns last longer than two weeks. They are just not quite so ridiculous as American political campaigns.
  20. djellison macrumors 68020

    Feb 2, 2007
    Pasadena CA
    One thing that really annoys me is that most people will catagorise you as being from one party or the other, judged on one parameter.

    Want a NHS like health system? Damn liberal.
    Want to ban abortion? Damn conservative
    Want more gun control? Damn liberal.
    Support the death penalty? Damn conservative.

    And in doing that categorisation, an assumption is made on your entire political philosophy, an assumption that aligns you with one party, one party whos political philosophy may intersect wth yours only a tiny tiny amount.

    Anyone hoping to run for office realistically has to align themselves with one of those two main parties, and in doing so align themselves with the key political stances of that party - many or indeed most of which they may not even agree on.

    As a system, it is hideously flawed.
  21. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I'm sure the British will be glad to have your tenuous grip on the English language speaking in favor of their ways. ;)

    But honestly, you do not seriously believe that the UK, or other countries that have a Republic model of governance, really have no gridlock, do you? This is the same country that took 57 years to say, "Oh, my bad, old chap" to Alan Turing?
  22. bagelche macrumors 6502


    Nov 2, 2007
    Western Mass.
    The U.S. has a republic model of governance at the federal and state level and most localities as well. The exception being the town meeting tradition common here in New England towns where, in many towns, it is a direct democracy. Citizens of those towns vote directly on bylaws, expenditures, and the like.

    Democracy has a tendency to be inefficient, that's the nature of having multiple voices. That doesn't excuse gridlock, but nor does it explain away taking time to recognize past wrongs--look at the Vatican or our own history with regards to slavery, civil rights, etc.
  23. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Sorry, I meant, in the context of the previous post, a parliamentary system -- I should have been more specific.

    Now I do think there are some advantages to that system. Certainly there have been of late frequent events that make a mockery of our system, such as the cases of Governors Sanford and before him Blagojevich. Votes of no confidence would seem to come in handy at times.
  24. splitpea macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2009
    Among the starlings
    The founding fathers actually wanted to create a political system that would not encourage the formation of political parties (or "factions") -- it's discussed a bit in the Federalist papers. Sadly, they soon discovered that factionalization is a natural occurrence in a representative or democratic political system.

    However, our current direct representation system does encourage and perpetuate a two-party system, in contrast to the proportional-representation systems (used in many countries in Europe and IIRC in Australia as well), which at least makes third parties viable and prevents party entrenchment.

    We're left with a quandary because as such a large country with such a variation of local interests many areas would have much to lose if we were to move away from direct representation.
  25. PolySciSurfer macrumors 6502

    Jan 9, 2009
    Heres a question, why do we let people that have been dead for 150 years still tell us how to run the country? Their world was completely different than ours. Let's run the country the way it works for US, today. Rant over.

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