OT: Two parties

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One of the letters to the editor in our newspaper yesterday brought up an interesting point.
We currently have a 2 party system where the sole job of the Outs seems to be to oppose anything and everything that the Ins propose. Doesn't matter who's in and who's out.
The letter pointed out that a multi-party system with 3 or more parties is the norm in most of Europe. There has to be cross-party cooperation because one party seldom has a majority by itself.
He has a point. I can think of both advantages and disadvantages, but we sure have a problem now. I'd be interested in hearing opinions from all here.
In order to have a viable 3rd party, it'd have to something between the other two. We could call it the Festivus party :-).
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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They elected Obama and more recently Brown for Teddy's old senate seat.
Both parties argue that the independents are fickle and unreliable. Which just shows that they are totally out of touch. The number of independents are growing each year. This "nonparty" is the fastest growing party of all.
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There is a big problem with coalition governments. It takes a lot of negotiating between parties to form a viable coalition, and when one of the parties starts to feel slighted, they can pull out at a moment's notice. Poof goes the coalition, and another few months are needed to form a new one. But then, Churchill already said that democracy is the worst form of government except there is nothing better. Or something in that vein.
One thing that keeps being forgotten is that the US is a republic, and not a direct democracy. Whether that is good or bad is unknown (to me). The real problem nowadays (IMNSHO) is that greed and selfpromotion is the basis for the structure of our elected representation, and that whoever can buy the most Congresscritters will win. How the recent Supreme Court decision on free speech by corporations is going to "help" anyone is going to be interesting to find out, especially in the context of Facebook etc.
May you live in interesting times <haha>.
--
Best regards
Han
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Not only is it a republic, but it is a republic with the purpose of governing a union of otherwise self-governing states. The federal government was not really originally meant to govern people, it was more meant to govern the relationships among states and manage some functions outside of individual state's interests (i.e. relationships with foreign governments).
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wrote:

Yes. Everything is in flux. But the origin of the US was in times before iPods, iPhones, and iPads. We do have to go with the flow. IMNSHO we all live on Earth, and the welfare of the whole may sometimes be detrimental to a few.
Opinions, opinions ...
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Han
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There is this little thing called the Constitution. I know you don't believe in it, but some of us do (and all should).
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wrote:

I do believe in the Constitution. However, it is written in English (mostly 18th century English) and so it requires interpretation. While you and I might agree that individual freedom is the greatest thing, how to interpret what can be done as individuals or not is again open to interpretation.
Suffice it to say that respecting someones opinions may not mean supporting them.
Funny thing is, the other grandfather of my granddaughters is so far to the right that I am perfect center (my opinion). Nevertheless, we ultimately agree on most things, although we arrive at it from different directions. Maybe because we're both human.
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Han
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Obviously you don't, since you believe it's up for such "interpretation". It really is clear in its meaning and there is ample documentation to go along with it in case its meaning isn't clear.

A red herring.

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On Fri, 29 Jan 2010 09:37:13 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com"

Well that is very good news. Now we can get rid of the Supreme Court and all those lawyers asking for interpretations.
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Somebody wrote:

Could also pass as a mission statement for the flat earth society.
Lew
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My original statements were a bit sarcastic perhaps. I do believe that we need a Supreme Court. That doesn't mean I agree with all of the decisions coming from the SC. That is why we need Congress to pass laws that make sense (sometimes that's an oxymoron), and the SC to test whether the laws are OK under the Constitution and its amendments. And then we need the constitutional amendment procedures to fix what NOW is the best interpretation.
But I really liked the George Carlin version of the Commandments:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkRYaMiP4K8

The separation of the 3 powers is perhaps the greatest idea of the FF. Note that the idea has been evolving from the time of the Magna Charta, through the development of the Dutch Republic and the ideas of the French Revolution. It's a HUMAN thing.
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Han
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So freedom of the press only applies to people who own printing presses, not the new fangled radio and TV? We need a constitutional amendment to extend it to each new media that comes along?
Whether that is true or not is clearly a matter of interpretation.
-- Doug
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Douglas Johnson wrote:

Would be nice if "freedom of the press" did not automatically equate to "freedom of the junk mailers and spammers" though. I do wonder if the founders, having been deluged with junk mail, would have phrased things differently.
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So, what do you think of the SC decision to let companies fund reelction campaigns more fully (=free "peech" for corporations). I do value your opinion!
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Han
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You didn't ask me but I feel compelled to comment. Disregarding the intention of the framers and, in fact, disregarding the interpretations of the Supreme Court, the effect of the ruling is to disenfranchise the average voter. I wouldn't disagree with the ruling if it could be demonstrated that the money we're talking about came from individuals in the corporations involved, whether it's the members of the board of directors, the executives, or the rest of the employees, but the funds will most certainly come from the bottom line of the corporation. Some have pointed out that the media are allowed the same latitude but I think they overlook a couple of salient points. In the case of a book, for example, the opinion expressed in the book is that of the author and not necessarily that of the publisher. That the publisher may agree with the author is coincidental. The same logic applies to news media. An editorial is the opinion of the editor and/or his staff. The "news" should be required to be factual or subject to retraction. (or legal action). The same reasoning should be applied to unions. They should be disallowed to spend money for political purposes unless the funds come directly from the individual members *and* the *individual* members agree with the expenditure. Addressing the issue of PACS and organizations with a common cause, (NRA for example) the fact that *all* the members agree as to the purpose of the PAC or particular organization, I'm OK with that. But YMMV.
Max
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Top-posted for brevity (contrary to my instincts).
I LIKE your reasoning Max!! Can we make that a law? Please?
Han

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Han
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I'm working on it, Han. {:-)
Max
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Great!!
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Han
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Han wrote:

You do realize that you and maybe a few of your friends who feel strongly about some subject also qualify as one of those "corporations", right? ... Up to the recent SCOTUS decision, if you had an incumbent congresscritter or other candidate running that held a view opposite that subject you were prohibited by law, as a felony, from pooling your resources with those other friends to take out ads 90 days before the election to point out that fact? This SCOTUS decision wasn't just about HP being able to endorse Barbara Boxer or any other Fortune 500 company from supporting candidates. It was also about stopping the suppression of real peoples' voices because they were prohibited from pooling their resources to make their views known. We all don't have the wealth of a Michael Bloomberg or George Soros to fund our own advertising, most of us need to pool our resources with those of like mind.

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There is never a situation where having more rounds is a disadvantage

Rob Leatham
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Yes, I do realize that. I am therefore of rather ambivalent ind as to whether this decision is bad or not.
I just regret that money is so overpowering reason in electioneering. The issues also have become very complicated what with the laws of unintended consequences, and earmarks etcetera. I thought I was fairly well-informed but am not so sure anymore.
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Han
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