One of the letters to the editor in our newspaper yesterday brought up an
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
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
Aren't the Independemts a third party of sorts?
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.
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
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
May you live in interesting times <haha>.
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).
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 ...
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
Suffice it to say that respecting someones opinions may not mean
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.
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:
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
There is never a situation where having more rounds is a disadvantage
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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