OT - way OT - 3rd party

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There's a wide range of political opinion on this newsgroup. But one thing most of us seem to agree on is that neither of the current political parties is doing its job.
That got me to thinking about 3rd parties. In the Internet age, it should be easier to organize a 3rd party except for one drawback. Every one I'm familiar with has been on one edge or another of the political spectrum. As such, they alienate a large percentage of voters from the beginning and if they are at all successful wind up as a spoiler. That means they throw the election to the party furthest from their views. Not exactly the desired effect.
But is that the only way to fly? Could a 3rd party be formed whose main agenda consisted of "throw the bums out" or "clean up Washington" or the like? Put up a slate of more or less middle of the road candidates, some leaning left and some leaning right to keep things balanced?
Forget the presidency and even the senate. If such a party could win even 10%-20% of house seats they would wake up the powers that be. Their opinions would have to be considered for any legislation to pass unless one of the existing parties took an overwhelming number of seats, which is unlikely.
Is such a thing possible? And no, I don't want to run, but I'll make phone calls and type envelopes :-).
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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"Larry Blanchard" wrote in message
There's a wide range of political opinion on this newsgroup. But one thing most of us seem to agree on is that neither of the current political parties is doing its job.
That got me to thinking about 3rd parties. In the Internet age, it should be easier to organize a 3rd party except for one drawback. Every one I'm familiar with has been on one edge or another of the political spectrum. As such, they alienate a large percentage of voters from the beginning and if they are at all successful wind up as a spoiler. That means they throw the election to the party furthest from their views. Not exactly the desired effect.
But is that the only way to fly? Could a 3rd party be formed whose main agenda consisted of "throw the bums out" or "clean up Washington" or the like? Put up a slate of more or less middle of the road candidates, some leaning left and some leaning right to keep things balanced? ================================================================================= What you are proposing is electing people that actually represent the majority. Blasphemy! :) :)
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On 12/29/2011 7:57 PM, Larry Blanchard wrote:

Unfortunately the way the system works is a vote for a 3rd party candidate only detracts from the votes for the party of similar views.
For the last several presidential elections the vote has been about 50/50 +/-1. If the 3rd party is conservative, their votes will be subtracted from the more conservative major party's 50%, thus the more liberal party wins. (Liberal 50% 3rd party 10% + conservative party 40%) hence the all of the conservatives loose as the liberals win. (If Ross Perot had not run the Republicans would have take the White house.)
The way a 3rd party could influence the election is if the conservative group promoted a very liberal candidate so the 3rd party would detract from the less liberal candidate, and then the sponsors of the 3rd party vote for the more conservative major candidate.
Machiavellian but it would work.
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On Thu, 29 Dec 2011 20:35:28 -0500, Keith Nuttle wrote:

See my quote above - much of my post was dedicated to overcoming that problem.
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Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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On Fri, 30 Dec 2011 17:11:24 +0000 (UTC), Larry Blanchard

Uh, Keith, voting for one guy in a two way race detracts from the votes for the other party, too. Doh!
-- Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air… -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Larry Jaques wrote:

It's the reverse with a vote for a 3rd party candidate. Voting for a Ross Perot wannabe subtracts votes from his nearest party, the Republicans. Voting for a Ralph Nader type subtracts votes from the Democrats.
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It is already happening. Two members of the Senate do not belong the the Democrats or Republicans. The biggest stumbling block is local statutes regulating elections. The Ds and Rs have the rules locked in their favor. The Primary system is the best example; if you are not a D or R, the first time your name appears on a ballot is November. Then they make the rules for the legislatures. Those rules favor ONLY a two party system. All of them have to go. The system may even need to go.
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Larry Blanchard wrote:

A fool's errand. The last 3rd party to make a difference was the Bull Moose party and its nominee Teddy Roosevelt in 1912. Roosevelt drew enough votes from the Republican Howard Taft to give the election to Woodrow Wilson.
No third party since, not George Wallace, not John Anderson, not Ross Perot, not anyone, has made one smidgen of difference.
Both major parties approve of "protest" voters supporting 3rd parties. It gets the lunatics out of the party machinery so the serious folks can get on with business.
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Neither party could withstand three successive "Throw The Bastards Out!" elections. Forget a capital 'T' third party - vote Against All Incumbents.
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wrote:

So it can make a difference.

So we should stop and embrace the present corrupt parties? Rather than accept the status quo, do something to change it.

Who would those serious folds be? Certainly none of the present slate of Republicans strutting in front of the camera. Nor the guy in office, nor most anyone in Congress. You are welcome to accept and vote for second rate candidates though, rather than try to find good ones.
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On 12/29/2011 08:04 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

You can find all the "good ones" you want. The problem is getting them elected. The majority of the electorate is clueless. The majority of them couldn't tell you who the VP or their congressman is, let alone what their position on issues is or what that position means to the country. They'd vote for Justin Bieber if his name was on the ballot.
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gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery"
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Definitely yes. You'll need a candidate who was a former president, implemented the equivalent of the Panama Canal, busted the trusts (i.e., Standard Oil), winner of the Nobel Prize, and so forth.
Now it just so happens I know a fellow that fits that bill. His resume includes: Yale graduate, War hero, Congressman, Chairman of the Republican Party, Ambassador to the United Nations, Ambassador to the People's Republic of China, Director of Central Intelligence, Vice President of the United States, President of the United States, and many lesser posts. But I don't think anyone has approached him...

Exactly right. Choose the party closest to your views and get to work changing it. To do so via a third party process is equivalent to building the nation's best-selling car company from scratch.

I don't think you realize the complexity of a party's apparatus. It's not just the office holder. There are, literally, tens of thousands of employees within a party plus an equal number of active financial supporters. For example, in a congressional district that might be vulnerable, a candidate recruitment group will come into being. They'll seek out, wine and dine prospects for the position. Research will be done, polls taken, pitches made. Money will be collected to sustain the candidate during the campaign (his family will need to be fed). There will be a dozen or so "elders" who promote and create the candidate and his initial campaign. From there, the campaign grows (or not).
No, it's not like somebody pops up and says "I want to be a congressman (or govenor, or whatever)". There is a massive, and I do mean massive, background process that is never seen by the public.
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On 12/30/2011 10:37 AM, HeyBub wrote:

Well, he *is* eligible. He didn't do such a good job of it the first time, although he probably is a better choice than any of the current candidates.
Trouble is, he couldn't possibly win the election unless the Dems dump Obama and run someone else. Hadn't you noticed that the winning candidate in a Presidential election is nearly always the more polished speaker? [*] IMHO the only reason he won in 1988 is that the Democrats somehow managed to find, and nominate, the only politician in the United States who is an even less articulate public speaker than he is.
* -- just look at the last 7 or 8 elections, and you'll see what I mean.
2008 As long as he has his Teleprompter, Obama is as articulate a speaker as you'll find. John McCain is obviously ill-at-ease speaking in front of large audiences.
2004 GWB isn't a polished speaker by any definition of the term, but John Kerry does a pretty good imitation of a cigar-store Indian.
2000 Al Gore's imitation is nearly as good as Kerry's.
1996 Bill Clinton. Bob Dole. 'Nuff said.
1992 Bill Clinton. GHWB. 'Nuff said.
1988 Michael Dukakis? Oh, please. Did the man ever take a course in public speaking in his life?
1984 Ronald Reagan, the "Great Communicator". Walter Mondale. 'Nuff said.
1980 Ronald Reagan. Jimmy "Ah will never lah ta yoo" Carter. 'Nuff said.
1976 Neither Carter nor Ford wins any points in my book as a public speaker. That one's a tossup on that basis. Ford had that in the bag until he pardoned Nixon.
1972 Nixon vs. McGovern -- McGovern wasn't too bad a speaker, as I recall, at least as far as style is concerned, but the content was so loony that he hadn't a chance.
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Doug Miller wrote:

I agree. Charisma counts for a lot. Often it's the only thing that counts. But sometimes it can be overcome. Look at the current crop.
Herman Cain - by far the most charismatic speaker of the bunch. But he's gone. Mitt Romney - Adequate. Not great. Not bad. Newt Gingrich - Not charismatic, but listeners hang on his every word. Rick Santorum - As uplifiting as most preachers Rick Perry - Good ideas, but no one can tell what they are. At least not by listening to him. Michelle Bachman - I'm reminded of the famous quote by Samuel Johnson (bear with me): "A woman in the pulpit is like a dog raised up on its hinder legs. It is not surprising that it does it poorly. What is surprising is that it would want to do so at all." She needs to show more cleavage so people will pay attention to her. Ron Paul - He has no concept of how the world works, but is quite eloquent in creating an imaginary world that's made of gingerbread and unicorns.
Fortunately, our current president cannot be, in the coming campaign, charismatic. Shouting "Hallelujah" and "Come on down," and "The seas will retreat!" are totally unbecoming for a president. If he acts that way, he'll be labeled a clown.
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On 12/30/2011 8:47 PM, HeyBub wrote: [...]

He already has the ears for it...
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On Fri, 30 Dec 2011 19:47:36 -0600, HeyBub wrote:

That's the best definition of him I've seen yet :-).
Every time I hear him say something sensible, he immediately destroys it in the next sentence.
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Larry Blanchard wrote:

Libertarians are kinda like the Celtic tribes that the English kings used to hire to fight their wars: Brave, loyal, fierce as hell. You just didn't want them to, you know, actually RUN things.
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On 12/31/2011 5:18 PM, HeyBub wrote:

For heaven's sakes, we can't be having those with a brave, loyal, fierce attitude, you know, the attributes that originally instituted the place, to actually run things, now can we.
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"Swingman" wrote in message
On 12/31/2011 5:18 PM, HeyBub wrote:

For heaven's sakes, we can't be having those with a brave, loyal, fierce attitude, you know, the attributes that originally instituted the place, to actually run things, now can we. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- We have very few of those left. Most are defeatists, like Heybub, who's motto is "There's no point in trying, we can't win".
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CW wrote:

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Ah, but you can succeed - if you go about it the right way.
The libertarians have been trying the same thing for, what, 60 years with exactly the same result each time: failure. Recall the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over hoping for a different result. They have not won. They will not win. They cannot win.
The way TO win is to get involved with either the Democrats or Republicans. Change from within.
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