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Monday, September 18, 2006 | 10:06 PM

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My last post sparked a debate with one Jack Stewart (who BTW leaves no hyperlinkage in his wake) on the role of political parties in the democratic system. He was arguing that in modern politics they exist mostly at the behest of the government, while I was arguing that they can serve the people as well.

Certainly when political parties start to impede government functions, then they've become too powerful. There's no legitimate justification for Nixon wiretapping kind of stuff. On the other hand, I think there's a lot they can do that is beneficial to a democratic system. When an average person can understand issues in terms of a simplified left-right spectrum, then that helps the person makes more informed decisions in the voting booth. Certainly not everything or everyone falls on this spectrum. But that's something for the political analysts to discuss; for the much larger voting population that doesn't pay all that much attention to politics, it helps them understand something that would otherwise be largely incomprehensible.

Blogger Newsandseduction said...

I agree with this post.


Anonymous Jack Stewart said...

I have yet to learned much of anything about the DLC, but your concept of political power is becoming apparent.

This discussion originally started out as my explanation of why a Democratic "Contract with America," was in the interest of the voter.

I would complain that, a political party whose only real unity is created by financial contributions, will tend to serve the interests of an economic elite. I might also mention in addition, that political donors can further limit the voters influence by contributing to more than one party! Your support of such system indicates to me that - although you claim to be a Democrat, you are not much of a democrat.

We both accept that a political party in a two-party system is a gigantic coalition of many different interests. Apparently we also both agree that, lacking an enforceable party platform, the other forces that decide which of these interests will get rewarded, after the votes are counted, are not very clear in either major party. To me, it is fairly obvious that private financial insiders will get rewarded more than the voters. That doesn't seem to cause you any problem.

Although political party labels have little real substance, sometimes by using indirect means we can learn what people actually believe in.

IMO: Our concepts of the political label Democrat are too widely divergent for further useful communication.

Jack


Blogger David Stinson said...

You're misunderstanding me. There are no "other forces" that influence things "after all the votes have been counted." The votes are it. If these other forces do exist, they should be gotten rid of.

What does need to happen after the votes are counted though is to analyze the results in greater depth, figure out which alliances are possible, which are neccesary, which can be disposed of. Figure out what your goals are, and redraw the party lines to better meet them. All of this at least should take place just on the basis of poll data.

As for the DLC...they are more willing to simply move to the right than see this proccess to its conclusion. In addition to betraying our ideals, it usually simply doesn't work.

3 Comments:

Blogger Newsandseduction said...

I agree with this post.

 
Anonymous Jack Stewart said...

I have yet to learned much of anything about the DLC, but your concept of political power is becoming apparent.

This discussion originally started out as my explanation of why a Democratic "Contract with America," was in the interest of the voter.

I would complain that, a political party whose only real unity is created by financial contributions, will tend to serve the interests of an economic elite. I might also mention in addition, that political donors can further limit the voters influence by contributing to more than one party! Your support of such system indicates to me that - although you claim to be a Democrat, you are not much of a democrat.

We both accept that a political party in a two-party system is a gigantic coalition of many different interests. Apparently we also both agree that, lacking an enforceable party platform, the other forces that decide which of these interests will get rewarded, after the votes are counted, are not very clear in either major party. To me, it is fairly obvious that private financial insiders will get rewarded more than the voters. That doesn't seem to cause you any problem.

Although political party labels have little real substance, sometimes by using indirect means we can learn what people actually believe in.

IMO: Our concepts of the political label Democrat are too widely divergent for further useful communication.

Jack

 
Blogger David Stinson said...

You're misunderstanding me. There are no "other forces" that influence things "after all the votes have been counted." The votes are it. If these other forces do exist, they should be gotten rid of.

What does need to happen after the votes are counted though is to analyze the results in greater depth, figure out which alliances are possible, which are neccesary, which can be disposed of. Figure out what your goals are, and redraw the party lines to better meet them. All of this at least should take place just on the basis of poll data.

As for the DLC...they are more willing to simply move to the right than see this proccess to its conclusion. In addition to betraying our ideals, it usually simply doesn't work.

 

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