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Thursday, September 14, 2006 | 8:34 PM

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Democrats may not need a Contract with America to win

If they're still looking to close the deal on November's midterm elections, why haven't the Democrats rolled out their own 2006 version of the Republicans' Contract with America, which was widely credited with helping that party win control of Congress in 1994?

One reason could be the influence of Mark Mellman, a Democratic pollster who thinks the contract is overrated.
The article continues with the various arguments pro and con. My general feeling is to note that the Republicans used this tactic once. It can be a good thing when you really have some ideas to get across, but if you do that every election cycle it starts to get old. If the Democrats decide on this now, they can't go back and change their minds later.

Anonymous Jack Stewart said...

A political party in a two-party system is a gigantic coalition of many different interests. 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.

Most other nations have national political parties, whose members directly or indirectly, write and approve an enforceable political platform that gives political unity to the party. Conversely, we have national committees that collect money at the national level. While the distribution of this money may provide some political unity to a party, it is probably a private unity, it certainly does not make the media's public rhetoric trustworthy!

Hopefully you can understand the connection I am making to the Republican "Contract with America."

Jack


Blogger David Stinson said...

Well no, I'm not sure I do understand. The Democratic party is a broad coalition of diverse interests; so was the Republican party in 1994. At that point in time, they managed to cooperate for the good of everyone in the party. This is something the Democratic party needs also, and I'm worried about if they do produce such a document before that process really happens.


Anonymous Jack Stewart said...

.... This is something the Democratic party needs also ...

I was just pointing out why the Democratic party needs to do this. Since individual politicians tend to work for their own narrow self-interest - it's likely that spokemen for the voters will be the ones holding our politicians feet to the fire.

From my perspective, !994 is a long long long time ago

It is also my understanding that U.S. citizens used to have a lot more control over the professional party politicians than we do at the present time.

Quote from 1927
Here in the last generation, a development has taken place which finds an analogy nowhere else. American parties have ceased to be voluntary associations like trade unions or the good government clubs or the churches. They have lost the right freely to determine how candidates shall be nominated and platforms framed, even who shall belong to the party and who shall lead it. The state legislatures have regulated their structure and functions in great detail.

( Page 174 ) American Parties and Elections, pub 1927 by Edward Sait

Jack


Blogger David Stinson said...

Well, in fairness, I think it's a good idea for a party to coalesce around a limited number of ideas, whether the audience is the government, or the voters directly. The purpose of the party is to simplify politics so it's easier for the average person to understand - since in a democracy it is in fact the average person making the decisions.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Jack Stewart said...

A political party in a two-party system is a gigantic coalition of many different interests. 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.

Most other nations have national political parties, whose members directly or indirectly, write and approve an enforceable political platform that gives political unity to the party. Conversely, we have national committees that collect money at the national level. While the distribution of this money may provide some political unity to a party, it is probably a private unity, it certainly does not make the media's public rhetoric trustworthy!

Hopefully you can understand the connection I am making to the Republican "Contract with America."

Jack

 
Blogger David Stinson said...

Well no, I'm not sure I do understand. The Democratic party is a broad coalition of diverse interests; so was the Republican party in 1994. At that point in time, they managed to cooperate for the good of everyone in the party. This is something the Democratic party needs also, and I'm worried about if they do produce such a document before that process really happens.

 
Anonymous Jack Stewart said...

.... This is something the Democratic party needs also ...

I was just pointing out why the Democratic party needs to do this. Since individual politicians tend to work for their own narrow self-interest - it's likely that spokemen for the voters will be the ones holding our politicians feet to the fire.

From my perspective, !994 is a long long long time ago

It is also my understanding that U.S. citizens used to have a lot more control over the professional party politicians than we do at the present time.

Quote from 1927
Here in the last generation, a development has taken place which finds an analogy nowhere else. American parties have ceased to be voluntary associations like trade unions or the good government clubs or the churches. They have lost the right freely to determine how candidates shall be nominated and platforms framed, even who shall belong to the party and who shall lead it. The state legislatures have regulated their structure and functions in great detail.

( Page 174 ) American Parties and Elections, pub 1927 by Edward Sait

Jack

 
Blogger David Stinson said...

Well, in fairness, I think it's a good idea for a party to coalesce around a limited number of ideas, whether the audience is the government, or the voters directly. The purpose of the party is to simplify politics so it's easier for the average person to understand - since in a democracy it is in fact the average person making the decisions.

 

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