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Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Standard member wittywonka
    Chocolate Expert
    25 Aug '12 02:42
    I get the rationale for having political parties. Even George Washington acknowledged the short-term benefits of political parties--though he clearly thought the negatives outweigh the positives. ("However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion." [
    http://www.notable-quotes.com/w/washington_george.html
    ])

    But, in the context of a functionally two-party (majority-party-versus-opposition-party) system, is there a point beyond which the fundamental differences between parties becomes so vast that each party should naturally prefer a single-party state despite the obvious consequences this would have on the political system as a whole? When you sincerely believe the policies of the other party are actually wholly dangerous (or detrimental) to the country--when you primarily associate words like "disgusting" and "terrible" and "disastrous" and "bastards" and "liars" and "ridiculous" with the "other party" [
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2012/08/21/the-nasty-things-democrats-and-republicans-say-about-each-other/
    ]--what argument can you really make against converting to a single-party system?
  2. 25 Aug '12 07:23
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    When you sincerely believe the policies of the other party are actually wholly dangerous (or detrimental) to the country--when you primarily associate words like "disgusting" and "terrible" and "disastrous" and "bastards" and "liars" and "ridiculous" with the "other party" [[hidden]http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2012/08/21/the-nasty-thing ...[text shortened]... ]]--what argument can you really make against converting to a single-party system?
    In the US, Zambia and most other countries probably, the use of insults is resorted to when your policies are so similar that there is no easy way to criticize your opponents based purely on policy.
    In the US most economic policy is driven by financial interests who support or lobby both parties to ensure that whichever party is in power, the policies remain in place. The only policy differences have to do with social issues like religion/abortion/immigration.
  3. Standard member wittywonka
    Chocolate Expert
    28 Aug '12 03:02
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    In the US, Zambia and most other countries probably, the use of insults is resorted to when your policies are so similar that there is no easy way to criticize your opponents based purely on policy.
    In the US most economic policy is driven by financial interests who support or lobby both parties to ensure that whichever party is in power, the policies re ...[text shortened]... e. The only policy differences have to do with social issues like religion/abortion/immigration.
    If the two main parties in the U.S. are catering to the same key economic policy lobbies, they certainly go about doing so (or claim to want to go about doing so) in vastly different ways.
  4. 28 Aug '12 05:34 / 1 edit
    Italy has over 200 political parties, including one named "Friends of the Moon." I'm not against political parties in a parliamentary system. They don't work too well in ours.

    For one thing, aside from a few ideological elections here and then such as this one, for the most part they really aren't much different. They don't stand for a particular ideology such as "socialism" or "Christian Democracy." They're basically collections of various interests, often at odds with each other - especially the Democratic Party.

    Alex Cockburn once said (paraphrasing from bad memory), "I'm all for a two party system. I wish we had one. What we have is two pro-corporate alleged parties - one pro-choice, the other anti."