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Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    It's only business
    20 Jan '11 18:24 / 1 edit
    Suppose the Democrats or Republican Party was found to be so thoroughly riddled with corruption (and no, I am not making this accusation) and it was found out such that the party's name was tainted and could never be used again with widespread approval (like Nazi party today)?

    With only one major party, who would fill the gap for the opposition?
  2. 20 Jan '11 18:27
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Suppose the Democrats or Republican Party was found to be so thoroughly riddled with corruption (and no, I am not making this accusation) and it was found out such that the party's name was tainted?

    With only one major party, who would fill the gap for the opposition?
    It seems likely that this would result in a rise of extremist populist groups, the tea party would probably occupy the role of official opposition, but only after aligning itself with the other less numerous fringes of the Conservative movement.
  3. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    It's only business
    20 Jan '11 18:29
    Originally posted by generalissimo
    It seems likely that this would result in a rise of extremist populist groups, the tea party would probably occupy the role of official opposition, but only after aligning itself with the other less numerous fringes of the Conservative movement.
    What if it was the Democrats?
  4. Standard member joneschr
    Some guy
    20 Jan '11 18:29 / 1 edit
    If such a thing were to happen there probably would be a void for a little while while the system adjusted -- with the remaining party pretty much dominating. It's not as if we haven't had this happen even with the two parties still "strong".

    But to fill the void -- Ross Perot to the rescue. I suspect that either a minor party would suddenly get a bigger following and possible change some of its stances in order to attract a bigger following, or a grassroots effort would form a new party, equivalent to the rise of the tea party.
  5. 20 Jan '11 18:40
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    What if it was the Democrats?
    I assume the fall of the Democrats as a party would result in a similar outcome, only that the difference would be in the ideology of the populist groups to emerge from this political movement. You'd have a bunch of progressives and liberals from center-left to far-left aggregated under a coalition of some kind.
  6. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    20 Jan '11 18:56
    Another party would take its place in a few years. It would be fun watching various small parties compete for the role of "other" party; but after a while it would make no difference. The "Republicans" (let's say) would simply re-organize under a different banner.
  7. 20 Jan '11 22:39 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by sh76
    Another party would take its place in a few years. It would be fun watching various small parties compete for the role of "other" party; but after a while it would make no difference. The "Republicans" (let's say) would simply re-organize under a different banner.
    This has happened before, surely. For instance, the early nineteenth-century collapse of the Federalist Party left only one, dominant party, the Democratic-Republicans, but by the 1830s a two-party system had re-established itself. In this case, the decline of one of the older parties occurred before a new party established itself. In Britain in the early decades of the twentieth century, the gradual rise of the Labour Party gradually eroded the base of support for the old Liberal Party, whose traditional voters gravitated increasingly either to Labour or to the Conservatives as class became a more central factor in British elections.

    In my opinion, the first-past-the-post system makes it almost impossible for a three-party system to sustain itself - a three-party system could only survive if the parties each had clearly defined geographical and demographic bases of support, so that "No overall control" was the rule rather than the exception. In other words, the situation of three parties vying for power is likely to result in the extinction or marginalisation of one of the three. However, if one side of a two-party system collapsed now, I suppose the result would be an initial period when the surviving party is contested only by independent candidates. An economic crisis or other disaster might ultimately lead to the election of one of these independents (in which case a new party might coalesce around him) or to a breakup of the party into separate factions.
  8. Standard member bill718
    Enigma
    20 Jan '11 23:02
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Suppose the Democrats or Republican Party was found to be so thoroughly riddled with corruption (and no, I am not making this accusation) and it was found out such that the party's name was tainted and could never be used again with widespread approval (like Nazi party today)?

    With only one major party, who would fill the gap for the opposition?
    I suppose that party would reform under another name.
  9. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    20 Jan '11 23:17
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    This has happened before, surely. For instance, the early nineteenth-century collapse of the Federalist Party left only one, dominant party, the Democratic-Republicans, but by the 1830s a two-party system had re-established itself.
    Yes, and the Republicans replacing the Whigs in the 1850s as well.
  10. 21 Jan '11 00:16
    Lets not forget the Bull Moose party. They had success not that long ago, really.
  11. 21 Jan '11 00:28
    Originally posted by badmoon
    Lets not forget the Bull Moose party. They had success not that long ago, really.
    Yeah, coming second 99 years ago! Wow!
  12. 21 Jan '11 02:18 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Suppose the Democrats or Republican Party was found to be so thoroughly riddled with corruption (and no, I am not making this accusation) and it was found out such that the party's name was tainted and could never be used again with widespread approval (like Nazi party today)?

    With only one major party, who would fill the gap for the opposition?
    You kinda saw a vision of what would happen when the Dems had full control of the government. The targets became the "blue dog" democrats.

    In the end, an opposing force is needed because it is our nature to expect one. If not, we lose interest. Therefore, if no opposing "party" or "force" is available, one must be created.
  13. 21 Jan '11 11:49 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by whodey
    You kinda saw a vision of what would happen when the Dems had full control of the government. The targets became the "blue dog" democrats.

    The last "blue dog" Democrat to become a target wasn't a victim of the Obama administration.

    In the end, an opposing force is needed because it is our nature to expect one. If not, we lose interest. Therefore, if no opposing "party" or "force" is available, one must be created.

    This binary division is basically a consequence of the first-past-the-post, winner-takes-all system in the United States. Britain is similar, which is why we are only now experiencing our first period of coalition government since the war. In democratic countries with electoral systems based around proportional representation, such as the Netherlands, coalitions are the rule.