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Old 04-12-2011, 07:58 AM
 
1 posts, read 920 times
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Maryland does not have much of a selection regarding alternative political parties. I'm fairly tired of Democrats and Republicans and I'm sure many of you are too. I have started my own website regarding this and was hoping to get a few opinions.

[URL="http://www.thenationalrealist.com"]www.thenationalrealist.com[/URL]

thanks!
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:14 PM
 
251 posts, read 607,128 times
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Most places are limited to the two major parties. Or rather, I can't think of any local governments with consistent third party participation. Combine that with the fact that the major population centers have been solidly democratic for decades and the best you'll get is a potential for Maryland to become a swing state of the 2 parties sometime in the future.
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Old 04-12-2011, 03:11 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
4,564 posts, read 7,627,687 times
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Representation being based on geographic districts, and winner take all elections make the formation of a viable 3rd party nearly impossible. A third party can't build on a national level, because even if they manage to get a signficant portion of the vote nationwide (say 20%) unless their candidates actually "win" elections at a local level, they receive no representation.

Contrast this to a places with a Parliamentary system where getting 20% of the national vote would mean 20% of the seats in Parliament. From there even small parties can form coalitions and functionally exist.

A third party would need both a grass roots plan to build "cells" at a local level that are capable of fielding candidates that can win enough of the vote to start placing party members into elected office. This would have to be supplemented by a national issue or a demogogue of near Hitleresque proportions to break people of their brain-dead allegience to the existing two parties, and offer a replacement "totem" for the mass of voters (most of whom barely pay attention to politics, let alone understand government) to identify with.
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:15 PM
 
251 posts, read 607,128 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westsideboy View Post
This would have to be supplemented by a national issue or a demogogue of near Hitleresque proportions to break people of their brain-dead allegience to the existing two parties, and offer a replacement "totem" for the mass of voters (most of whom barely pay attention to politics, let alone understand government) to identify with.
That's harsh. I'm pretty sure most people understand government. I think they're just apathetic. And there is a growing number (nationally) of voters not affiliated with a party. As you say the problem is concentrations of like minded people, which is why special interest groups flourish as an alternative to elected officials. It's easier to buy an official than to elect a new one.
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:31 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
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Really, Really? You think Americans understand our government? What percent of people can name the number of US Senators? Members of the House? What percent do you think can explain, even in concept, what the electoral college is. How many voters could tell you who their representative in Annapolis or D.C. is? What percent know how to pass a Constitutional Amendment?

Here is an article, with less stats than I would like, that describes the base ignorance of the American population.

How much do Americans know about their government?

And, I stand by what I said, it will take a ground breaking paradigm shift to get people to affiliate with a new party. Either a huge issue or a cult figure of epic proportions is needed. Call it apathy or ignorance, people are lead by the political machine like sheep to the shearer. They aren't going to wake up and demand change on their own, heck, they wouldn't even now what "change" is, hence our current President, still bombing Middle Eastern countries, still racking up deficits, still running GITMO. Yeah, that is the "change" he promised the dupes.

The masses will need a new "shearer" to take them by the leash for anything to change.

Last edited by westsideboy; 04-12-2011 at 04:44 PM..
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Old 04-12-2011, 06:16 PM
 
251 posts, read 607,128 times
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I don't have any statistics at all to back up my statements. And perhaps I travel in circles that are more "conscious" of the way the world (and our government specifically) work. I certainly don't know many GED students as described in the article. But I stand by my position as well: most people understand the hows and whys but apathetically ignore the whos and whats.

But you're right about needing a paradigm shift. Recently we had a convergence of a huge issue (the economic disaster) with a cult figure of sorts (Obama). Too bad the cult figure belong to one of the existing parties. I was never hugely impressed with Obama, though I know a lot of people that were. It is strange that we have reverse positions now, with Obama exceeding my pessimsim but not coming close to other people's optimism. Obama's "change" has been so minimal it will surely renew people's apathy voter turnout will drop even further.

So how do you get people interested in a third party? I don't know, considering America is at war all over the world and debt it is at an all time high (at both the national level and the household level). I can only wish good luck to anyone that tries.
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
4,564 posts, read 7,627,687 times
Reputation: 2780
The formula is local grassroots organization based on an issue, a tangible, real issue. Philosophy, ideology, changing the "workings of government" are too far above the understanding of the average dolt voter. The focus has to be on something real, like taxes that hit people's pocketbook, or immigration, $10 a gallon gas, or a scandal so large that both parties are implicated. These local grassroots efforts need to start electing people from the third party into state and federal office. This starts the momentum.

Then, or during this process, a charasmatic individual, above politics, above reproach, essentially the first 21st century Mao, Hitler, or Napoleon would emerge to captivate and unite the different grassroots groups and use rhetoric and sophistry to convince enough of the rest of the sheep to follow suit. My guess it would be a facebook, twitter, youtube, based form of propoganda and rhetoric, although the new Leader would certainly have the ability to fill up a stadium and rock them too.

Obama is a good model for the "leader" if you strip away the fact that he is part of the 2 party ruling machine.
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