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William Voll

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Politics needs to stop being about the group

In the US you have republicans and democrats. They all seem to vote one way or the other depending on what the "party" is supposed to do.

What is wrong with them? How can they be that stupid?

Why can't they do what is right and look at each issue alone and put their own vote on it and not what their "group" says they should do? If only every person really voted on what they believed in, the world would be so much better.

It seems to me that the US government turned into a big high school drama club. It wasn't so long ago that the republicans would not pass anything at all until they got their way on a tax cut law.

In my eyes the "groups" no longer work. It only hurts everything. Noone is looking at the issues they are looking at what other people are saying they should do and going with the group, we are be lead by a few groups of cheerleaders. Its a joke and makes me ashamed of my government.

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    Aug 3 2012: Politics has become a career, based on the existence of powerful organisations with their own internal hierarchies. The only thing which will offset that is the continuing emergence of large numbers of smaller, conviction-based, groups. They would have to garner enough support to be electable. There would have to be a lot of them to counter the power of existing parties. And there would have to be a continuing supply of new groups as, over time, some of these groups will grow and attempt to exert dominance in the same way as existing large parties.

    To summarise all that, the current situation arises from the political inertia of the voting population. To change anything you need to mobilise large numbers of people and keep them mobilised.
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      Aug 3 2012: Sounds like you're saying that the best way to stop tribal warfare, is for there to be a lot more, smaller tribes.
      Which would in turn make people feel more concerned - presumably because of increased choice
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        Aug 6 2012: Most 'democratic' countries have an adversarial political system, usually based round two parties constantly struggling for dominance. There are no instances of parties in that situation changing the way they operate, so something new needs to come in to make change happen.

        An equally powerful third party won't spring up overnight to change the balance. It would have to grow and evolve over time, and that needs committed involvement from a lot of people. Typically, when a thrid party emerges, one of the original parties either atrophies or is absorbed by the new party. And eventually the new party becomes as remote from its supporters as the two original parties.

        The model I describe is one of constant skirmishing. Small parties can be created more quickly. Multiple small parties can create coalitions to challenge the dominance of large parties. A continuing supply of new parties stops the existing powers from becoming too complacent. And small parties remain closer to their supporters.

        This is one approach to doing away with the problems of two party dominance. Whether it is good is another question. There are enough examples of countiries with multiple religion-based parties which experience high levels of unrest, sometimes leading to civil war. Clearly the multi-party setup brings its own risks.

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