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Casey Kitchel

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Political parties should be banned in the United States of America.

In George Washington's 1796 Farewell Address, President Washington warned the American people of the dangers political parties pose to the nation's government (that of the United States under the Constitution). Considering the current government's stalemate and the abilities of political parties to “divide a nation”, it seems most evident that he was right in expressing his concerns for the future of this country and for the welfare of its people.

As it appears, elected officials are more concerned with maintaining their own party's control over their rivals rather than serving the interests of the people and opens up the debate on whether political parties should continue to dominate politics in the United States of America at the expense of the American people and at the expense of a functioning government.

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    Jun 5 2013: We need to form a party that would ban all parties and then rule "in the name of the people". I think, I've seen this idea. May be, it failed because the party forgot that "all parties" includes itself.

    This appears to be a variation of Russell's paradox (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell%27s_paradox): "Should a party that has an agenda of banning all parties be banned itself?" And who would do the banning? Who shaves the barber who shaves everyone who doesn't shave himself?

    Actually, "banning ourselves" (our own ego, that is) is not such a bad idea. It might have the magic effect of eliminating corruption and oppression.
    • Jun 5 2013: I would say it goes to core beliefs that can be, or are persuaded away from the good of all, to the good of "our group". This is human nature, picking sides and fighting against the other. I see no way to stop it barring massive education reform, and then the other side would say you are brainwashing the people!
  • Jun 29 2013: You should be banned for saying political parties should be banned
  • Jun 20 2013: I personally believe Parties are part of what is destroying our nation. It circumvents the whole aspect of personal responsibility/ accountability and delegates that to the "parties" instead.
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    Jun 17 2013: Political parties have not divided America. Individual ideologies have polarized America. Political parties are merely the organizations where like-minded people congregate to focus and amplify their political clout. 47% of Americans want the government to be responsble for virtually everything. 6% of Americans don't have an opinion about the issues on which we vote. The remaining 47% want constitutional government with all power not specifically given to the federal government to belong to the People or the State. We may be witnessing the birth of a fourth party in America, but for now we have Liberals, the Ignorant and Apathetic "party", and Conservatives. No one is forced to be in any party. Each person expresses their ideology by aligning with a party. Besides, what would a one-party nation look like anyway?
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        Jun 21 2013: Is that you in the video? (Not that I am trying to label you). I agree that the affinity we have for labels, as an organizational tool for all the information we have, has a dark downside. We put too much stock in labels. We treat labels as though they are unassailably correct. We greatly oversimplify an issue by the thoughtless application of some readily available label. Labels are useful but must be carefully constructed and applied, kind of like nitroglycerin, it is probably best to avoid handling certain things which, in the hands of the wrong person, can do harm.
    • Jun 24 2013: First of all, I don't think a one-party nation is being suggested. The proposition is to ban parties altogether.

      If 47% want one thing and 47% want another, and if it really is as simple as that (of course it isn't), then the dissolution of parties shouldn't matter, should it? People would vote the same way, wouldn't they? The reality is that labels do have an effect on how people vote and more importantly on the way members of Congress vote. Members of Congress are swayed by four things: parties, funders, polls, and themselves. I think we can all agree that members of Congress should use their own intelligence to represent the People and that voters should use their own intelligence to evaluate candidates based on ideas and merit.

      On the other hand, it can be argued that parties do serve a useful function. They can get bills passed. Granted, that's not always a good thing with either party, especially if you're fed up with earmarks like I am. But if you are firmly on the side of one party over the other, you might want to keep it alive so it can organize coalitions.

      I'm therefore inclined to think of this is as a debate between partisans and independents--between people who judge quickly based on party or ideology and people who judge slowly based on careful logic. Alternatively, maybe the debate I've described is between idealists and pragmatists. Either way, partisans can be reckless and independents indecisive, and idealists can be simplistic and pragmatists complacent. We all have something to learn from each other here, and I don't think this question has an obvious answer. We could have an interesting discussion.
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        Jun 24 2013: Not only could we have an interesting discussion, I thought we were having one. If you were to come down off the fence which side would you be on? In the USA we have 100 Senators and 435 Representatives. Those 535 votes pretty much determine the course of our nation. Most issues they debate can be viewed from more than one perspective. The big three of those possible perspectives are Liberal/Democrat, Conservative/Republican, and Independent. How could those 535 voters be known if not by party affiliation? Whether we label the various perspectives or not they will exist. Call them "YEA" and "NAY", or "A" and "B", or whatever you like. Even though each of the 535 "use their own intelligence to represent the People" as you say, the most popular two or three positions will cluster into groups. Avoiding naming those groups makes it needlessly more difficult to discuss them. For that reason alone America must have a multi-party system!
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          Jun 28 2013: "For that reason alone America must have a multi-party system!" 1) I disagree. 2) Must!? No. There is ALWAYS a choice.

          "Avoiding naming those groups makes it needlessly more difficult to discuss them." I actually think the opposite. It makes it more complicated by letting their "differences" get in the way before anyone has a chance to rationally discuss the issues at stake.
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          Jun 28 2013: A conservative can be conservative without being a Republican, and a liberal can be a liberal without the need for being a Democrat. Besides, the majority of Americans are not 100% conservative or liberal on every issue.
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        Jun 28 2013: "The proposition is to ban parties altogether." Kunal Puri is right.
    • Jun 29 2013: You missed the idea Ed......no political parties.....period. Not one national party, just a few American people doing the work that needs to be done to administer the nation.
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        Jun 29 2013: The fact is that efficient, intelligent communication requires names; titles;labels; descriptions; categories; classification; taxonomy; etc. Imagine the difficulty of communicating about political and civic matters if you were only allowed to use the term "Participants", with no further descriptive information about your subject persons or groups. Not a good idea! By the way, the name of that single political "PARTY" would be, "Participants", with everyone else being formed into a second party and labeled, by default, "Non-participants". We need the minimum concept of "A" and "Not A" to communicate. Imagine the shoe industry if only the word "shoes" could be used to refer to the myriad variations of the product!
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    Jun 13 2013: I think I figured it out.
    Most Americans don't vote.
    So it is true. ' you get what you didn't ask for'....'nuff said.
  • Julio Z

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    Jun 9 2013: Unfortunately politicians only see the way to be re-elected and nothing else. The current government wil continue printing US dollars through QE and will cause a huge HYPERINFLATION around 2016-2018. We have to be prepared. http://theelevationgroupreviews.blogspot.com
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    Jun 6 2013: Maybe we should try one man one vote.
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    Jun 1 2013: ...and in the whole World. We are made to think there is no Democracy without parties. Truth is there can only be a true Democracy without parties because: they propiciate corruption; they are a main cause for the professionalization of politics which is obviously anti-democratic; they limit and control the access to law making and decision taking by normal citizens. Parties indeed divide a country unnecessarily as well as behave like companies interested in preserving their place on the "market" and increasing their "profits" in the form of power and jobs for the boys. Also parties cannot be "fired" and sanctioned for improper behaviour of their members, seats just keep rotating. If we had parliaments of independent everyday citizens with highly limited number of mandates possible we would have much more control over those who we elect and that are not doing their work properly or not keeping their promises.
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    Jun 21 2013: I am not sure if as an Indian I am competent to comment on this but I am commenting because constitutions of the US and India have certain similarities (we the people etc.).
    If not outright banning, there should be constitutional control mechanism over political parties, a code of conduct for politicians and a transparency of lives and acts on the part of the politicians for sure. The areas where the interests of a political party may clash with real national interest should be clearly defined too. Moreover, there should be constitutional encouragement to differentiate a true statesman from a party leader.
    There should be constant movement for bringing in talented, well educated professionals into realpolitik.
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    Jun 19 2013: People have already started to grasp that politicians are a bad idea, mainly I suppose because power corrupts, and that love of power is already suspicious in itself.
    The next step would of course to be able to see through the myth of conflict as the best way to make décisions.
    Democracy is still the best system - but what it means is that the beliefs with the biggest support base are the ones that are put into practise. In the USA the 2 political parties have got to a point of being very similar; is all the tribal/partisan posturing really the best way of making décisions?
    But whats the alternative ? - I assume AI is going to play a greater and greater part in the political process - at first through promoting easier participation (eg voting apps) but eventually in order to make economic, social, health décisions; based purely on data - rather than belief - we're looking at a robot president.
  • Jun 13 2013: I think the American public needs to take responsibility for the partisan nature of American politics. We are the ones who have become one issue voters (for/against abortion, for/against gun control, etc.) and we elect people who agree with us on our one issue. I've seen this from both highly educated folks and folks with not much formal education.If we could look beyond our tiny backyards and see that there is a huge range of issues that our country desperately needs to address, perhaps we would be rewarded with multidimensional, thinking politicians. As long as we vote on one dimension, we will have unidimensional representatives.Also, having just read the book Quiet, I suggest that we not be seduced by candidates who have a ready answer for everything. We should not confuse glibness with intelligence. My measure of that is if the candidate can spit out a response without any conscious thought, that response is canned and therefore fake. Give me someone who takes a moment to think before speaking -- but that will never happen in politics (sigh).
  • Jun 11 2013: Maybe the problem is more about how election campaigns are funded than it is about political parties. To reduce the influence of special-interest groups, all election campaigns could be through taxpayer-funded forums. Candidates would submit a deposit (to be returned if the candidate receives 10+% of the vote). That way, candidates wouldn't have to sell their souls for campaign funds. Candidates can list their general philosophy through "party affiliation", but be elected on the basis of ideas rather than campaign funds. There would then be less pressure for elected representatives to adhere to "Party Lines", instead of openly contributing ideas to "Best Practice" solutions to government issues.
  • Jun 9 2013: Same is the case with India too. In India too political parties should be banned . All the democratic countries should ban the political parties and should opt for Direct Democracy.
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      Jun 9 2013: Santokh,

      You're welcome to join this conversation on electronic direct democracy if you wish to discuss it further. http://www.ted.com/conversations/18759/does_your_country_have_an_elec.html?c=687722
      • Jun 9 2013: I have few questions you regarding E2D.

        Since voting would be done electronically, and the Internet seems to be increasingly hacked from inside the US and outside, how can we develop an internet-based election system that we can guarantee would be absolutely secure from hacking that could alter the outcome of elections?

        Our existing legislative body at the federal level consists of two houses -- one with representatives of each state, and the other representing individual districts within each state. How would we have to restructure our present system to incorporate the E2D system?

        Section 4 of this "manifesto" states that elected representatives must always vote on bills in accordance with the views expressed within the Party. Is this putting too much power into the hands of a single entity? What sorts of enforceable controls would be put on this entity that would ensure that its central leadership couldn't manage or manipulate matters for their own benefit?

        Many of the provisions of the manifesto would require major changes to our Constitution. Such changes have to be initiated either by Congress at the national level, or by individual state legislatures. Can you realistically see something like this happening with elected legislators (both at the federal and state levels) whose political campaigns are heavily financed by powerful financial interests would would strongly oppose any such change?

        And, last, the name used for this document is "Manifesto." Don't you suppose that name, as well as the fact that it would put the people back in control of their government, is likely to associate the movement with Communism and the document with the Communist Manifesto, thereby killing the movement in this country before it even gets off the ground here?
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          Jun 9 2013: Hi Jim,

          I'm glad for all your questions, it would however be better if you post any further questions on the Conversation so that others that are also involved in E2D can give you answers for solutions that I'm not aware of. I'm not the leading character of this movement, just a small part. We do have an admin for the E2D website that seems to visit the conversation and he's much better at answering these question then I am. That being said, I'll give you the best answers I can.

          Paragraph 1. This TED Talk is a possible solution http://www.ted.com/talks/david_bismark_e_voting_without_fraud.html.
          But there are also other ways of assuring that the system hasn't been manipulated like comparing the results to opinion polls, and if they differ very much an inquery would have to be made.

          Paragraph 2. We would have party members of a DD party voted onto the position of say the house of representatives for a set period of time, once there s/he is pledged to cast all votes in accordance with the majority of the party.
          Most DD parties want to (at first) exist within the institutions that already exist and change them toward the DD approach,such changes will take time. the only other option would be revolution, and you don't start a party for that.

          Paragraph 3. It is not putting more power into anyone's hands then there is power put in people today, the only difference would be a higher accountability for your voting. If someone would break the pledge they would be disgraced and stripped of power as soon as possible.

          Paragraph 4. see paragraph 2.

          Paragraph 5. Yes, the fear of communism will be a problem. but it is not what any DD party is going for, simply majority rule. And the meaning of manifesto is this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manifesto it has no political siding.

          Hope that helped a bit.

          I'm sure that you have questions to those answers and if you could, could you please post them on http://www.ted.com/conversations/18759/does_your_country_have_an_elec.html
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      Jun 9 2013: Let's see, India is close to a billion in population. DD is functional up to about maybe a 1000 population. After that it's problematic. We learned this in the USA awhile back. So, India could become 100,000 thousand little countries. That should work well.
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    Jun 9 2013: National governments are unnatural assemblies. Why would citizens from diverse regions of a country, with dissimilar environments, needs and hopes, allow a disassociated body to decide, control and enforce?
    Such an arrangement is doomed to fail. The appointed bodies know that and turn inward to their own agenda, casting restrictive nets over the public to prevent intrusion. What else is to be expected? Those fortunate representatives find themselves as guardians of a bottomless source of tax revenue with no independent oversight. Naturally, they battle to retain their seats and duel with those who declare they have better opinions but who are, in fact, identical in their urge to possess numerical dominance for passing legislation that favour their constituents and thus prolong their terms in office.

    If there is no alternative to few serving many, then let it be on the smallest scale possible, where integrity can be closely monitored, transgressions punished, and progress pursued that benefits all in the communities. That is not Utopian, it is common sense.
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    Jun 8 2013: I like this conversation! I like this a lot!

    We've fallen into paralysis because of greed and self-serving politics. Neither party places the needs and the will of the people beyond its own self-serving interest. And that MUST End!
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      Jun 9 2013: Why? And if there were no parties, now what?
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        Jun 9 2013: I'm just complaining about the two parties we have in the USA. And what's the use as they don't do anything but recycle favors for Billionaires & corporations and leave the rest of us in the dirt!
      • Jun 9 2013: " Neither party places the needs and the will of the people beyond its own self-serving interest. And that MUST End!" -- Juan Valdez

        I interpret this as meaning that the practice of putting personal interests ahead of the need and will of the American people must end -- not that political parties must necessarily end. We just need to get people into office like Bernie Sanders, who puts the best interests of our country above political party ideology (he is an Independent) and seems to have adopted our country's best interests as his personal interest.

        Thanks to the billions of dollars that have been injected into partisan politics, our government has been corrupted to the point where we no longer have a republic that is truly representative of the people. Instead, it represents big money interests first and foremost. Government by the people and for the people is now a joke, but not a funny one.

        During the Nixon years, John Dean told the President that there was "a cancer on the Presidency" that must be excised or his Presidency would be in danger. We now have a cancer on our entire political leadership that must be excised our or entire country will surely fail.
      • Jun 29 2013: Each individual would stand on his own convictions!
  • Jun 8 2013: Of course political parties should not exist. They are anti-democracy at its worst. It does not matter if you have two political parties or twenty. Political parties have a broad range of policies that they adhere to. So do citizens. But there is seldom, if ever, a full match between the policies of the political parties and the citizens. I may like the financial policies of one party but the social policies of another. A party system forces me to vote against one or the other. Either way I don't get what I really think would be preferable over-all results.

    But this is actually arguing about where to put the deck chairs on the Titanic after it hits the iceberg. The truth of the matter - that all commenters have so far skirted - is that electing representatives is an unworkable method of selecting democratic management for societies. It doesn't work anywhere it is being used. It has never worked anywhere it has been used. And it is unlikely to ever work. No one man or small group of party owned representatives can properly and adequately represent those who elect them.

    It is unfortunate that so many people have been conditioned to think that "one man - one vote" is what determines democracy. Especially since we know that both votes and men can be - and are - bought regularly. Political parties contribute to this buying of politicians and their votes in governing bodies by seeking contributions to finance election campaigns. "He who pays the piper, calls the tune".... always. Every political party's interests are totally different from citizens' interests. Citizens want good management; political parties want power. When the politicians you elect belong to, and are owned by, political parties, they do not - cannot - represent you. They can only represent their party and its financial backers.

    There is a much better method of selecting society's managers. It's called "Citizens' Democracy". All adult citizens participate in the management of their society.
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    Jun 8 2013: I'd be all in favor of your idea, Casey, if it were legal. Unfortunately, political parties are public associations just as legal as any other, and can't be banned. But they must be tamed, they have arrogated to themselves power that they should not have. As you say, they have become solely concerned about their own power, to the degree that the party that does not hold the presidency works constantly to ensure that the administration will be a failure. This is not in the country's interest, and is not the proper meaning of "opposition," which should imply a reasoned dialogue and assurance that all views be heard. But it's also true that it's a long time since a U.S. President made much effort to bring the opposition party into serious consultations.

    In my opinion, the best solution is for us in the American electorate to get so fed up with our dysfunctional Congress that we vow to elect no one but independents who are committed to electoral reform, particularly to removing the corrupting effect of private money that now drives our elections. This solution is cheap and effective: We simply check off the name of an independent candidate. (I will add that we often have Rep. or Dem. candidates campaigning on the promise that they will work for election reform. Don't believe them. Even if they honestly believe their own rhetoric, as soon as they get to Washington they no longer represent us, they represent their party and they understand who butters their bread. No meaningful election reform can happen as long as these two parties are in power.)

    I've written several essays on this topic on the web site Blue Ridge Journal. A summary of the ideas is here:
    http://www.blueridgejournal.com/brj-congressreform.htm
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    Jun 8 2013: Thinking about it maybe people should have to take a test before they can vote. Ban Stupid people.
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      Jun 8 2013: Would you pass that test? Or how many would? Where do you draw the line for when someone is smart enough to have a say in country affairs?
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        Jun 8 2013: Same way you could identify a political party.... Which makes me wonder? If Political parties were banned would that mean that the Tea Party would not be band but the republican party would?
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    Jun 6 2013: Imagine if you will, a system that is dedicated to presenting the issues at hand to the public and carrying the gathered vote of all eligible citizens forward to their government.

    The mechanism for doing this secure, anonymous, efficient, inexpensive, readily available to all, and watch-dogged by every single participant.

    Government would never again be as we know it. It would be better, stronger, and dedicated to serving the nation it governs.

    Confidence polls in our government would always have a majority as the majority vote would guide us.

    Scandals and corruption would be burned away in the fierce light of the public eye and set right by public vote.

    Such a system has two primary area's of weakness that need to be addressed, and neither of them are that the public is too uneducated to decide whats good for it.

    Funding to establish itself and the infrastructure required to grow it.

    Ensuring the security of the system from corruption and interruption of service.

    Provide these two things and every dissatisfied voter will eventually turn to this system until only it remains.

    Why? Because you want your opinion to matter.

    Today elected politicians throwing the public a crumb while their parties have the banquet is not the exception, it is the norm.

    Voting on the issues your vote weighed with all others on that topic the outcome brought directly to government EVERY TIME will ensure that.

    This one simple fact will draw disenchanted voters away from parties altogether to the referendum representational mechanism until all that is left is the government serving the will of its people.
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    Jun 6 2013: We really need to think about using the technology we’ve achieved to change the way we govern ourselves. We should replace the House of Representatives with the people’s vote directly using the internet, libraries, direct mail or by any other means. Remove any voting from the Senate. Their job will be to present legislation and inform their constituents on how it will affect them so they can make an informed decision.
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    Jun 5 2013: Yup, they all should be banned and everything that they do should be directed and decided by the people. The parties vote on a bill... NO. We vote on the bill, they can write it but we decide for every piece of legislation. We become the House of Reps. We become the Senate. We become the Congress. Then the question of the president would arise, I'm guessing, but I'm not going there :/ . With the tech we have today, as I've stated on other conversations, we can all vote in a matter of a minute. It would take time to read the legislation in question and that would be the majority of it but people have time to do this, which they will deny because they can't miss that game that's on or new episode of whatever people are watching now. Our technology allows us to do things in a very fast manner and this could be one of those things. Then the people would be actively participating in gov't CONSTANTLY instead of voting for someone who IMPLIES they have the same beliefs, motives, or goals only to change their mind in the future without the suggestion coming from the population they represent. I think i kinda ranted a bit there but you guys are smart you get the idea of it. Refine it, improve it, do whatever to it, I'd be happy if you did. We definitely need a change because the way things are now is like 2 kids arguing to their parents, Never ending and immature. For goodness sake, they're more concerned with making the other party look bad than they are about actually SOLVING the issues. This should not sit well with most people who have functioning brains.Again do whatever to this IDEA, I'd be happy that you did. It would just show me I was on the right track and needed someone else to accomplish it, furthering my belief in cooperation over competition. Thanks!
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      Jun 5 2013: Jah,

      I'm part of a party and movement that do exactly what you advocate.
      I would be happy if you joined http://www.ted.com/conversations/18759/does_your_country_have_an_elec.html
    • Jun 6 2013: you're right but you've over-simplified the solution. how can all people be sufficiently informed on every subject as to make the best decision? many seemingly great ideas turn out to be terrible when all the facts are known.
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        Jun 6 2013: People need to be educated on how their government works, there is no doubt about that. Until that is achieved this will only intensify the problems at hand. I would hope that people would be happy to participate once they are able to thoroughly understand.
        • Jun 7 2013: that's the easy part. they also need to know the details of the bills they will be voting on. why would you want the general population voting on things as complex as financial reform or foreign policy? if a bill comes around about libor rates, and people who've never worked in the financial sector and probably don't even know what libor is will make up most of the voters. similarly if a bill was proposed regarding standards of bridge construction, would you want people who don't know anything about engineering voting on it?
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          Jun 8 2013: Ben,

          People that don't know anything (or have an opinion) about taxes won't vote on such things and then they're votes will be cast as blank votes, therefore not affecting the outcome.

          Or you could delegate your vote to a politician (read educated friend or trusted official) that you trust and you think has a good idea on what the question is all about.

          For example: many of my friends trust my judgement on certain topics, on those I could get their vote to represent them and therefore they don't have to know every aspect of everything. So I could represent someone on say Human rights issues and they could represent my vote on education issues. I know many teachers that know way more on education then I do and I would trust them to make a better decision then I would.

          People are already more or less educated, they're just educated on different issues and if we allow people to go into a specific area that they're already good at without doing all the political mambo-jumbo we could release so much potential.
      • Jun 29 2013: That's an intrinsic negative in democracy...complacancy and ignorance. But we can do nothing about that but accept it. at least we should have a proper system in place.
        • Jun 29 2013: yep, and we sort of do, we elect officials who we expect to convene impartial groups of experts to advise them on the best ways to do things so they can make informed decisions, but unfortunately it's become quite corrupted because interest groups put forward their own 'experts' and so even the most honest politician ends up making the wrong choice. that's not to say that our current system doesn't work, it just means that we need to get people trying to influence politicians for their own ends out of it.
  • Jun 5 2013: Well, it is a nice question. Poltical parties are only interested in their welfare only. After winning election they use to plan and work accordingly to win in further election. In this condition the ruling party only concerns about the region from where they get votes and where they can improve by doing some impressive and highlighted work. it becomes a very common problem of our democratic system. If the party conservation is emilimated, the ruling person will work according to the need of people.
    But in this age , it seems quite impossible.
  • Jun 4 2013: I would add: No private funding of candidates. Government should fund debates and publicity based on which candidates were able to get specified number of signatures first.
  • Jun 4 2013: Complete campaign finance reform is the only way of getting money out of politics and good luck in accomplishing this! If we had campaing finance reform, politicians would have the necessary additional time to spend working "for the people"...the foundation of all democracy. It's money and the power it creates which encourages the formation of "Parties" and a government which no longer represents the average citizen. But once they've gained their power/control, they're not abt to give this up in order to regain our intended democratic form of government. It would require a complete revolution and the subsequent re-building of our nation and in the process, we would lose our control over the planet. GOOD LUCK!
  • Jun 4 2013: Put it on the political agenda as a first on the to list .
    The lobbyists vs the people .
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    Jun 3 2013: G'day Casey

    In the world.

    People in these Political parties serve their party first & then their backers & then maybe the people who they are suppose to serve which of course has nothing to do with democracy. True democracy has spokes people who speak for their constituents & if they don't they are out in some cases quite immediately.

    Love
    Mathew
  • Jun 2 2013: I don't think political parties should be banned. What I see is that they should be supplanted by a higher form of civilization. Politics only exists the way it does because of a very few things that have been overcome. One is paper. Government observes the politics of paper. And paper is open-ended. We accept that we can just communicate but we can't demand attention or categorical answers. Thus we still live partly in the age of the printing press. And we have layers of "representative" democracy with huge cracks and places for corruption. Now let's realize two things, one, we can make a template for an entire accomplishment instead of passing letters back and forth. We can build in mechanisms that close the ends of paper. What's more, we don't have to have layers of representatives going off to place where there are limited time slots and the inability for people to turn linear information on paper into dynamic knowledge. We therefore bring the government to the people and use the entire time spectrum--no more of this elitist Congressional vacation crappola. Lives are at stake. Further, we have heard people say technology "flattens hierarchies". Well it doesn't unless we make it so. It is possible to replace the model of representative democracy with true democracy in egalitarian collectives. Journalism can be radically changed to be part of the progress engine. I have explored all these things for over 20 years so I am not just musing out loud for the first time. The only questions are can you achieve an ideal? where should it start to prove it's power? Can it be self-sustaining and profitable? Can you get enough money to make it through the period of getting enough talented people to give their all? And can you set precedents that leave no vulnerabilities for others to come and squash you? Do we need permission? No. Is there anyone who can grant that much permission? No. Is there anything in politics or government that can reform itself to this level? No.
  • Jun 2 2013: I rather agree with your proposition; however, I can also see that parties - especially a two or three party system - have the ability to organize, coalesce and focus issues, actually have more incentive to compromise. To explain, "bi-partisan" action yields a higher level of justification of political action, and a higher level of societal cohesiveness,

    I think the United States needs public financing of elections as the only real way to fix the obsession to obtain money, the absolute necessity for vast quantities of money in politics, necessary to compete in US politics. Only public financing of elections will address this problem, and return representative government to the people.

    A second important change, would be to force the Senate to change its rule on filibuster, which is now a filing of a one page form by Senate leadership, which by filing, prevents a Constitutionally mandated simple majority vote where the Vice President (the Senate President) breaks a tied vote, requiring a 2/3's majority vote instead, which is not what the Constitutional stipulates. Our present paper filing to require a 2/3 majority, is quite extra-Constitutional. I believe it is not Constitutional.

    Reorganizing both Senate and House Committee structure would help, as well. I read that the last Supreme Court Nominee had to appear before 113 committees, many two or three times, before a confirmation vote. There is considerable redundancy of responsibility and power, originally providing work-a-rounds of obstinate members, but the system now allows any committee chairman, or a few committee members to block any legislation for any reason. I have over simplified this problem, but combined with money politics, this becomes a real problem. Maybe eliminating money from politics, will mitigate this problems too. Certainly committee politics is where lobbyist thrive.
  • Jul 1 2013: Spot on. And Religion has also weeded its way into our political parties. Thomas Jefferson warned against that.
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    Jul 1 2013: Well. In my understanding, you want to ban any organization. Are you crazy? I am not so much.