Faisel Butt

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Where is America's centre (center) party?

I'm writing this in the light of the fiscal cliff approaching rapidly and even though this has been heavily debated and reported in the media, no compromise has been made yet.

It makes me wonder why there isn't a centre party in American politics. If such a party refrained from entering the presidential election, which is extremely costly and requires an unrealistic amount of votes to win, and instead sought to gain seats in the senate and congress, such a party could realistically succeed in winning enough seats to be the decisive vote in both houses.

It's simple game theory and would change the political climate dramatically. As it would be impossible to simply block the opponents policy, both of the traditional parties would have an incentive to negotiate and compromise in order to gain influence and avoid being rendered obsolete.

Theoretically 20 seats for a centre party in the senate could also end filibusters.

I think it would be essential for such a party to “steal” votes from both moderate conservatives and moderate democrats. The advantages would be enormous. You would avoid these stall mate situations and by negotiating with both sides of the houses, legislation could accommodate a larger group of the population.

It would change the rhetoric of politics as well, as advocating extreme viewpoints would be less beneficial.

What do you think?

P.s.: Happy terrestrial heliocentric elliptic orbit completion day!

  • Jan 13 2013: No party in the states is truly centrist. The majority of Americans are more centrist than they might like to admit, but they come from both parties.

    The few extremists in both parties are driving forces for where we are today. But they don't truly represent the American people. Only a small, but vocal group.
  • Jan 6 2013: What does 'centrist' mean? Does it mean keeping all of the people's needs in mind and balancing all needs? Political parties are, by definition, creators of division and divisiveness. Red, blue. Who's who?

    There is NO party that can be anything but partisan. This party-based political system is broken; not able to be repaired. Can we think outside of the box and imagine a system where each person has to know the issues and vote based on their own assessment of the situation, rather than relying on their party platform? Is that what Robert means by independent? Where once a decision is made everyone supports it as if it were their own idea and does not subvert the decision because it was not their own? Where forming a bond of unity with all people is desirable? This would not be Utopia. It is called the necessary evolution of humankind and was proposed by a Persian sage over 100 years ago and is in operation in communities all over the world..
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    Jan 2 2013: Faisel, I think that we are coming to that .... many people have tired of the parties and their platforms as they do not realistically address either the problems or the solutions. Each party believes themselves to be Centeralist.

    In the US we are seeing more people going Independent as a voice against the blind following of platforms and pure power grabs. Once past the tripe of one being all for the rich and the other all for the poor ... people are begining to see the real issues.

    I see the Independents becoming a sway power and maybe later a political power in the US.
  • Jan 2 2013: Unfortunately, both parties are pretty much for the foreign adventurism status quo. And neither party can deliver a cost-effective health care program that covers everyone, or get the balance right between regulation and free markets. There is a tremendous opportunity for a 3rd party, but the obstacles are daunting. I have a draft platform on FB called US Progressive Conservative Party (just a working title at the moment, shamelessly stolen from the Canadians). Your strategy is correct - work with the lower offices first.
  • Jan 1 2013: "Where is America's centre (center) party?"

    It exists, it's called the "Democratic Party". That party is centrist both compared to international politics and the views of the American public (since being conservative is a tribal mentality the trick is to ask people about very specific issues, not ask them if they like Obama or if they are liberal).


  • Jan 1 2013: It's still in the Democrats Except for Arnold and Blumberg- It's mostly gone in the Republicans. That's not what you're asking to find, but there was a progressive wing in both parties. Everything human has some sort of spread or distribution.
  • Jan 1 2013: IMHO,

    The Red and Blue party (there is actually only one) will not tolerate real competition.
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    Dec 31 2012: Its all entirely possible, but it doesn't happen because unfortunately my side are a bunch of fools when it comes to politics.

    -The generic progressives have no capacity to organize into anything meaningful and
    -The elite intellectual progressives have no interest in being involved and
    -The progressive media spends no more than 0.0005% of its time even mentioning those progressives who are running for office.

    This is why the left and centre never get anything accomplished unlike the basketcases on the right such as the gop, neocons and teaparty who are ultimately responsible for all of the issues the centre and left take issue with.

    We're in a strange situation where the people most objectively inept at politics know how politics works, and the people most likely to fix the house can't work the door handle..