Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Party System of Representative Democracy

2016: The Year Americans Found Out Their Elections Are Rigged
The parties, both of them, are the gatekeepers between the unwashed hoi polloi and actual selection of governing potentates. This year will go down as demonstrating how the gates can appear open, yet really are closed to American voters. Both parties are despicable, and should be sued as monopolies so that they can be broken up, and the new parties forced to produce candidates which are chosen by "we the people", not by party bosses and hacks. This current behavior is expected of the Democrats. But it is very disturbing to see the Republicans nullify the popular vote in favor of the party hacks.

The bottom line is that the two parties should get together and decide in their closeted "caucus" who the next president will be, and then just tell us commoners who they choose - and who will be next after that. Just get it over with.


JBsptfn said...

Bingo!!! Voting is a waste. Not too many Americans seem to realize that.

Xellos said...

"should be sued as monopolies so that they can be broken up"

That would imply the courts aren't in it together with the major political players.

As a wise person wrote: it's impossible to achieve utopia by human effort, because what humans can make, clever as it may be, yet more clever humans can break.

CJ said...

"and the new parties forced to produce candidates which are chosen by "we the people", not by party bosses and hacks"

These are primary elections -- in essence, private elections held by the two political parties to determine their preferred candidates. There is no rule beyond a gentleman's agreement which declares the parties have to consult the public at all in determining their candidates. In Taiwan, for example, where politics is also dominated by two major political parties, each party's candidate is chosen by that party's central committee a couple of months before the general election.

The US Constitution, which didn't envision political parties at all, places no restrictions on how political parties can or should go about selecting their candidates. The entire question -- the entire primary process -- lies outside any constitutional framework.

One could, I suppose, argue it violates in some vague fashion the spirit of democracy, but I would argue rather the opposite: since these are in fact private elections the government should recuse itself from all involvement in the primaries. Government involvement only lends a deceptive air of quasi-official status to the things.

CJ said...

A quick Google search, in fact, turns up some surprising historical facts. The whole process of direct voter involvement in candidate selections is much more recent than I'd realized. Prior to 1820, members of Congress met within their party caucuses to select their party's nominee. That process broke down, however, and was gradually replaced by a national convention in which delegates were appointed and controlled by political bosses. According to Wikipedia "a few, mostly Western, states adopted primary elections in the late 19th century", but primary elections weren't widely adopted as the preferred method of candidate selection by the major parties until 1968 (D) and 1972 (R). Most other political parties have never adopted it.

Stan said...

Because the two parties form the entire political spectrum (except for noise), they are similar to utilities. In few places does one get to choose which electric company to buy electrons from. Many utilities are government owned and operated. We have an electric cooperative. In these utilities, one at least has a vote, if not directly, then indirectly by electing representatives who will manage the utilities properly.

The political party system functions like a utility which provides political services which ordinary citizens can't provide for themselves. But it is not regulated for the quality of its services, including the proper representation of the desires of its members, at least those who are merely voters and not politicians themselves.

Clearly a multi-party system would be better able to represent the entire spectrum of citizen's political views. We are seeing that now inside the parties, with splinter groups forming to provide support for citizens who don't like the establishmentarian candidates which are billionaire approved.

So we are seeing internal strife because the populace is not represented by the billionaire-approved establishment candidates - the darlings of the utility oligarchic hegemons. The third party option could be workable in this environment, I suppose, if both Bernie and the Donald go third party at the same time, thereby dividing up the voters according to political theory. I think that either regulation or multi-party systems are necessary in order to stem the tide of parasitic crony politics under the two party system. (I admit that it might be as bad or worse under multiparty, but that's not a certainty due to more competition).