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Posted by on Jun 13, 2006 in At TMV | 101 comments

Third Party Time Is Ripe

Amba observes, and I agree, that an independent party could have a major impact come 2008. However, is it less a third party and more an endorsement of a more common sense way in politics? Could there be a way to bring members of both parties back towards the sensible middle?

Amba rounds up the latest thoughts around the mediasphere on the third way.

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Copyright 2006 The Moderate Voice
  • Justin,

    What are your own thoughts regarding this matter?

    If I may say so, I think that Americans are traditionally too conservative to really support a new political party (massively).

    What do you think?

  • Jammer

    There are plenty of centrist candidates if the people will vote for them. This isnt a party problem its a people problem. I have noticed it since before 9/11 even: an angry attitude of wanting to slap down those who it is perceived get a free break, domestically, to reject attempts at reasonable progressive legislation, to round up 12 million people and deport them, and internationally to just bomb the hell out of people. I hear it all the time. Look at Hillary Cinton. She is a centrist all the way and cant get any respect out of her party which is siezed with anti-war and anti-Bush anger. Some write that Cintonism (Bill’s) was a failure and criticize everything about him; and thats his own party talking. Michael may be right here. The people are too conservative and so they elect conservatives. Kerry was a centrist for God’s sake. Heck, even Howard Dean is a proven centrist. The Repubs? Well…they are lost to the religious right and except for angry Dems who didnt like Bush to start with, I see no signs of Repubs abandoning their rightward leanings and reaching for the center, or any that try get squashed ruthlessly. As in most things, personal responsibility dictates that the people realize that they get a government that reflects them and their desires. This government isnt an anomaly: the people elected it twice and maintain a congress that supports it. They get what they wish for and they certainly get what they deserve.

  • Salmineo

    Yes we need a conservative third party. A party even farther to the right than the republicans…if possible. Heck….go ahead and make a fourth conservative party too!

  • Reece Scott

    Hi, I just happened to stumble onto this blog, and it’s funny that you guys should bring this up because lately I’ve been thinking that the nation could benefit from the formation of a strong centrist third party. I think the majority of Americans are fed up with partisan bickering and just want to address the issues that need to be addressed. That is why I have decided to form the Union Party.

    The name for this party comes from the name of a party that President Lincoln temporarily formed during the election of 1864 for the purpose of bringing together Republicans and War Democrats.

    The party would only focus on solely political issues, meaning that it wouldn’t even touch issues like gay marriage or abortion or whatever. As for the party’s stances on politcal issues, they would be formed from compromise between slightly left-of-center Democrats and slightly right-of-center Republicans.

    It is my hope that if the Union party grows large enough, it can gain support from centrists like Senator John McCain or Senator Chris Dodd.

    Anyway, I need someone to answer me this: How do I go about making the Union Party official? I understand there is a petition involved, but I’m not sure how the whole process works here in Florida. Thank you all for taking the time to read this message.

  • Two word: Ross Perot.

    If a candidate can ignite the imagination of America, they’ll get votes. The only question is, will that turn into a groundswell, or will the fruit rust on the vine? Perot didn’t have the follow through and treated the campaign like a game. If a new independent candidate takes the candidacy seriously, you could very well see other candidates in the third party vein sprout up and win.

  • To a lifelong (I)ndependant voter like me (at least registration-wise), the idea of a third party is very enticing. But this is the land of the big name franchise, after all, and these franchises have been around a long time and have a lot of investors. Also, if a third party becomes viable nationally, congressionally as well, how would you envision the coalition governments that would arise? I am only superficially acquainted with other gov’ts (European and Israeli) which frequently rely on coalitions and they seem a little more chaotic (well, used to at least) than our two party system. Is that a function of many viable parties or parliamentary differences? Wouldn’t it be more likely that one of the existing parties (the Dems, I guess) would fall by the wayside, as did the Whigs 150 years ago? We’d probably end up where we started. The problem, it seems to me is not the two party system, rather the fact that neither one seems to be working for the people, with the interests of the people as their guide.

  • grognard

    The first thing a moderate political party [and moderates themselves] would need to do to differentiate themselves from the Republicans and Dems is to refuse to engage in the juvenile name calling that passes for political dialog nowadays. Acting like adults in and of itself would be a powerful message to the electorate. Secondly a moderate party would most likely have to work within the two party system, getting a third party started is a daunting task that has been tried many times, always with failure in the long term.
    The way to work within the system is to form a political group that would campaign and contribute to moderate republicans and Dems, giving the candidates the ability to say “no� the their party extremists. If enough moderates gained office then perhaps they could split off to form a separate party.

  • Grognard:

    great comment, I agree completely.

    One of the thing I always find a little bit irritating about American political debates is the name-calling.

    What is highly interesting is that such an aggressive approach does not work in the Netherlands. Some political parties here tried to copy the way American political parties campaign. The approach became more aggressive, less on topic, more attacking person and… those who tried this lost the elections.
    Why didn’t this work in The Netherlands? Simply because most Dutch regard those strategies (attack the person not the view) uncivil. Undecent.

    It is highly fascinating to me to think about this subject. I often wonder why it is that it dóés work in the US, but not in The Netherlands. Why are Americans more in favor of aggressive campaigns?

  • Pyst

    grognard, I thought about this very same thing recently, and I think I ahve a solution.

    Every media outlet, and on capitol hill there should be a group of people carrying small bamboo sticks to smack verbal transgressors like bad dogs. Not big sticks mind you, just big enough to make the ‘bad dog” behave ya know?

    Think about the scenario: Dick Cheyney has just told Patrick Lehey to fuck off on the senate floor, and out of nowhere comes the “verbal discourse monitor” and WHACK! He scolds Cheyney embarassing him infront of the whole senate. I think after being made to look like an ass a few times these types of things would stop hehehe.

    Ok, maybe a baseball bat for Ann Coulter is in order LOL.

  • Salmineo

    Pyst

    Yes…use the baseball bat on Ann Coulter. Hell use a telephone poll.

  • Isidora

    Michael:
    Personal attacks are uncivil and indecent…sigh…I don’t know what’s wrong with America. I really wish I did. I don’t know whether this is just a problem with contemporary American culture or whether it represents some deeper current in the American character. I do recall from history class (a long time ago) that Congressional debates during the 19th century could often be quite volatile by today’s standards, but I don’t know how to verify that. I may see if I can pursue the question. In any case, it’s good to know that that smear campiagns don’t go over well in the Netherlands.

    In 2004, in my state, the Republican canidate for Senator (Representative? I don’t remember.) made fun of his opponent for being Italian-American and also intimated that he was gay. I voted for the Democrat.

  • Chippedchips

    Michael van der Galien wrote: If I may say so, I think that Americans are traditionally too conservative to really support a new political party (massively).

    What do you think?
    ****************************************************
    Well Michael don’t say you didn’t ask.

    The republican and democratiic parties are just the two current major parties in power and all the other parties, name changes and party powers mostly now forgotten, have changed more than a few times throughout our nation’s history. The republican and democratic parties evolved out of other parties.

    New U S political parties come and go all the time, and many of them after being formed just hang in there biting their fingernails and hoping. Here is the website showing the currently active “THIRD” political parties if interested:

    http://www.politics1.com/parties.htm and there are quite a few. One in particular may be of interest to you and other blog members the Independent American Party at http://www.usiap.org/ but even with this party expect nothing ideal or perfect cause it ain’t to be had…not in politics.

    I think an unknown, but large number, maybe even a majority by now, of our population are seeing things as I do…that the two major parties in power just don’t play nice with each other anymore and have all but forgotten mainstream America and common American citizens like ourselves. This does not course include anyone willing to totally capitulate, blindly follow and trust them and kiss their ringed butts and/or are heavily connected to government as employees or like government contractor corporations and their employees, the only real entities and people benefiting from our federal government. People on the outside, especially the blind faith follow you anywhere right wingers that foolishly beleive they are part of the inside..are just that..fools fooling themselves.

    In its beginning I thought Ross Perot’s “United We Stand” party might do the trick until it became in large part the who’s or the who rich on the far right wing…not the radical fringe of the right wing..just the far right. The AARP is not too different from Perot’s group either and the majority of AARP members have or had their roots in both organizations.

    And at any rate I want the man in the White House to consider country over family which Perot vividly displayed he did not, when a threat came to his family. Peror developed chicken feathers cried Pucock and ran home.

    The third party I envision will have candidates chosen by the general party membership through as many run off elections as it takes until a full 2/3 majority decides on the final candidate(s) to run against the two oposition parties now in power.

    I’m sick and tired of having small groups of party elitists, mostly plutocrats at the local, state, and national levels, where elite selection committee’s pick out stringed puppet poodles that don’t know their asses from a hole in the ground for me to vote for.

    If we are truly a nation with a government, of, by, and for ALL the people, then ALL the people should be allowed to act in real democratic process selecting candidates instead of just a party elite select few, as is being done now. Even the slect few in the selection committees are selected by even a fewer group people when it boils down to it.

    That is the difference in Direct Democracy with all the people involved, my pokitical preference, and the half assed Reprentative Democracy we have how where a few in each of the major party’s select someone for the vast mass majority of us out here to vote for. If I had been part of the selection process in 2000/2004, george walker bush couldn’t have run for dog-catcher much less this nation’s government top seat as chief executive. He’d be shoveling out horse stalls in Crawford today!

    Just once I’d like to be able to vote for my choice, a candidate that I in part helped to select along with other common citizens of like mind, rather than having to vote for one of two other choices someone else in an elitist party selection committee picked for me.

    And yes yes my way for candidate selection would take time…but what is taking time to find the right people as representatives to run our nation, compared to the irresponsible and/or corrupt coming into power and reigning over us like they were royalty as soon as they are seated in office.

    And why must ALL the the masses of people have to go to the top dog party elitists and beg them to have a rotten government representative ousted and a special election held to replace them; especically the congress, it was our individual votes that elected them to office not the DNC or RNC; they just chose them for us to vote for.

    Right now voting indendent is a dead end dirt road too.

    I have writen this so many times all over the web I’m a little sick to write it down again…but…

    “We are no longer a nation of self governing people under constitutional, “of, by, and for” the people law…de facto…we are at present a nation ruled by a minisucule governing body comprised of a Sectarian falsly Theocratic, Oligarchy of Plutocrats comprised mostly of lawyers that quietly finagled law over the last forty years; that have placed themselves above the laws we must live under, and stole the nation out from under the masses; ourselves living under law(s) made by this corrupt ruling oligarchy.” And that’s it in a nutshell.

    What do you think Michael? Your comments please.

  • Isadora:

    In 2004, in my state, the Republican canidate for Senator (Representative? I don’t remember.) made fun of his opponent for being Italian-American and also intimated that he was gay. I voted for the Democrat.

    That is exactly how the Dutch (although we have our own big problems; we only need to think about the way my fellow countrymen treated Ayaan Hirsi Ali) would react as well.

    Chippedchips:
    Let me start by saying that you seem to be very passionate about this and seem to have thought about it very thoroughly.
    I always respect that very much.

    What do I think about what you wrote…
    As I said, my initial response is that most Americans are too conservative to vote for a new political party. Besides that I also feel that quite some Americans are… politically exhausted. The ‘no matter who’s in office, they all screw up’-attitude seems to be alive and kicking, so to speak.

    As I said, that is my initial reaction. On the other hand, after reading your comment I can see that there is some room for a new party. As you have said, the Democratic and Republican Party weren’t always the 2 leading parties in the US.
    What it takes to form such a new party is a lot of people who are passionate to succeed.

    The question is, what kind of third party would you favor? Some people suggest a ‘real’ conservative party will have a good shot at succeeding, others seem to believe moderates should start one, on the other hand there are also those who rather see a ‘real’ liberal party to be born.

    That liberal party doesn’t have any chance at all to succeed in my opinion.

    Moderate party: might succeed. One problem with a ‘moderate’ party though, could be that they do not appeal to the general public enough. The general public mostly likes firm stance and does not like the ‘middle-road’ when elections are up.

    Conservative party: would have quite some support. However; the Republican Party harbors a lot of conservatives. I do not see most of them leaving the Republican Party; I think they’ll simply try to regain power with the RP.

    In the end; I am slightly negative about it, but, in the end, I think that the combination moderate / conservative could appeal to the general public enough to succeed. The combination middle-road while also firm stands could be succesful.

    From a more personal point of view: I firmly believe that if one believes in oneself, in ones abilities and if one is prepared to work hard enough, one always has a great shot at succeeding.
    Maybe the real question should be; are there enough people with the right attitude?

    Just some thoughts.

  • To make this a little bit more clear: the only possible 3rd party that could have any chance at succeeding would be a combination moderate – conservative.
    Emphasize could

  • Chippedchips

    Isadora, and Michael…first thanks for the complement. I do try to think most things all the way through.

    And I am passionate when it comes to the concerns of this nation and its people, my brothers and sisters all…citizens that is. I’m equally passionate about the invasion of this nation by those that don’t even recognize our laws much less abide by them.

    If it were Canada bording Mexico the same would still be happening. The hungry desperate from the south would still come. And if our own government wasn’t now and all my life had not sucked up to the several corrupt Mexican governments and their leaders and enforced immigration laws that have been on the books all my life…things would be quite different and immigration and imigrees from every point on the compass would be orderly petitioning for entry and citizenship. Our nation not all that long ago fedd half the world and outselves…now we import almost as much foodstuffs as we grow for ourselves.

    I’ve lived in the DFW area for 17 years now, and I’ve watched the city dwellers, the true haters of illegals, flee to the suburbs, suburbs that have taken good crop producing farmlands which will be direly needed in the near future should the illegal immigration not be estopped.

    Even when I was a kid living on a small ranch in Kerr County Texas we had to patrol our own property to protect our livestock and horses from being stolen or slaughtered and eaten right on our property..and we were 150 miles from the Mexico border. It was nothing to herd anywhere from 10 to 25 illegals (I won’t say WB today) off our property to adjacent landowners property.

    I honestly believe that a huge number of people are starting to shed their I’m a conservative, I’m a liberal thoughts and are coming toward the middle ground where I live. As I said in another reply people that don’t have both conservative and liberal views and thoughts scare hell out of me like any other extremism does.

    The left/right extremists within politics can become addicts, as surely as people become addicted to alcohol and drugs. And its obvious that tens of thousands of U S Citizens have become addicted by their refusal to listen to the other guys views much less discuss them in civil manner. Just read some of the crap written right here in this blog by both left and right wingers. And dear, I’ve never seen two people shake hands from opposite sides of a room. One or both of them must at least take a step in the other’s direction.

    All any contract, or agreement, needs to be, but often isn’t, is mutually beneficial even if it is a bit lopsided. I’d rather win a third than lose the whole pie.

    Its demonstrated right here in this blog and in our government representation…no one is willing to even try to agree, everyone wants the whole pie.

    Its my way or the highway politics…and who truly benefits from that? And that political attitude has brought more than one nation to revolution and its knees…as history bears out.

    Here right now devout adherents one party says its black, the other says its white, neither willing to take a single step toward the other and put the two colors together and descover a single area of gray.

    Its not only sad, if it continues long term, revolution will evolve from it.

    Michael, please reread the part of my reply concerning Direct Democracy…honestly I don’t care of a third formal political party ever comes about as long as ALL THE PEOPLE are allowed into the political loop, each having an equal say and vote.

    That’s the reason I vote independent..sometimes for a republican like Ron Paul, sometimes a democrat like Ann Richards, and as many common sense democrats, republican’s and independents as there are available to vote for.

    Some of the easiest people to spot are political diletantes and as often as not just plain ole politically stupid or politically ignorant persons.

    Usually here on the web its people that use the words republican, democrat, consevative, and liberal as four letter words in their posts and replies.

    I suppose that makes me double stupid and ignorant for wasting my time lashing out at left, right, and center, as both spouting out dirvel and acting stupid and ignorant are harmless….after all they like me are entitled to their views and opinions.

    I think I’m trying to teach but recongnize I don’t really have either the patience or talent for it.

    There’s an old adage that applies especially in the political arena…”you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.”

    However I have a lot of mule in me and don’t give up trying.

    Have a good evening.

  • Chippedchips, hence my comment in the other thread:
    The American political debate has gotten extremely polarized: all reps are ‘right wingers’, all democrats are ‘leftist loonies’.

    Nothing good can come out of that.

    and:
    honestly I don’t care of a third formal political party ever comes about as long as ALL THE PEOPLE are allowed into the political loop, each having an equal say and vote.

    I don’t think anyone can possibly disagree with you on this.

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