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BS: NON-Partisan political comments

beardedbruce 19 Oct 04 - 10:42 PM
beardedbruce 17 Oct 04 - 06:35 PM
Greg F. 17 Oct 04 - 06:29 PM
Amos 17 Oct 04 - 03:32 PM
DougR 17 Oct 04 - 02:57 PM
GUEST 17 Oct 04 - 02:09 PM
beardedbruce 17 Oct 04 - 12:18 PM
beardedbruce 13 Oct 04 - 12:21 AM
beardedbruce 09 Oct 04 - 11:56 PM
GUEST 08 Oct 04 - 06:15 PM
GUEST,Clint Keller 03 Oct 04 - 06:32 PM
DMcG 03 Oct 04 - 06:57 AM
beardedbruce 02 Oct 04 - 11:41 PM
GUEST 23 Sep 04 - 01:09 AM
beardedbruce 20 Sep 04 - 07:18 PM
GUEST,Martian Gibbon 19 Sep 04 - 06:41 PM
GUEST,Clint Keller 19 Sep 04 - 06:37 PM
Big Al Whittle 19 Sep 04 - 04:53 PM
GUEST,Clint Keller 19 Sep 04 - 12:31 AM
Bert 18 Sep 04 - 11:19 PM
Little Hawk 18 Sep 04 - 11:04 PM
GUEST,Clint Keller 18 Sep 04 - 04:50 PM
Little Hawk 18 Sep 04 - 04:49 PM
pdq 18 Sep 04 - 04:16 PM
Peace 18 Sep 04 - 04:08 PM
pdq 18 Sep 04 - 03:50 PM
Big Al Whittle 18 Sep 04 - 01:36 PM
Little Hawk 17 Sep 04 - 09:55 PM
freightdawg 16 Sep 04 - 11:33 PM
GUEST,Clint Keller 16 Sep 04 - 04:42 PM
Little Hawk 16 Sep 04 - 03:05 PM
beardedbruce 16 Sep 04 - 11:02 AM
freightdawg 15 Sep 04 - 11:41 PM
Little Hawk 15 Sep 04 - 10:52 PM
Bobert 15 Sep 04 - 10:14 PM
Teresa 15 Sep 04 - 09:54 PM
Bill D 15 Sep 04 - 09:19 PM
GUEST 15 Sep 04 - 09:07 PM
GUEST 15 Sep 04 - 07:00 PM
John Hardly 15 Sep 04 - 09:33 AM
beardedbruce 15 Sep 04 - 09:17 AM
freightdawg 13 Sep 04 - 10:29 AM
GUEST,Larry K 13 Sep 04 - 09:37 AM
Clinton Hammond 12 Sep 04 - 03:09 PM
Jim Dixon 12 Sep 04 - 02:50 PM
beardedbruce 12 Sep 04 - 02:23 PM
beardedbruce 12 Sep 04 - 02:20 PM
mack/misophist 12 Sep 04 - 02:06 PM
GUEST 12 Sep 04 - 01:30 PM
Clinton Hammond 12 Sep 04 - 12:52 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: beardedbruce
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 10:42 PM

And from Am0s....

(Although not political, I think this deserves to be preserved)


"I think thereis a third class, too -- the ones whose destructiveness toward others is hidden in little needling remarks, the chronic correctors of others, the passive-aggressive under-miners and invalidators, who sweetly suggest you are worth very little, just for your own good, and end up stopping you from breathing, the secret saboteurs and artfully smiling destroyers of spirit. They don't look destructive until you trust or rely on them."


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: beardedbruce
Date: 17 Oct 04 - 06:35 PM

DougR, Amos, Greg F

Thread drift. There are more than enough threads to argue in- can't you just let this one be?


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: Greg F.
Date: 17 Oct 04 - 06:29 PM

I favor the type world Bush wants

Regardkless of how he intends to get there? As exemplified by past practise?


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: Amos
Date: 17 Oct 04 - 03:32 PM

I think I know the article referred to, this one I think there is an important distinction to be made in his attributions of "vision". I do not for a moment believe that Kerry's vision -- on eof taking our neighbor relations seriously -- is one of preventing the sovereignty of any nation. How could it be? But consulting with the other people in the small crowded room called Earth is only basic decency, something much neglected of late in the halls of power.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: DougR
Date: 17 Oct 04 - 02:57 PM

David Brooks, columnist for the "New York Times" wrote a column about Kerry and Bush that appeared in our newspaper today that is, in my opinion, totally nonpartisan. He extrapolates to the readers his view of the kind of world Kerry envisions and the role the U. S. should play, and the kind of world Bush wants and how the U. S. should help achieve it. He does not urge support for either candidate.

This article describes the philosophies of both candidates better than anything I have read.

I favor the type world Bush wants.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Oct 04 - 02:09 PM

Jackc the Sailor: September 11: how do you know the Kerry administration would be better than a Bush administration? You'll probably cop out with "well anybody would be better than Bush," but I'd seriously like to know HOW you know Kerry would be better? Do YOU know who would fill key positions in a Kerry cabinet? If so, would you please share that information with us? Thanks.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: beardedbruce
Date: 17 Oct 04 - 12:18 PM

From Amos:

I don't know why you folks (some of you) seem to think it is accurate appropriate or acceptable to sling these damn labels around and pass judgments on huge lots of people in one swoop by classifying them as .... ( party deleted) or whatever. It is unconscionably poor thinking to make gross generalizations like that and pretend that some aspect of the label applies to all members of the class. It is not only bad thinking, it is also unjust to members of the set, and it is also -- because it distorts truth and promotes falsehood -- unethical.


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: beardedbruce
Date: 13 Oct 04 - 12:21 AM

and from Jeri

Some people always go with authority figures, and some always go against. Both tendencies mean they don't care as much about facts as who's telling them, they're going to be wrong at least as often as right, and in the meantime, will do their level best to spread propaganda.


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: beardedbruce
Date: 09 Oct 04 - 11:56 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Oct 04 - 06:15 PM

and from Jeri-

"When what you believe is determined by which 'side' you're on, truth doesn't stand a chance. "


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: GUEST,Clint Keller
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 06:32 PM

glad to see this thread again.

I wanted to put in one of my favorite Wm. Blake quotes:
____

I am really sorry to see my Countrymen trouble themselves about Politics.  If Men were Wise, the Most arbitrary Princes could not hurt them.  If they are not wise, the Freest Government is compelled to be a Tyranny.  Princes appear to me to be Fools.  Houses of Commons & Houses of Lords appear to me to be fools; they seem to me to be something Else besides Human Life.
____

cliint


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: DMcG
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 06:57 AM

I don't know how many people outside the UK know who Robin Cook MP is, but he was a member of this government before resigning over Iraq and is now just an ordinary MP.

I heard a lecture from him in about 1996 on political structures and he was complaining about the UK system in which whoever wins Parliament has in effect absolute control (at least if the margin is significant). His basic point was that we think of strong government as one that can force through decisions simply because of the majority, even though come the next election if the other side wins they can force through completely opposing decisions. The result is that, taking a view over several changes of leadership there has been substantial occillation and very little of anything that you could call settled progress. "And I am sick of that kind of strong government" was one of the lines that stuck in my memory. Real strong government comes when, for whatever reason, all sides sign up, in the main, to a point of view; rather like LH's suggested 2/3 majority. Yes, it would be much more difficult to get anything done, but whatever was done would have a much better chance of surviving long term.


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: beardedbruce
Date: 02 Oct 04 - 11:41 PM

and from Bobert:

"Unless you are capable and willing to look beyond *your* side then you are allready in the loser category in my book. I mean no disrespect here but life isn't about winning law suits but being able to find common ground or selling visions."


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Sep 04 - 01:09 AM

and from Giok...

This is what I mean when I say that people vote according to their social status or family background, for a party and not for a candidate. No thought required!!


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: beardedbruce
Date: 20 Sep 04 - 07:18 PM

and from sledge...

if we all trawled the net looking for stuff to discredit/smear anyone we would surely find it sooner or later.


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: GUEST,Martian Gibbon
Date: 19 Sep 04 - 06:41 PM

Good night pardon I saw that


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: GUEST,Clint Keller
Date: 19 Sep 04 - 06:37 PM

"sorry I wasn't being anti democrat, or anti anything - not intentionally. I was genuinely asking what the guest meant Sept 12th 10.51

no body disagreed with him(her)"

I beg your pardon, in that case.

I didn't disagree with him/her/it because I wanted to stay non-partisan. I thought it was a trollish, thread-busting post, and that was its meaning.

clint


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Sep 04 - 04:53 PM

sorry I wasn't being anti democrat, or anti anything - not intentionally. I was genuinely asking what the guest meant Sept 12th 10.51

no body disagreed with him(her)

I was puzzled by what he thought the democrats were doing wrong


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: GUEST,Clint Keller
Date: 19 Sep 04 - 12:31 AM

Little Hawk:

Sorry, I was aiming that at weelittledrummer and especially pdq & his anti-Democrat story. I suppose I could have countered by telling how all the all the obscene sign defacing and vandalism that I've heard about here in Kootenai county has been done to Democrats, but that would make it maybe bipartisan instead of nonpartisan and I'd rather not pursue it; there's no profit in that kind of discussion. ("Oh yeah? How about what your guys did?" Repeat ad lib, ad infinitum.)

But an overly-ambitious independent would be likely to have a group of henchmen who would behave unsportingly. It's hard to avoid "parties" of some kind. Although I'm for it.

I'm not even real big on birthday parties.

clint


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: Bert
Date: 18 Sep 04 - 11:19 PM

I guess to be non partisan you have to look solely at the issues.

What has improved and what has deteriorated in the last four years.

Look at the facts and form your own opinions.

Here is a list of things to think about. This list is very partisan so if you are on the other side feel free to add your own list of things.

Gas prices. Are they higher or lower?
Food prices. Are they higher or lower?
Employment. How is your job security?
Overtime Pay. Will you be losing yours?
Infrastructure - e.g. potholes. More or less?
Life Savings. Did yours grow or shrink?
Debt. Did yours increase or decrease?

Bert.


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: Little Hawk
Date: 18 Sep 04 - 11:04 PM

To have nonpartisan comments, Clint, simply remove the parties. You can definitely be nonpartisan (in the sense that was intended by this thread) and still have an opinion.


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: GUEST,Clint Keller
Date: 18 Sep 04 - 04:50 PM

"NON-Partisan political comments."

Please

clint


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: Little Hawk
Date: 18 Sep 04 - 04:49 PM

Like I said, political parties are a bad idea, pdq. Eliminate them and vote for independent individuals instead...or just choose such individuals by lot from a pool of capable people...and you have eliminated Sophia's problem from ever rearing its ugly head again in that fashion.

Bad behaviour is promoted by a partisan system, because it's all about nursing old hatreds and prejudices and winning at any cost.

I've seen plently of bad behaviour by both Republicans and Democrats. But then, I don't believe in either one of them.


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: pdq
Date: 18 Sep 04 - 04:16 PM

"Pass the cinnamon, please".


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: Peace
Date: 18 Sep 04 - 04:08 PM

"All politics is apple sauce." (Will Rogers)


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: pdq
Date: 18 Sep 04 - 03:50 PM

James Frederick Dwight
  ¶ 9/17/2004 02:17:02 PM
  "I WAS A 3 YEAR-OLD GIRL"

My favorite campaign story of the day comes from West Virginia. (Actually, it's my second favorite – the Gallup poll that has Bush up 54-40 is impossible to beat.) Anyway, back to West Virginia. Follow the link.

There you'll see a picture of a precious three year old girl, a veritable Cindy-Lou Who, perched on her father's shoulders. But what should be a happy tableaux instead is a sad one. Three year old Sophia Parlock is weeping. Her Bush-Cheney sign has been snatched by over-zealous Kerry-Edwards supporters and torn to shreds. Next to poor Sophia, you can see a gloating young man wearing a t-shirt boasting of his affiliation with some union clutching what appears to be a piece of the formerly proud Bush-Cheney sign. Sophia's father looks distressed and helpless; none of the on-looking Kerry-Edwards supporters seem to be offering any support, moral or otherwise.

It doesn't please me to report this, but I once was Sophia Parlock, helplessly bullied by backwards hat wearing Democrat partisan thugs. It was during the Romney-Kennedy campaign of 1994. It was a tight race, and the first candidates' debate was being held at famous Boston landmark Faneuil Hall. Both campaigns urged their supporters to come out in force for their respective champions.

For the Romney campaign, that meant the local Republicans would take a night off from dining at their country clubs and hold a campaign sign for a couple of hours. For the Kennedy campaign, bringing out their supporters meant only one thing – mobilize the Unions.

While I'm generalizing a bit, the contrast between the campaigns' supporters was stark. Trust me on that. The Romney supporters were by and large political neophytes unaccustomed to the rough and tumble of such events; the Kennedy supporters were old hands at the form of combat that ensued. See, it was like a battle; both sides wanted to get close enough to the spot where the candidates entered so their signs, and thus their enthusiasm, would be seen by the larger TV audience. This being Boston, there was limited space so the desirable real estate went to the most "determined" supporters.

Suffice to say, the scrum did not go well for the Romney supporters. The Kennedy supporters were slightly more numerous and a lot more "determined." You could see it on the faces of most of the Romney supporters – political activism was not turning out be their cup of tea.

After the disappointing photo-op, it was time to leave. Some went home, some went to bars, my two friends and I made our way through Boston's crooked streets to the debate's after party site for campaign insiders. There it happened – the three of us youthful yuppie types toting our Romney signs came upon a half dozen Kennedy sign toting gentlemen wearing "Tunnel Digger Union" jackets (there was a lot of tunnel digging going on in Boston at the time with the Big Dig and all).

The sight of my business attire was enough to enrage these men: "Look at that fuck wearing that fucking 'Anderson Little' suit. I'd like to fuck him up just for the fuck of it." That was their battle cry.

Although enraged by the suggestion that I would wear an Anderson Little suit, Anderson Little being a local chain not known for selling suits of the highest quality or even ones made from natural fibers, I knew I would have to control my temper. We were outnumbered, not to mention hopelessly effete. I decided to ignore the insult and move on.

But our malefactors had other ideas. They approached us and relieved us of our Romney signs. They were actually quite gentlemanly about the transaction, given the circumstances. I can only wish that I had been sitting on my father's shoulders at the time, safely out of the reach of these Democratic brutes.

So, Sophia Parlock, you've joined a proud tradition at a young age. Your dissent has been stifled and your safety menaced by the minions of a struggling Massachusetts politician. I can only wish that I had displayed the same nobility and courage that evening long ago as you did yesterday.

Responses? Thoughts? Please email them to me at soxblog@aol.com
James Frederick Dwight
  ¶ 9/17/2004 09:13:31 AM


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Sep 04 - 01:36 PM

question from a dumb outsider

what is it separates the shrill nasty current democrats from the nice traditional ones of yore?


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Sep 04 - 09:55 PM

That's right, freightdawg, the jury system is such a setup as I have proposed. Thanks for listening seriously to what may seem at first an unusual idea. A non-partisan town council is also such a setup. You don't divide a town council or a jury up into 2 pre-arranged adversarial groups who are opposed to each other on principle and then expect to get anything useful out of it. Yet that is what is considered "normal" in the sphere of politics, apparently.

Clint - Great quotation from Thucydides! He describes beautifully what happens in an extremely competitive and ruthless system based on aggression and competition rather than mutual cooperation. War is the ultimate form of competition.

What I see happening in a modern political campaign is a war. A war of words, accusations, slander, innuendo, financial clout, false promises, and manipulative propaganda. This is not the way to achieve a harmonious, united, mature society. Quite the contrary. It is shameful in nature and destructive in effect.


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: freightdawg
Date: 16 Sep 04 - 11:33 PM

Little Hawk,

It occured to me as I read your last post that we do have something akin to what you are describing in our "separation of powers" society: the jury in the courtroom. A randomly selected group of people are selected (by various means in different parts of the country) and are further winnowed by those who, at least ostensibly, are working for the best interest of all concerned (the judge and opposing legal counsels.) Then this group of people is given the most awesome responsibility ever: the determination of guilt or innocence, the right or wrong, or the best solution to a vexing problem. It is not perfect, mistakes happen. But the theory is certainly there.

Exactly as you described for the "political" arena. No one could argue that it would not work, because it works quite well in the arena where we use it now.

By gum, methinks you're on to something there...good show :-)

Freightdawg


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: GUEST,Clint Keller
Date: 16 Sep 04 - 04:42 PM

I believe this is a non-partisan statement; it's something Thucydides wrote a millenium and a half ago, so I presume he was neither Republican or Democrat. He's talking about the Peloponnesian War.

…To fit in with the change of events, words, too, had to change their usual meanings. What used to be described as a thoughtless act of aggression was now regarded as the courage one would expect to find in a party member; to think of the future and wait was merely another way of saying one was a coward; any idea of moderation was just an attempt to disguise one's unmanly character; ability to understand a question from all sides meant that one was totally unfitted for action. Fanatical enthusiasm was the mark of a real man, and to plot against an enemy behind his back was perfectly legitimate self-defense. Anyone who held violent opinions could be trusted, and anyone who objected to them became a suspect.… As a result…there was a general deterioration of character throughot the Greek world. The plain way of looking at things, which is so much the mark of a noble nature, was regarded as a ridiculous quality and soon ceased to exist. Society became divided into camps in which no man trusted his fellow.

From Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea, by Thomas Cahill.

clint


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Sep 04 - 03:05 PM

Sounds reasonable to me, freightdawg. :-) (I got kind of vehement there...because I have come to truly detest the whole idea of political parties.) I think society could very well function as a cooperative commune on a large scale...if people would just try it.

A representative assembly such as I am suggesting would give an equal vote to each representative, and the representatives would come from every region of the country. They would each naturally have in mind the concerns of their region...but by working together they would also be well aware of national concerns, and would have to work on balancing the one set of considerations against the other.

Quite honestly, I think that even if such representatives were chosen by random lot from a pool of qualifited people in each region...that it would end up way better than our present form of government. Public service would then not be seen as "winning" a competitive election, but rather volunteering one's time and energy in service of one's community (for a reasonable salary, of course). This would be quite an honour.

An assembly of such representatives would naturally come forth with many individual opinions and viewpoints...and they would have to discuss and debate the merits of those and propose legislation as they say fit...but the vital thing is: they would not be artificially divided into two warring parties, facing one another across the floor of the assembly with the intention of frustrating and impeding each other's progress, and turfing the other side out of power.

This would naturally result in a far more harmonious form of governing, and the recall arrangements would be a strong motivation to sitting members to serve their constituents well.

A voting member would not be under party pressure to vote "the party line", but would be free to vote as he/she truly believed was best. This again is absolutely vital for real democracy to be achieved.

The biggest mistake of this whole society, as we have it, is the unspoken assumption that the adversarial method is the way to get things done. It's a very poor way to get anything done, war being the ultimate example of that. All adversarial situations are warlike in concept, the only question is: what are the rules as to how far you can go in attacking the other side? It gets out of hand fast, and it encourages cheating, dishonesty, bribery, crime, violence, and whatever else is seen to work (meaning: to provide you with victory).

A 2/3 vote for ratification is a far better idea than a bare majority. If 2/3 of any assembly is in favour of something, you can be pretty sure it's not something irresponsible or destructive. That is not so when you only need 51% to push something through.

In fact, I'd rather see it a 3/4 vote for ratification, all things considered. 2/3 is the bare minimum to ensure responsibility. And without that...well, you don't get to pass any new legislation.

I see no danger in such an idea, but a great opportunity. Remove the party power structures and the rivalries they deliberately spawn and encourage, and you would not find it hard to achieve this degree of cooperation between independently thinking representatives.


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: beardedbruce
Date: 16 Sep 04 - 11:02 AM

and from Little Hawk:

"Look up any politician one could care to mention...and you will find that this simple and elegant analysis applies! :-) People care when those they are vehemently against lie! They are oblivious to the lies told by those they support. In fact, they generally believe the lies told by people they support..."


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: freightdawg
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 11:41 PM

Hmm, LH. I'm not sure if you thought we were at crossed swords here, but I don't think we were (are). I am not all that good with my specifics in technical politics, so I was trying to draw a difference between communism (little "c") with Marxist, Stalinist Communism (big "C"). As I envisioned it, a group of people with no real sharply divided "partisan" politics would be, in effect, a "commune" in which each individual part functioned as an extension of the whole. I could see this working on a small scale, but I am not sure it would be effective on a national or even state size scale. It is just kind of a Utopian dream I have.

And I do not mean to imply that healthy partisan debate would of necessity only include 2 parties. I was just pointing out that if there are equal, legitimate, worthwhile but differing solutions to a set of problems, it is only in the community's best interest for there to be a qualified spokesman to best put forth his/her group's voice and have it be ratified/voted down by the larger populace.

What you propose would be interesting, but in the U.S.'s constitutional separation of powers (legislative, executive, and judicial) I do not see how it would work. The constitution's framers did not limit our elections to two parties (the Republicans did not even exist back then) but I would venture a guess that they pretty much assumed that two parties would dominate.

There are truly very, very few "partisan" issues. Gun control, for instance, tends to be much more of a regional and urban vs. rural issue, as there are both Democrats and Republicans who are staunch gun control advocates and gun rights advocates. Most issues we fight over tend to be that way (with a couple of exceptions.) The problem is, once again, not that there are two (or more) differing views, it is that those who hold those views pigeon-hole the other side and caricature them. They then attack the caricature, which is usually completely false, and so generate far more heat than light.

But as long as the nastiest campaigner continues to win things will never change. It is up to the populace to demand better of our leaders.

p.s.---I do agree in sum with most of what you have to say. The devil is in the details.

Freightdawg


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: Little Hawk
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 10:52 PM

Larry K - "I believe that most candidates have sold their souls to special interest groups by the time they get to any significant position.   It they refuse to sell themselves out, they never get to the significant position."

Asolutely correct, Larry. The party-based system is thus corrupted, the politicians are corrupted, and the public is robbed.

We can only end this fiasco by either completely altering the way that political campaigns are financed...or...

By abolishing political parties altogether.

And that, freightdawg, would not = Communism. Communism is domination of a society by One centralized political party. A political party is a centralized power structure which acts in its own interests (not the public's) and covers its own ass. That does not auger well in the case of one party, like the Communists or the Nazis, and it does not auger well in the case of 2 parties, like the Democrats and Republicans. It does not even auger well in the case of 3, 4, or 5 parties...because parties, like labour unions, or like corporations, are self-serving power structures which seek constantly to enlarge and increase their power. This does not lead in the direction of genuine public service. It leads in the direction of corruption, vicious and ammoral competition (as you see in the dirty election tactics), and oligarchy.

I remember when I was in high school in New York State. They took us inexperienced kids and had us select two lots of people to vote for on the student council....president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer of the class. Those two lots of people made signs, campaigned, made largely meaningless speeches, and tried to outdo each other (and make each other look stupid if possible) and we were supposed to choose between them. Well, we young minds were being prepared...hypnotized...to trot out dutifully as soon as we reached legal voting age and do the same stupid thing and vote for Democrats and Republicans. We were being taught that it's "normal" to divide up into competitive teams over everything in life and then fight for a prize...winner takes all. Just like a football game.

This is stupid, divisive, and destructive. It's not a good way to organize a society. It leads to people being divided against each other, turned into opponents over a completely unnecessary issue, and made to quarrel and compete with each other instead of working harmoniously toward a common goal.

Every election they tear the country apart emotionally and psychologically. Then somebody wins (Rah! Rah!). Then that somebody says it's time to "heal the wounds" and all become united again behind the winner! What idiocy. That is a recipe for shizophrenia or split personality or something...not a way to lead a country into a good future as a unified society.

It's ridiculous, and it's totally arbitrary to organize society like it was a football game. I guarantee you that it's not necessary to do that in order to have a free, democratic, and prosperous society. Not even vaguely necessary.

It is indeed..."divide and conquer". The public's energy is wasted fighting with each other over ancient loyalties to arbitrary concepts, while the rich few who fund and control ALL the larger political parties win no matter which bunch of faces the public elects.

That's an oligarchy.

You don't need ANY political parties in order to field a number of good candidates to represent a region or a municipality. No sir. All you need is qualified persons (of no party affiliation whatsoever) to come forward as candidates...and then the public chooses who they think would be best from among those candidates. Just like in a municipal election.

You don't need to vote for a president. Just elect local and regional representatives. (Do away with the silly super-personality cult that is a presidential election.) Those representatives form state committees and vote in a national committee from their own ranks. The national committee, representing all states elects officers from its own ranks as the national executives.

A campaign is limited to 6 weeks. All candidates receive exactly the same amount of campaign funding from a public fund. (Bingo! Banks and corporations are out of the funding loop.) They campaign by presenting their ideas, not by attacking their opponents' personal reputation. (Leave that to the press...)

No legislation passes without a 2/3 vote in favour.

Any representative may be recalled by his constituents at regular intervals (once yearly?) if he betrays their trust and they lose confidence in him. In such case, a bi-election must be held to replace him/her.

Now you have a system which genuinely represents the people from the grassroots, costs a fraction of what the present system does, and requires no political parties whatsoever.

I guarantee you that such a system would produce a far better, more honest, more responsible government than the divisive self-aggrandizing party system we have now...and it would free people from this endless, useless bickering and hating each other over old party loyalties.

Political parties are a tool of the centralized elite to maintain the centralized elite. They are no guarantors of democracy, they are the betrayers of democracy.

Republican Rome functioned as a democracy without political parties. So did Athens. So did American Indian nations. It is entirely possible to do that.

This is why I find it so sad to see all you Americans fighting each other tooth and nail all the time over partisan issues. You've been taken for a ride. (And the same thing happens in Canada, by the way...only with more parties, that's all. But our election campaigns are limited by law to 6 weeks. Thank God!)

You've got a government and society which goes functionally insane for more than one out of every four years...all because of this giant football game-like extravaganza that you have arbitrarily created around your two giant political parties. Big, giant mistake!


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: Bobert
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 10:14 PM

Actually, freight-ster, how about no-party (or conversely lots of parties sharing power), rather than one party?

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: Teresa
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 09:54 PM

Here are a couple of things I find interesting:

The Pournelle Political axis
"Some years ago I set out to replace the old model with one that made more sense. I studied a number of political philosophies and tried to see what underlying
concepts separated them from their political enemies. Eventually I came up with two variables. I didn't then and don't now suggest these two are all there
is to political theory. I'm certain there are other important ones. But my two have this property: they map every major political philosophy and movement
onto one unique place.

The two I chose are "Attitude toward the State," and "Attitude toward planned social progress"."

and
The Political Compass, which even has an interesting quiz, and parallels Pournelle's thinking.

T


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 09:19 PM

"An honest politician is one who,
when he is bought, will stay bought."

...attributed to many, but probably by Simon Cameron

non-partisan, but irrelevant at the moment.


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 09:07 PM

So, across the pond, when is Blair up for re-election?


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 07:00 PM

The saying "Hold your nose & vote the straight Democratic ticket", tho partisan in content, is nonpartisan in spirit. It is said to go back to the campaign of 1896, and has never been out of date since.


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: John Hardly
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 09:33 AM

"I would rather believe that nobody is right about anything. It makes my political laziness so much easier to accept."


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: beardedbruce
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 09:17 AM

and from Jim Dixon...

"People who use such tactics as name-calling obviously would have no chance of ever persuading anyone to change a policy, and therefore have nothing of value to add to this discussion. "


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: freightdawg
Date: 13 Sep 04 - 10:29 AM

Astute comment Larry.

Regarding partisan politics. Partisan politics is not the enemy. Our system is founded on partisan politics. If everyone was in the same party then we would have a communist society, (in the sense of "commune") not a democratic one. There really is a philosphical difference between someone who desires a strong centralized and often intrusive national government, and someone who believes in a smaller, less intrusive central government and stronger state governments. It is incumbent upon those who wish to lead our government to state clearly and forcefully what their beliefs are so that the voting public can make an educated decision when it comes time to vote.

The issue, as I see it, is not partisan politics. It is politicians who, as Larry said, are corrupt at the heart and so therefore have to spend all their time attacking their opponent rather than putting forward their vision for whatever office they seek, be it mayor, senator or president. Americans, with all of our divisions and different ways of looking at things, are really quite homogenous in certain respects. We want to be safe, we want our children to learn and to be safe while they are doing it, we want our parents to enjoy the fruits of their hard labor, and we want to have a chance to give something back. There are legitimate differences in opinion about how we get those goals met. Let's have a civilized debate about those differences every 2 or 4 years, and then after the voting is over let's see if we cannot work together to meet those goals.

Let us agree to disagree, and be agreeable while we are doing it.

Freightdawg


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: GUEST,Larry K
Date: 13 Sep 04 - 09:37 AM

Arlo Gutherie say a line which I find very interesting and still remember.   In essence he said " it took me a very long time to learn this but at the end of the day, I realized that I had a lot more in common with my political enemies, than I did with the people who were apathetic or uninvolved"   

I believe that statement to be true and probably very very true of this forum.   While many of us in this forum have different opinion, most are well informed and sincere in their beliefs.    We probably all want the same end- we just differ on how to get there.   (This last line is from a conversation I had with Jesse Winchester at Summerfolk)

I believe that most candidates have sold their souls to special interest groups by the time they get to any significant position.   It they refuse to sell themselves out, they never get to the significant position.


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 12 Sep 04 - 03:09 PM

Sorry Jim... but I belive that politics was only invented to keep idiots busy doing nothing...

You are not expected to agree...


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 Sep 04 - 02:50 PM

Personally, I find cynical statements about politics (e.g. "All politicians are corrupt") to be just as annoying as the worst partisan ones.


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: beardedbruce
Date: 12 Sep 04 - 02:23 PM

ClintonHammond:

Thanks. Good comments.


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: beardedbruce
Date: 12 Sep 04 - 02:20 PM

Traditional moderate Democrats are entirely acceptable in American political life. It's a pity there aren't more of them.

Now, can we get back to this thread?


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: mack/misophist
Date: 12 Sep 04 - 02:06 PM

Traditional moderate Republicans are entirely acceptable in American political life. It's a pity there aren't more of them.


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Sep 04 - 01:30 PM

I am on board with Chris Rock's assessment. Looks to me like both the Bush and Kerry camp has done just that.


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Subject: RE: BS: NON-Partisan political comments
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 12 Sep 04 - 12:52 PM

"I sat and watched those guys
Debate eachother on TV
Politicians wrestlers
They're all the same to me
Hey, I don't give a damn
Which idiot runs the country
Cause I'm the last man on Earth
And it don't matter to me"

-Loudon Wainwright III-

"Only an idiot makes up their mind before they hear the issues"
"No body is ONE thing only"
-Chris Rock-

"I would never belong to a club that would have me as a member"
Groucho Marx?-


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