Is there one Democratic party? Or more?

(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Of course, in one sense, there surely is one party.  One party in congress, one Democratic candidate for POTUS and so on.

In another sense … no.  And there hasn’t been for quite some time – since FDR at least.  There used to be northern Dems and Dixiecrats.  Now there is a range of people from Al Franken to Ben Nelson.

Can one look at the voting records, speeches, ads and so on of Al Franken or (say)Pete Stark and say he is a tool of corporate America?  REALLY?

Barbara Lee? John Conyers?

Or going back a bit, Ronald Dellums?  

George McGovern?  (First presidential campaign I worked on, I turned 13 that summer).

The problem is two-fold:

1) The two party system

2) The actual views of a lot of Americans.

Let’s take the second first:

In the districts I mentioned, Obama (and Democrats before him) got upwards of 70% of the vote.  Sometimes WAY upwards.  When you have that kind of voter, you get that kind of representative.  Nor are these districts necessarily poor or minority-heavy.  OK, the districts that gave Obama the VERY highest percentages ARE mostly poor and DO have a lot of minorities.  But the 4 highest are all in NYC, and that’s because NYC (unlike many other cities) has a bunch of districts that are entirely inside the city. But CA-13 elects Pete Stark, and it’s a wealthy suburban district.

So, in wealthy or poor districts, suburban or rural, there is a TENDENCY, a strong tendency, for districts that have large Democratic majorities to get representatives we like.  

So, the first question becomes: Why aren’t there more such districts?  That has complex answers.

The first part of the two fold problem is the two-party system.  Unfortunately, with the current system of vote counting, any leftish third party is likely to hurt the causes it espouses.  The solution here is simple, although implementing it will be hard: Range voting (my choice) or some other system of voting.  In range voting, you grade each candidate (0-100 or whatever) and the candidate with the highest average wins.  In this system, I would be free to rate any 3 or 4 or however many candidates, and it couldn’t hurt them to get a higher grade. Range voting even avoids the infamous Arrow’s Theorem, which applied to rank systems of voting.  So, if your view was that Nader was best, then Gore, then Bush, and you thought Nader deserved a 100, Gore an 80 and Bush a 0, then that would be averaged in with all the other voters.  Then you could express your views without hurting Gore; and if a substantial number of people voted similarly, the Democratic Party would listen.

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  1. It’s takes billions of dollars.  Think tanks, marketing analysis, cultural norm monitoring/media promotions, blacklisted news topics and Overton Window indexing.

    • mishima on February 17, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    In the last 5 years most European governments have become multi party coalitions which has been a double edged sword with on the one side more people are represented in government but it has become more difficult to pass legislation and hold governments together.  Since the Democratic Party of Japan assumed power they have had similar problems.      

  2. while at the same time nullifying all but one of them.  The one that survives is called neoliberalism.  See this diary.

  3. I used to be leery of this solution but not now. locally in my city I’m working to get it installed. apparently it’s legal in OR but has been nixed by every Secretary of State here since the seventies. We have a good coalition of third parties, indies and Democrat’s in favor of it.The Democrat’s feel it would work as a way to hold the pols feet to the fire and the third parties like it as it keeps them on the ballot, the indies seem to want anything that will bust up the status quo vice grip of our one party eternal dance between the two factions, R and D. so I donated and signed the petition circulating. I am bring it up in our local precinct meeting.

    Portland somehow managed to get public funding in place for our city elections so maybe we can do this. It’s easier to be a real Democrat on a local state level, as the big money that the political machines crank out to the parties isn’t so prevalent. As the people of WI are standing up I really feel that the hope for decent representation is going to come from states from the regions that people live in. They actually live and feel the effects of policy like austerity, decent jobs, education and robber baron bankster’s failing on their heads.. Our whole state went  blue for Obama and it won’t hold if the Democrat refuse to be democrat’s rurally or in the cities.          

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