Archive for parties

The Political (Party) System

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 25, 2010 by Arne

It seems I rarely agree with Thomas Friedman (NY Times). Whenever I see him on TV or read his columns – I’m old fashioned in that I follow even those editorialists/journalists/pundits with whom I seldomly agree – I find them just slightly naive or platitudinous… What is the right word ? He often seems to either state the obvious but give it a fancy name (the whole flat world concept got real old real quick) or he seems to make unrealistic (utopian) appeals that I can’t take serious. But maybe that’s just me.

I DID like this column here. Take a look, and see if the Alternative Voting concept makes sense to you.

What’s really wrong with America these days is the political system. It’s one thing to say you got the greatest system when you’re comparing it to North Korea or the Congo. But the American system seems sclerotic. It’s just not working. It is inefficient. It’s hamstrung by such ridiculous, arcane things as the filibuster. Getting rid of THAT would be a great start.

What also drives me nuts is all this second guessing how the forefathers might have intended 21st century Americans to read the constitution. There is a document that could use some serious overhaul. I’m all for simplicity. But the US Constitution may be a little too simple for a complicated world as ours.

And then there is the party system. I have been saying for  months now that I don’t think there is a Republican Congressman out there who’s got any sense. Then I was watching Charlie Rose this week and heard Judd Gregg talking about healthcare. Here’s a Republican that I don’t agree with but who’s got sense. Next thing you wonder is how he could agree with any of his fellow party men on anything ?

The problem is the two party system. Friedman talks about the Tea Party of the Center. The problem is that a Centrist Republican has more in common with a Centrist Democrat, than either of them has in common with their party members on the fringes. I don’t know how many Centrist Republicans there are in Congress.  You sure don’t hear much from them. If mainstream America pleads allegiance to Centrist views and policies, then the country doesn’t need a Tea Party on the right and a Coffee Party on the left. What the country needs is a Centrist Party for people who want to fix problems and are able to set aside religious belief and cultural preference to get stuff done.

The rest of the world seems to be doing fine with multi-party systems. You don’t like A nor B, so you vote for C. But actually, right now, maybe most people would vote for C, and then C-politicans – having returned some sense and civility to Washington – could make some serious policy relying on the support of A’s and B’s depending on specific issues.