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Old November 19th, 2012, 02:59 PM   #1

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Multi-party democracy

It seems to me that multi-party democracy is flawed in a number of ways.

A two-party system, where both parties are roughly evenly balanced, leads to increasing polarisation as each party seeks to distinguish itself from its rival. This, in turn, means that a potentially large proportion of the electorate, the voters who vote for the losing party, become disenfranchised, because the policies of the winning party will not reflect their views.

On the other hand, a system with many parties leads to weak coalition or minority governments, which are paralysed by inter-party wrangling and don't last very long.

My proposed solution to this would be to abolish political parties completely. Let each candidate stand on their own policies and beliefs, and when in government, vote on those beliefs without party pressure to vote according to that party's policies.

What do you think - good or bad idea? Would it lead to a more representative government where elected members really do reflect the views of their constituents, or is this just going to create an even weaker government where no legislation ever gets passed because everyone keeps arguing about it, kind of like the UN?
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Old November 19th, 2012, 04:07 PM   #2

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I've always thought there needs to be more political choices, that way,
each party cannot claim they speak for the nation when they don't.
Having multiple parties weakens the position of the top two parties and
makes them more answerable to the people. You have to actually follow
up on your political promises and not just lie every four years and pander
to political blocks of votes.
But I think the real reform to change would be to limit the terms of members
of congress. They all get in there and make too many back room deals that
benefit them and they become entrenched as voters don't like change and always
go with the easiest choice that they known.
Limit the terms, kick them out after X amount of years, get rid of the
Electoral college, go with popular vote only and then the two party system
can stay. If not, evolution should take over the weak and the not working
party and get rid of them. It has happened before.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 04:14 PM   #3

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A look at a few countries with multiparty politics... Italy and New Guinea are two that come to mind... is that with too many competing independent groups, you end up with instability. You can't settle down into a proper administration because the alliances keep changing. Your numbers are never solid enough to get things voted on.

Two Parties does have that advantage of you winning, and you have the voting numbers, and you do the things you need to do without scrambling all the time.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 05:53 PM   #4
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Multi-party system is more democratic than a two-part system... I would say however it depends on how easy it is to be allowed to make a party... In Peru we suffer from the fact that parties get formed with the explicit intention of making a rappresentante (Keiko Fujimori and other straw candidate) or capofamiglia (Alberto Fujimori) the candidate for presidency... Making a party should be a complicated procedure, not something that any mafia can do. Personally I prefer direct democracy over the indirect democracy of the party system, but partyless presidents would be possible if it weren't for the fact that a presidential candidate has a party to bring a cabinet of ministers, vicepresidentes, miceministers and such with him or her...
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Old November 21st, 2012, 10:02 AM   #5

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A two-party system, where both parties are roughly evenly balanced, leads to increasing polarisation as each party seeks to distinguish itself from its rival. This, in turn, means that a potentially large proportion of the electorate, the voters who vote for the losing party, become disenfranchised, because the policies of the winning party will not reflect their views.
Firstly, the notion that either the British Labour-Conservative "polarisation" or the American Democrat-Republican likewise exists is a great fallacy.

They are hardly polarised at all. Like two people who loathe each other but who are very alike, they use words to try to deny their similarities. But the fact remains: they are alike.

In Britain, the last 30 years or so have been characterised by all three main parties chasing exactly the same voter group: "Middle England", "Little England", "South East Man" or "Mondeo Man". Take your pick. Either pseudo or lower middle class, he/she are characterised by high personal debt and a largely mistaken belief that they've moved up a notch or two on the social ladder. Being "Aspirational" doesn't mean "I've made it!".

BOTH Tories and Labour have: supported American wars, continued with privatisation, redistributed wealth upwards, encouraged and de-regulated the City of London, spread the notions of PC and Multiculturalism (despite their denials), and really, there's little to separate them if you view (a) their actions and (b) their results instead of what they said they were going to do.

I agree that people see it that way, (that there is a difference), but the British public are not known for heavyweight thinking.

Don't forget, also, that the time for consensus politics may come again, but not now. Thanks to the British media and those damned cameras in Parliament, British political leaders HAVE to be "strong" in the "elected dictator" style popularised by Thatcher, as opposed to the more consensus based rule of Heath. The stupid public wants docile, amoral and deeply undemocratic Government, which obeys the wishes of the fuhrer, sorry, leader.

The government you suggest (a) would be a major improvement in my eyes, but would lead to visibly weak, consensus based politics, which is how democracy is supposed to work. And (b) such government was the norm before the 20th century and especially before Thatcher and everyone since. Sure, they aligned themselves with certain parties, but there were so many subdivisions that an 18th or 19th century politician could be referred to as a "whiggish Waverer" even if he was a Tory!

Unfortunately, the rise in Independent candidates is a red herring, as almost all are closet Tories or at least "Wets". But an encouraging sign would be the rise of smaller, new parties. It would be if too many of them were not of the extreme right, anyhow.

I agree with your idea: I just don't think the sheeple will support it. Yet.
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