Education time

Discussion in 'Politics' started by sinbad, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. sinbad

    sinbad Well-Known Member

    Although I know a bit about the US, but there are allot of stuff where I need to be educated.

    One of the things I still don't understand is the limited number of political parties in this country. If I am not wrong, the UK is the same , with one conservative party and one liberal party, and that's it.

    When I look at Eurpopean democracies, and even 3rd world democratic or semi-democratic countries, I see 10-20 parties each. This is true about India, Lebanon, Sudan and even newly-democratic Iraq ...

    So, can someone educate me why there is only two political parties in the U.S.

    Thank you
  2. backlash

    backlash Well-Known Member

    Mostly because the 2 parties will never allow a legitimate 3rd party.
    The highest office held by a 3rd party in resent times was Gov. Jessie Ventura.
    I cant imagine the waste and grid lock if we had 10 or 20 parties.

  3. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    Here in Canada we have three major national political parties (Conservative, Liberal and New Democrat) and about a dozen minor political parties plus independants. Most of the minor political parties are provincial-only (like the Wild Rose Alliance of Alberta or the PQ's of Quebec). Most of the time, political stuff just happens with maybe 40 to 50% of Canadians taking significant interest in that kind of stuff.
  4. Tirediron

    Tirediron RockyMountainCanadian

    And (adding to Naekids ) a province based federal party (Bloc quebecouis) has held Canadian federal politics hostage for the last 10 years at least . the Bloc has enough seats to keep the other parties from forming a majority and doing something. A minority government sucks :gaah: and cost a lot in elections.
  5. horseman09

    horseman09 Well-Known Member

    Sinbad, to condense the story, there are actually numerous other parties here in US, but none really viable because they can't get enough popular support. There is the Libertarian party, the Green party -- and many more even more obscure ones. The only thing that prevents a viable 3rd party here in US is the voters. If the Dems and Repubs became so repulsive (they already are IMHO) that voters abandoned them enmass, a third party.......say, a Tea Party candidate....could prevail.

    You may have already stated this in previous posts -- and please don't feel compelled to answer if you don't want to, but I'm curious........what country do you live in?
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010
  6. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

    Yes horseman, he did mention it elsewhere. Saudi Arabia.
  7. sinbad

    sinbad Well-Known Member

    Yes, I am from Saudi Arabia

    We used to have many western friends here. Many have left in recent years for retirement or other reasons. But in the old days we used to joke with them about the U.S. having only 2 parties and used to say ( well , you only have ONE party more than what a dictatorial country does. LOL )

    Just to clarify: we were friends so no offense was taken both ways. And our above-mentioned joking was related to repeated calls from the U.S. to Middle Eastern countries about democracy ..etc.

    Anyways, joking aside, I understand the votes ..etc. but what I have seen in many European and 3rd world countries that major parties still take majority of seats but there will be at least a few seats for minority parties or even independents. These can help - theroretically at least - keep corruption in the major parties from going too far.

    I like to ask about the Libertarian and green parties the U.S. , do they at least get a few seats in the congress ?
  8. SurviveNthrive

    SurviveNthrive a dude

    The break down in this country include those who 'feel' and those who 'think'. For those who believe we actually have a two party system, what they do is provide platforms that attract people. One one side we have those who can be moved by gestures, the other side accountability, to some extent. Those who can't fit into either party are generally considered extremist ranging from John Birchers down to Communists.
  9. sinbad

    sinbad Well-Known Member

    OK, can someone tell me about Ross Perot who ran for president a few decades ago ?
    And have there been any similar moves ?

    Ralph Nader ?

    How do Americans feel towards such independant ( non-partisan) figures ?
  10. SurviveNthrive

    SurviveNthrive a dude

    Ross Perot had an interesting message but he looks as if someone anticipated the Ferengi on Star Trek...he just was a bit out there.

    In our country, thus far, all a strong third party candidate can do is be a spoiler, pulling voters from either of the two parties, the one he's closest to. Teddy Roosevelt was exceptionally popular, but he didn't have a chance when he tried to form the 'bull moose' party.

    If the economy keeps going the way it is and if the Republicans can't find a strong candidate, there can actually be a chance with a third party in a few elections. The beauty of democracies is if you don't like who is in office, all ya have to do is wait a while. No need for insurrection.

    However, Democracies suffer from an inherent weakness-self interest exceeds other motivations.

    The weakness of a direct Democracy is mollified somewhat by having a representative Republic. (The United States is not a pure Democracy). The problem with a democracy, pure or represenative type, is we allow fools to vote*, and self interest is a primary motivation. One party in the United States has built up things so that they are voting themselves benefits and entitlements. A huge portion of the Democrat Party now consists of Unionized government workers, welfare recepients, social security recipients, and where they can vote, illegal aliens.

    As more special interest groups develop, and as they can vote themselves more benefits at the expense of others, the Democrats will eventually secure power completely, or become so well entrenched that they can't be ousted.

    This is why the United States is doomed.

    Like Rome...We've voted ourselves bread.

    *Example: A woman who is the mother of six children, all from different fathers, and who has never been married and never worked actually has more pull in this country than a man who has served this country and works for a living. That man, married to a woman is likely to have an average of just a bit above two children. Our population of non working, non productive people is growing with so many unmarried women having so many illegitimate children. A person who can't make sound personal life choice and financial decisions is on the same footing as someone who thinks for himself and is productive. All one need do is promise more to the former and a vote is secured not only for life, but for generations. The Democrats locked in welfare recipients during the Johnson Administration in the 1960's.

    The United States pays by many multiples more for illegal alien benefits than it does for our veterans.

    ...and the current Administration has officials who wish to consider returning US veterans as potential terrorists.
  11. Bigdog57

    Bigdog57 Adventurer at large

    All governments fail when they make political office a PAID PROFESSION rather than a civic duty. The number of "Parties" does not matter. A politician spends most of his or her time in gathering votes to remain in power, and little else.
  12. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

    In a nutshell, he is a businessman that feels government should be run like a business. No more deficit spending. If there was no money in the bank, you don't write checks. He would have liked to see across the board cuts in every governmental department. This didn't go over very well with a lot of people. Since the main stream media leans towards the entitlement crowd, he got very little air time. With support from the Congress, he would have turn this country upside down. But since entitlements buy votes he didn't have much of a chance.
    I spent several months handing out flyer's and putting up posters trying to tell folks that this was the man to get things done. Alas, it just wasn't meant to be. :(
  13. sinbad

    sinbad Well-Known Member

    Citizens of many countries feel the same towards "other" crowds. In our so-called oil-rich countries , citizens feel frustrated when they hear of huge donations in different directions while our own roads and services are in such a bad shape. And we feel even more frustrated when foreigners get the highest paying jobs in our countries while our kids have a hard time finding ANY job.

    Just trying to ease your pain a bit. AND it has another purpose : showing that the form of political system sometimes may make a little difference.

    After Katrina, our oil company ( Saudi ARAMCO) donated some money to build 300 homes in Louisiana, or something like that .. I do not remember now the exact figures. Anyways, some people here didn't like it , NOT because they hated the U.S. but because 70% of the local population do not own their own homes and they felt the money should have been spent to build 300 homes locally.

    Reading similar news from different countries, it led to me to think : is democracy a magic solution for all problems ? It seems that a country changes from one type of system to another, it will not necessarrily cure many problems. It just changes WHO loots the money.

    By 3rd world standards, Pakistan is a democratic or semi-democratic country. But the stories I hear about corruption there ( from pakistani friends) makes me prefer a humanitarian king over an elected thief. For example, the latest floods they had would have been prevented if they have built the dams they were talking about forever, but the money has vanished. And now their most corrupt politicians are asking for more "foreign aid".

    BTW, regading the U.S. politics, I can see in these forums much cirticism to Democrats but little is said about Republicans. I understand that many of you here (if I am not wrong) are the conservative type, and would lean a bit towrds the Repulican Party, but isn't it the one that (mis)used your tax money to bail out collapsed corporations ??

    So, it boils down to this : Democrats take your moeny and give it to unwed mothers and illegal immegrants, and Repulicans take your money and give it to big corporations ; either as contracts or bailout money. Neither party seems to care much about the average Joe and Jane .
  14. SurviveNthrive

    SurviveNthrive a dude

    So, it boils down to this : Democrats take your moeny and give it to unwed mothers and illegal immegrants, and Repulicans take your money and give it to big corporations ; either as contracts or bailout money. Neither party seems to care much about the average Joe and Jane.

    That's a perspective that some have and there's merit to it, but the truth is both parties help corporations and receive campaign contributions and both parties helped with the bail outs, one party has that reputation, the other doesn't.

    The Demoocrats reward diversity.
    The Republicans reward work.

    People here who say there's no difference between the two parties isn't necessarily ignorant or a shallow thinker. There's distinctions and they come out heavy in some issues, but the exceptions cause limited people to think like that.

    For example, generally the Republicans are tougher on crime. In my state the Republicans pushed the three strikes for violent felons. Three convictions and they're in for life. Many Democrats fought it. The Democrats here blocked some heavy action against child molesters. But on the flip side, Hucklebee, a staunch Republican freed a murderer named Clemmons who proceded to rape his own daughter and kill four local police officers...this is why a person might genuinely believe there's no difference between the parties.

    BTW, regading the U.S. politics, I can see in these forums much cirticism to Democrats but little is said about Republicans. I understand that many of you here (if I am not wrong) are the conservative type, and would lean a bit towrds the Repulican Party, but isn't it the one that (mis)used your tax money to bail out collapsed corporations ??

    We're dealing with gross over simplifications but we have to use some points of reference.

    Generally those who lean toward our Right are self starters, folks who work and expect others to do so. The Left believe that government is the solution and that others should foot the bill. With many exceptions, a Democrat operates off of feelings, a Republican operates off of logic, but there are many who follow parties who don't have any real intellectual basis.

    A prepper or survivalist who is a Leftist would be inconsistent because the notion of prepping involves individual responsibility.

    What's unusual at in this forum is we have many who aren't doing well financially who somehow feel that's a good attribute. In most sites, preppers are those who are doing well, often working in law enforcement, emergency services, military, independent contractors, etc., who are sickened and concerned about what will happen with parasitical people if the government nipple dries out, as it will during major emergencies...these are people who contribute to society now, through sevice, through tax dollars and through other means.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2010
  15. sinbad

    sinbad Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much for the insights and time to write them down

    Since I am a Muslim, I have thought sometimes about Muslims in the U.S. Some of them vote deomcrat and some vote replublican. I tried to isolate the 911 element and think in broad terms. I did like the conservative nature of republicans ( we Muslims forbid drugs and homosexuality ..etc. ) . And a few months back I stumbled on a website for "Muslim Patriots" if I remember the neme correctly. It lists Americans Muslims who served in the U.S. armed forces.

    My problems with conservatism in general ( including Muslim conservatives) is that they lean more towards theoretical logical type of thinking and stand way too far from human feelings. Off course, I am that way myself and - in a crisis - would ignore feelings and focus on the most logical decision, but in less than survival times, conservatives should (show a heart).

    Ultra consevatives -anywhere in the world- should realize that their stiff policies are going to backfire and indeed tip the balance for liberals.

    Got to go now.
    Be back later.