14 Feb 2018

Partisan Realignment and Third Parties
It's Third Party Season! With the 2018 mid-terms and 2020 presidential elections far enough in the future that candidates are not yet locked in, third party hopes spring eternal in the centrist breast. A hope that there just might be a viable alternative to the usual Republican and Democratic choices they find so disheartening. A hope that it might be different this time. And you know what? It just might be ... Thesis: In the United States, third parties always fail. But, on rare occasions in our history, with the right conditions, a New Party can successfully gut, destroy and replace one of the two major parties. This could be that time. Here are two steps necessary to make a New Party a Major Party: Step One: Do not call your New Party a "Third Party." Calling it a "Third Party" guarantees failure.  History tells us that U.S. Third Parties always fail. Meaning they: Do not fulfill the political objectives of their supporters. Never bec...

13 May 2011

As frustration builds with many (should I say, most?) voters, the call for a third party gets stronger.  With hypocrisy, corruption, and empty headed thinking abounding with both Republican and Democratic parties, the idea of a third party absent these qualities seems alluring. Is this real or simply a mirage? The odds against a third party winning a US national election are staggering.  Individual State requirements work to restrain any national candidacy.  Given today’s campaign financing expenditures, where would the money come from to support a third party. Some simplistically suggest the individual voter will abandon the major parties and flock to the third party with votes and money.   And, if your name is Bloomberg, why worry. Pundits say that President Obama will spend over $1 billion on his reelection. A third party candidate will be lost at sea. So is that it for third party power? I do not think so.    A third party candida...

23 Mar 2011

The marketplace of ideas concept has been around for a long time. In a democracy, it means that competing ideas are free to compete for influence over policy based on their merits compared to competing ideas. Politicians and other political folks occasionally mention it as something they do or should support. In theory, it sounds like a good idea and useful tool to inform society about competing political policies. Does it really exist?: Is American politics dominated by a fair and honest competition between competing ideas and political policies? Is the competition fair and honest when special interest money behind a special interest idea in competition with a better idea with no money behind it? Free speech experts think about these things and they seem to think that money can affect the outcome. If that is true, then special interest money can get its second best idea elevated to law and policy while the best idea is discarded. Is that a a ...

21 Jan 2011

Options for new political parties Recent polling data suggests that neither the Democrats or Republicans are appealing to most Americans. The number of independents is slowly increasing. Party affiliation stands at 31% Democrat (dropping and tied with their all time low), 29% Republican (holding steady and 1% above their all time low) and 38% independent (increasing and tied with their all time high). Folks like Solomon Kleinsmith, here at Rise of the Center Uniters.org, see it as a trend of moderates away from the left and right extremes that dominate the two parties. That interpretation sounds reasonable. Moderate options If moderates are discontented and leaving the two parties, then what are their options? For people who are more comfortable with conservative ideology, they have the Republican, Libertarian, Boston Tea Party and other conservative third party options. Liberals have the Democratic, Green, Socialist and other parties. Reli...

06 Oct 2010

For those of you who aren't so crazy partisan to not be able to see reality, you can certainly say three things about liberal polling/stats blogger at the FiveThirtyEight Blog, which recently was bought by The New York Times. You can say he's extremely intelligent, you can say his statistical analysis is among the best of the best, and you can say that he does usually look for an angle that helps his particular viewpoint, like any partisan. So its encouraging that he, like many bloggers in the center, also sees some scenarios where a well funded centrist candidate would see some daylight between the GOP and Democrats, and have a shot at winning a presidential race. As I've said elsewhere, I think 2012 is premature (maybe sometime in the 2020's - it will take a long time to build a national centrist network of organizations), but I agree with him that a well funded roughly centrist candidate could break through given a extremist GOP candidate a...