Having Two Major American Political Parties is Bad

Parties are bad

Parties are not all bad. They help publicize important issues and give Americans a choice about them. But parties are mostly bad.

Dominate political power and conversation

Parties concentrate political power in a narrow-minded hierarchy. I’ve tried to reach people in both parties. They are largely unreachable. When reached, people are too busy to consider a new approach.

They dominate the political conversation. Many want a balanced budget or to audit the Federal Reserve Bank’s decisions. Some want a central US Bank. Others want deregulation or to end to the shadow banking system. Many want an end to corruption or climate change. But politicians and the parties dominate the media with news against the other party. Their messaging floods the airwaves with one-sided rhetoric. Other ideas gain little of no attention.

Corruption: Parties represent the elite

Both parties are dominated by the economic elite. Clearly the wealthy have more time and money to spend on politics. But America has effectively become an oligarchy, serving a variety of wealthy special interests, rather than its voters.

Parties represent the political elite. Most Americans are in favor of term limits for Congress. Neither party will touch this issue, so it has been virtually invisible for decades, even though a compromise is available. When it did a survey, the above anti-corruption effort found 97% of Americans favored it. Congress did nothing and we hear nothing from big media.

Parties work against freedom and choice

Parties work hard to stifle third parties. In the last election, the Democratic party worked hard to ensure Lawrence Lessig was kept out of their debate. After the primaries, the parties refused to let the Libertarian and Green parties take part. Part of this is the natural desire to beat all opposition and collect power. But part is that there is no check or balance to them. The two parties run the Federal Election Commission and years ago they took control of the presidential debates. They steadfastly oppose a voting method that would make third-party candidacies easier.

They end up working against democracy, choice and representation. Our representatives can only form coalitions today with their party’s blessing. Many successfully “reach across the aisle”, but without party support, no legislation is passed. The message of parties to America- support one of us or have no political say.

Solution

There are lots of ways to organize ourselves and lessen or eliminate our 2-party monopoly. But almost all of them involve changes in laws. That means fighting the powerful parties.

PeopleCount proposes making politicians accountable to voters rather than parties, donors or special interests. It starts by letting Americans vote on interesting issues, chosen by themselves. But it doesn’t stop there. It includes communication with and from your politicians, a system that creates a relationship of accountability with voters. This relationship between voters and politicians will supplant the both of their dependence on parties.

After a short time of using PeopleCount, voters can easily influence their politicians to align with the will of the people. And when they disagree, they’ll be motivated to compromise, such as with term limits.

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