04-28-12, 09:59 PM #1
How about we start a new party, called the middle....
This party instead of trying to push one agenda or another, will actually consider ALL the evidence and try to do what is right for the American people, realizing that that, and that alone is actually what's best for America. This party will also attempt to think in the long term, instead of the next election.
04-28-12, 11:46 PM #2
It's hard to do. Everybody already *does* he or she considers all the evidence (or at least all the evidence that needs to be considered) in making political decisions. I would be stunned if liberals or conservatives on this forum came out and admitted that they only pay attetion to evidence that supports their pre-existing beliefs (though, the long and the short of it is, that's what people who feel strongly political issues actually do).
The problem is that partisan's are not rational. Partisanship is an emotional reactions first and foremost, with rationality glommed on simply as a tool to help justify their pre-determined positions.
Evidence shows that partisans are highly susceptible to confirmation bias in how they evaluate evidence. So, if you started a "middle" party, liberals and conservatives would flock to it, until they saw you were taking positions contrary to what they preferred, and then they would complain that you were not looking at all the evidence, or were giving credence to evidence that is BS, or were failing to give due credence to evidence that is largely dispositive.
The second problem, assuming you want to set up a party for those who are "not liberal, not conservative, but balanced" is that there may not be that many of them. There are those (like libertarians) who are very conservative economically, for example, but for open borders, gay marriage and other liberal social positions. A lot of people identify that way. There are also those who are socially conservative, but economically liberal (many of whom vote for Democrats at the moment, as large sections of the poor sometimes break that way). I am not sure how large the group of "across the board moderates" would be.
I final challenge is that partisans are fueled by emotion, but you seem to be suggesting a party fueled by reason. Emotion will trump reason in several key ways. If I am purely reasonable, I will only vote with the benefits of doing so outweigh the costs. In that calculus, my individual vote will never matter, as elections are almost never decided by "one" vote. That aside, my reasonable brain is more motivated by concerns like the weather than are the emotional people who will trudge through storms to not only get themselves to the polls, but to pick up voters and drive them to the polls. If my vote doesn't really net me more benefits than the costs, then imagine what a losing proposition political activism is.
So what you really need to find is people who are "passionate about moderation," so they will use that passion to fuel the political activity our country is driven by. That's a tough get.
04-29-12, 12:07 AM #3
The Obama health care is good example. The bill was at least 906 pages long, how many of them actually read the thing on both sides?
Nancy Pelosi had the rather famous quote to the effect of; pass the bill and you'll find out what's in it. WTF!!!!
I'm personally for some form of US health care and ultimately glad it passed but come on.
Last edited by Believe; 04-29-12 at 12:17 AM.
04-29-12, 01:04 AM #4
Depends, if a party is a group of like minded inderviduals do they all need to read every single bill. What is it inherently wrong to vote on most bills along party lines? Most legislation here at least goes through with bipartisan support and is non controversial, sure there are some screw ups like the bill which accidentally banned petrol stations from opening on good Friday but for the most part the system works well. Policy decisions are made by the party for most things which means that people can vote for a party with some idea of the policies that will be introduced if a particular party wins government. In theory this allows the parties to use experts to anylise bills which should minimise screwups. It also frees up local members to do the vital work they do in there community (which is a lot more than simply sitting in te parliament) and frees up minsters to run there departments
04-29-12, 01:14 AM #5
04-29-12, 01:22 AM #6
Who said the party system ISN'T best for the country? The party develops policy which is put up by the parties to the public who then vote on which is the best for the country, that's the purpose of competitive politics. Otherwise why have parties at all? The system you are advocating is basically just a heep of independents which may work in your system but would be a disaster in ours where we need a constant stable goverment (look at what's happerning in the federal parliament currently because of the minority government). Government means the party which holds the majority of seats in the lower house (and can pass surply but since the constitutional crisis both parties have agreed not to block the budget)
04-29-12, 01:26 AM #7
Two, are you advocating everyone read every piece of legislation that goes through Congress? Most people have jobs, families, school and other obligations that makes it unrealistic for them to do everything our legislators are supposed to do as well as all their normal activities like putting food on the table and a roof over their heads.
There has been so much misinformation spread about a number of issues, primarily by those that support and lead the Republican Party, the only way the average Joe and Jane is going to know what is in the Healthcare law is when the experience it. That is what Pelosi was saying. There are no death panels as Sarah Palin and other Republican/Tea Party leaders told people. It is not like the truth about healthcare reform has not been available. The entire bill has been published on line. A synopsis of the law has been published in many places. But most people would rather get their news/information predigested through the likes of Palin and Fox News.
What is needed is not another party. We have had numerous other parties. What we need is a good reliable honest source of information for voters. And people need to be better consumers of information and stop reacting to political ads. Voters need good honest information. Before the repeal of the "Fairness Doctrine" they could get that kind of information. But not today. Today they are being bombarded with constant streams of misinformation and outright lies - something you would not have seen under The Fairness Doctrine.
What is needed is a better informed voter. Who do they believe? They don't have time to read all of the legislation or get degrees in economics or business. They are busy living their lives.
04-29-12, 01:31 AM #8
The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act, in its first incarnation, at the outset of the Obama campaign, arose out of the evidence that hospitals were dumping indigent patients out into the streets, to avoid the expense of giving them adequate treatment and release to survivable circumstances. Dumped patients were found dead from the cruelest of causes, such as dehydration and exposure.
What began as a corrective action to egregious harm and by overwhelming consensus of the voters who advocated for a health care bill - largely on account of these reports - became a bitter battle-to-the-death issue for the right wing, and the rest is history.
From this experience alone it's clear that evidence is of no value in determining what is best for America. As long as there are Americans who bury truth, deny history and disavow evidence, there will be no party, no platform, and no government that rises to the needs of the country. This is our self-imposed form of anarchy, one of marginal government, masquerading as a constitutional republic, the consequence of irreconcilable differences as old as the colonial period, and only delayed, not resolved, by the Civil War and the perennial strife that divides us. We are, in effect, a country perpetually at war with itself.
04-29-12, 05:15 AM #9
The details over whether an insurance plan needs to cover psychiatric counseling in order to qualify for purposes of avoiding the penalty, or the details of altering the tax code to require insurance reporting so that coverage and compliance can be checked...they are just not controversial in and of themselves once you buy into the concept of "mandated health insurance purchases."
In general, I think the demand that each member of Congress read each bill they vote for and never rely on summaries is a good idea if the goal is to restrict the number of bills passed each year (or if the goal is to subtly force them to write shorter less complicated bills). But I am not sure that is the goal we should be striving for (as opposed to smarter legislation).
Remember not every Congressman is a lawyer, and bills are written in legalese, especially bills that amend other bills. If you require each person to read and comprehend the bills they pass, then you make it very hard to ever elect a non-lawyer.
I do think it would serve us well, in contrast, if Congress were forced to attend every session and listen to the debates on these bills live. In part though, that is an emotional reaction to absentee Congressmen who only show up for formal votes and "controversial" debates.
04-29-12, 05:26 AM #10
Actually you do bring up one thing which parliament themselves brought up here and thats "plain english" legislation. If the courts are intelligent enough to follow the will of tr parliament and not demand stupid complicated terminology there is no reason why most bills can't be in plain English
04-29-12, 06:19 AM #11
Legalese is an interesting dialect of English, using terminology and syntax that it simply retyained from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. The rest of the language moved on, byu the lawyers did not. The reason it tends to evolve slowly is that case law interprets certain words and phrases in particular ways. So when you need to write the next statute or contract , sure you can put it in plain english...and hope that judge's still interpret it the same way they did the legalese version. Problem is, if you use different words, judges will be inclined to thing you *meant* something different.
So, if a judge in 1909 interpreted a clause in a man's will a certain way, and your (new) client in 1910 wants to do the same thing in his will, the *safe* thing to do is use the same words in exactly the same way. When 1911 comes along, the same thing happens, and so on until today. Eventually a certain clause becomes more or less standard. I have a partner who was screwed by a court because his lawyer forgot to include the words "and hold harmless" in the phrase list "Borrower agrees to indemnify [and hold harmless] the Lender from all costs, claims, demands, causes of action, damages, judgments, lawsuits, and other payments or expenses..." and it was based on just that sort of issue...that "hold harmless" has a lot of gloss on its meaning that has been added in the ancient past, so you omit it at your peril.
04-29-12, 07:03 AM #12
Statutes over rule precidet in all cases, so case law maybe like that but that shouldn't stop the parliament from using plain English in legislation especially as the first section is a set of definitions
04-29-12, 11:23 AM #13
If you make $200,000+ a year to a congress person you should no other obligations other then your family. Seems to be a vacation now instead of a job.
I think we definetly need another party, each side has become extreame and again, both are more interested for voting with the party then for doing what is right for America, that is the problem.
04-29-12, 12:17 PM #14
Just allow for the voters to vote on any bill that comes up which way to go instead of those congresspeople. They should write the bill but we should decide if its what we want or what they want for us.
04-29-12, 01:14 PM #15
The point is, there are many different views as to what is good for the country. Who is going to make the decisions as to what is best?
Unless and until you change how our representatives are elected, adding an additional party will do nothing. Because you have done noting to change the incentive structure. Adding an additional party to the mix will not improve the quality of our legislators.
Your goal is noble. But your solution will not work. What is needed is to take the special interest money out of American politics. Elected representatives should be required to adhere to ethics rules most large American companies require of their employees. You can add all the parties you want. We already have many political parties. Adding another does nothing to change the way laws are passed in Washington. Until you change the motivation and ethics that drives decision making and empower the voter to make rational fact based decisions, nothing will change in Washington.
We need to eliminate the revolving door between industry and our elected officials. Elected officials and appointed officials should not be able to leave their government jobs and walk into multimillion dollar jobs working for those who have benefited for the legislative/regulatory actions while in government.
If you want good government, then you need to eliminate the effect of special interest money in our government. Unfortunately, we do have the best government that money can buy. Eliminating special interest money from our government will allow for that debate you claim to want to see in Washington.
As long as special interest money is allowed to spread misinformation, we will never get a government of and for the people. It will always be a government of and for the special interests.
Last edited by joepistole; 04-29-12 at 01:58 PM.
04-29-12, 02:39 PM #16
Only 174,000 so I was a little off, but still very much more then the average citizen, certainly enough to live comfortably. I actually thought this was commen knowledge. This figure also does not factor in other benifits such as health care, and them getting pensions for the rest of their life so the real cost of a congress person is higher.
Also, we have more then 2 parties? I could have sworn I only ever see 2 on the ballot, ever. The other parties at this point are a joke.
I think my solution would take care of your other points. Corperate money would cease to be an issue if the party voted on what was BEST (keyword) for the country, not whats best for their party or wallets.
04-29-12, 03:28 PM #17
List of American Political Parties:
Last edited by joepistole; 04-29-12 at 03:48 PM.
04-29-12, 04:01 PM #18
Also, you must be young and inexperienced if you think any of the other parties are more then a joke. There maybe 100's of parties but if they don't even get .01% of the vote are they more then a joke??? Don't even get started on the tea party because their congressional canidates are still in as republicans, and still vote with republicans.
Of course my system won't work if the people don't fucking stand up for themselves, just like anything else. Why on earth whould it have to be "magical" instead of a logical progression? Did I ever say it would be instant or easy?
You however don't seem to grasp that America is waking up to the hipocrisy of the 2 party system. Change is on the horizon one way or another. I am simply stating one way this change that I believe could work. It is unlikely I admit.
They elected officials do not vote for what they think is best, they vote for whatever their party tells them to vote. Again, if they don't even read the bill they are voting on how could they possibly know one way or another what is best.
As far as the democrates voting on something extreme, do you not feel that the passing of the health care bill was exteme? Especially since the a large of number of them didn't even know that they were voting for? You don't think that a land mark bill such as this should have thoroghly explained to the American people BEFORE it was voted on, rather then after?
04-29-12, 04:09 PM #19
. . . guarantee eligibility, provide coverage similar to the federal employee health insurance program, offer “affordable” premiums, co-pays and deductibles; and allow enrollees to keep their coverage when they change jobs. He would introduce a requirement for all children to have health insurance and pledges to expand eligibility for Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Businesses that do not provide insurance to their employees would be assessed a fee based on a percentage of their payroll. His plan would allow states to continue developing their own reform plans. He would also make employer health plans eligible for reimbursement of catastrophic costs provided the savings would be used to offset employee premiums. Obama also pledges to support disease prevention programs, promote quality and cost transparency and reform medical malpractice insurance.
They had about 2-1/2 years to learn this, and to catch up with the incremental changes it went through as Republicans stonewalled, chewed up and and spit out what they didn't want.
The appearance of a rush at the end was the result of final decision to put an end to the stonewalling.
I think that to recast this story in any other light is to engage in revisionism.
04-29-12, 04:25 PM #20Nancy Pelosi had the rather famous quote to the effect of; pass the bill and you'll find out what's in it. WTF!!!!
She was referring to the cloud of controversy that Republicans erected which made it virtually impossible to state the bill's provisions without ending up in heated debate.
She never suggested that they should pass it without reading it. If you're not a Republican, you certainly are vulnerable to their propaganda.
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