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Aureantes [userpic]

Just sharing my Election Night reactions about....(recent comment)

November 5th, 2008 (04:51 am)
current mood: On beyond hopeful

[In response to lurkitty :]

Yes, god yes.....I was watching the Indecision 2008 coverage w/ Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, and when they suddenly flashed to a full-screen "President-Elect" photo of Obama I thought for a second that they might be joking despite the already-established lead, just jumping the gun as a tweak to Stephen's wounded-conservative act -- and then clicked back to the broadcast stations and saw that Obama had clinched it, absolutely clinched it in real life, and that all this was really happening here and now.

Yeah, I teared up too....after all this shit and stealing and obstructionism and outright lies, finally the best man won -- and with a clear Congressional majority, moreover, so that there's no one left to blame for blocking the legislation that will take us forward as a nation -- or to use as an excuse for not daring to put it wholeheartedly forward (Barney Frank, I'm lookin' at you...).

Some of my flisters online voted for third-party candidates (there's only one that I know voted for McCain), and to them with all their doubts of the major parties I can just say this, but firmly and certainly: this is the end of the federal two-party duopoly, because there's no longer going to be the oppressive GOP ruling party and the compromised Dem opposition party forced into bed together. Having a Democratic federal majority opens up the field to demand more of governmental representation, and to let more players and parties have their say. The main needful thing, as I've been saying all along, was to first break the back of the arrogant incumbency and get some rational feet in the door. This victory may have come under the Democratic Party's banner, but it is above all a victory of the people, by the people and for the people, formed of a communicative coalition rather than a mouthpiece-monolith.

So even for those who didn't vote for Obama 'cause he wasn't progressive enough -- this is what we have been needing to change the tide of our times.


Posted by: Schneelocke (schnee)
Posted at: November 5th, 2008 11:47 am (UTC)

I'm as happy as (almost) everyone that Obama won, but I'm not convinced yet that the duopoly will end. I think there MIGHT be an end of the Fifth or Sixth Party System eventually, but I don't see how the duopoly as such could end unless without considerable changes to the USA's electoral system.

And I'm not sure we'll see those, either. I imagine - hope - the electoral college might be abandoned sooner or later; but that wouldn't be enough. As long as it's "winner takes it all" for congressional seats, it'll be difficult at best for any third party to really become a factor in national politics - the only way I can see for one to do so would be if one of the two established parties blundered so badly that it disappeared altogether. But of course, in that case, an old duopoly would just have been replaced with a new one.

Anyhow, that being said, I think given the electoral system in the USA, it's better to be realistic and vote for the guy who's actually got a chance to be elected than the guy who's more progressive but won't stand a chance; a bird in the hand really is worth more than two in the bush here. If I was from the USA, the only way I'd vote for a third-party candidate would be if I believed that there was literally NO difference between the two major candidates (after applying an appropriate evaluation function that computes a "score" I'd assign to each candidate, that is - of course candidates would always have differences, but as long as they're equally bad...)

Posted by: Aureantes (aureantes)
Posted at: November 14th, 2008 07:45 am (UTC)
Much-belated reply.....

I'm not saying that the nominal duopoly is going to go away, but that the party system is going to be much shaken and ripped loose of the traditional assumptions. Republicans are going to have to find a way to make themselves popularly relevant (and honest) enough to gain national power again, now that their major demagogic tactics are being been exposed and broadcasted so widely -- and Democrats are going to have to define themselves proactively instead of reactively, seeing as they now bear the unstrangleheld responsibility of being the party in power. There is going to have to be a lot more "reaching across the aisle" by Republicans if they want to have their concerns taken seriously, instead of just being able to block-by-monolithic-bloc the legislation that they don't agree with, and that means that previously-assumed agendas are going to face a greater challenge of communication and consensus-building.

I think that this will lead to a lot more identification around issues rather than on the basis of parties per se, and that this identification around articulate issues will definitely open the door to more third- (and fourth-, and fifth-...) party political involvement at the higher levels of government. I think it's clear, watching the political re-landscaping of Obama's campaign, that the dominant theme of his administration is not going to be party loyalty (and stirring up resentment against the opposition) but actual meritocracy and intelligent qualification for one's position and/or authority. And that does mean a fairer playing-field being made for all politicians who have heretofore been shut out of the federal tier of activity due to the bipartisan feud.

Posted by: Schneelocke (schnee)
Posted at: November 14th, 2008 09:01 am (UTC)
Re: Much-belated reply.....

Oh, yes, that certainly.

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