Monday, December 21, 2009

Third parties got to start somewhere, and why.

In answer to the repeated question about how the Green Party -- or any third party -- could improve the situation, it comes down to coalitions like what is sometimes seen in Europe and other places. We see some of it now with the Blue Dog Democrats, the Rinos, and the Dinos, but those seem more whimsical and political opportunist than anything.

The benefit of 3rd parties is to allow our elected officials to be more independent, flexible, human, and not as ridgedly controlled by two extreme party lines, particularly when 3rd party lines get gerrymandered into coalitions in order to accomplish things.

Imagine it coming into being what one or both of you have foreshadowed by saying that maybe those who voted Democrat this last year (and/or Republican during the 8 years before that) get sick and tired of the betrayal, so they vote 3rd party in 2010/12. Just for the sake of discussion and to make the numbers round, let's say that Greens get voted in to the tune of 20%, while the Dems and Repubs each get 35%-to-39% with other independents and 3rd parties rounding it out.

In this situation, no single party would have enough votes to ram-rod legislation through, whether by simple majority or filibuster-proof super-majority. Yes, the party with the token majority over the others might have an upper hand with Committee Chairmanship, etc. ~initially~.

However at this point, the Green Party at 20% (in this example) becomes something of a king-maker. They could regularly throw their weight around in coalitions to give Dems or Repubs temporarily the majority they need to install chairs, to get legislation out of committee, and to vote new policies in place.

There'll be a lot more political horse-trading going on, which on the surface might seem like a bad thing. But could be just the ticket to get things that were off the table back on. Not that it would completely muscle out the corporate financial influence on politics, it would certainly be a start if the king-making 3rd party weren't cut from that clothe.

Not that this is an example I'm proud of pointing out, but back in 1999/2000 before the Nazi-emulator Bush stole an election in the US, someone with true Nazi leanings [Jorg Haider] managed to have his party become top-dog in the Austrian three-dog political show, not through an overwhelming majority, but through a respectable showing and coalition king-making skills. Although head of his party and desirous of being head of state, Haider was forced to hand those honors over to another in his party, such was the distaste for Haider by the others and the coalition horse-trading to cobble together a government that could govern.

Before someone flames me for my Nazi references and tries to put words in my mouth condoning such (for the USA), *beeb* *beeb* NOPE! Ain't true. The point was about how a 3rd party could throw its weight around and thereby maybe, in the case of the USA, affect some real positive change for the under-represented, like namely us living-and-breathing human individuals, as opposed to corporations.

If a 3rd party could get a respectable foothold *at the expense* of the other parties' numbers, then we might be on the cusp of true change, like maybe instant-run-off elections allowing people to vote both their hearts and their "most electable safe-bets". (Although I hope for the utopia Star Trek version, targeted shock-and-awe fear has already proven that it might drag us -- like Austria was through the mud of Haider -- through teabagger protectionist, separatist, xenophobic, Nazi-leaning eras first.)