What's wrong with the two party system?

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by David Remer, July 3, 2003 -- PoliWatch.Org

In Texas this week is a highlighted example of what is wrong with a two party system. Namely, that it is about to become a one party system. This leaves the voters with NO CHOICE at the polls. Sound familiar? The Iraqi's had no choice in their last election either.

Texas, for decades in the 20th century, was a one party Democrat state. The governors were Democrat, both houses of Congress were Democrat, and most of the judges were Democrat. Republicans have been making inroads, since the time of Ronald Reagan, to the seats of power by garnering support from the corporations in the big cities and the ranchers in the rural areas. In the last 12 years, the Republicans have managed to take the governorship, both houses of congress and a host of judge seats. Texas is again a one party state.

But the Republicans, recognizing the Democrat's one party stronghold was temporary, now seek to insure their stranglehold becomes permanent. They are in special session as I write these words, redrawing congressional districts to eliminate Democrat incumbent districts and to gerrymander in such a way as to eliminate the last remaining districts supporting Democrats.

It is NOT that the people have changed from Democrats to Republicans; large cities in Texas remain Democrat. The Republicans are carving up the cities on the district maps so that a small portion of a city becomes a part of a large rural Republican district. In this way they will be able to nullify the Democrats votes at the polls in 2004 by overwhelming a small portion of a city's Democrat vote with a large number of rural area Republican votes. This will insure a Republican majority for that district in 2004 and eliminate the Democrat district altogether.

Note that this gerrymandering is not without a price tag for the tax payer. Where the state redrew districts in the past every 10 years in accordance with shifts in the national census, the Republicans in Texas are envisioning this redistricting process occur every 2 years, if necessary, to insure their hold on government. That means the cost for redistricting could jump 500% for tax payers in a 10 year period. The most vocal outcry against such taxpayer cost increases is coming from the cities where the greatest concentration of voters are. However, when all is done, their voices will be of little concern to the government. The Republican government will have eliminated the voting power of those concentrations of voters.

This is what is wrong with a two party system. Eventually, one party is able exercise its temporary majority status to change laws and districts so as to perpetuate a one party system, their own. The Green Party and Libertarian Party are growing as American voter dissatisfaction with both the major parties also grows. All of the third party platforms in the year 2000 contained some reference to eliminating or reinventing the Federal Elections Committee (FEC). The FEC is run by the Democrats and Republicans and currently works against third parties in various ways.

In 2004, a third party has no chance of winning the presidency or any majority in either house of Congress. However, if, independents and all other voters who have lost faith in the two major parties were to go vote third party candidates, a great many Republican and Democrat incumbents could be replaced, and the vibrancy and hope of a multi-party democracy would mushroom in this new century.

I for one am no longer concerned about the short term consequences of voting third party. The problem is the dominance of two parties in America. And the solution is to increase the number of 3rd party candidates winning offices in the next 3 or more election cycles. Once that is accomplished, the FEC can be restructured to provide equal access and equal treatment in the election system.

Most third parties also recommend taking back the public airways and granting media supported access to the public by all qualifying parties during an election cycle. That is the goal; giving the American people real choices at the voting booth. A government that is made up of multiple parties will diminish the concentration of power in the hands of a few political bosses over all the diverse people of this great land. Consider voting 3rd party in 2004, it will be good for our democracy.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on July 3, 2003 8:19 AM.

Bill Frist - Republican Arrogance was the previous entry in this blog.

Sabotage may produce America's next Viet Nam is the next entry in this blog.

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