Far be it from me, its not my place...

Rasselas

Former Staff
Feb 2010
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#41
I think if Schultz runs he will get quite a few votes. He has quite a few of us at work looking into his candidacy.
The more successful he is, the more he's likely to throw the election to the candidate least like him. Just like Teddy Roosevelt 1912, Ross Perot 1992, Ross Perot 1996, Ralph Nader 2000.

Unless he can can a TON of support (and I mean polling in the 30s against field of "Trump plus a Democrat"), he'll benefit Trump and put him back in the WH for another four years. If he wants to change American politics, let him start an actual political party and see if his ideas can win over the next several years in state-level races.
 

Rasselas

Former Staff
Feb 2010
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#42
I'd take that trade in a second. In a parliamentary system a party leader with trumps approval rating would be immediately removed and replaced. He'd be in power here for 20 minutes.
I'd just like to see us adopt something like "Prime Minister's Question Time." At least twice a month the president should have to stand in the well of the House and answer questions for half an hour. The president should have to answer questions from a hostile audience of informed and articulate questioners, in a formal setting. "Enemy of the People" indeed.
 

Ian Jeffrey

Council Hall
Mar 2013
71,515
39,468
Vulcan, down the street from Darth Vader
#43
I'd just like to see us adopt something like "Prime Minister's Question Time." At least twice a month the president should have to stand in the well of the House and answer questions for half an hour. The president should have to answer questions from a hostile audience of informed and articulate questioners, in a formal setting. "Enemy of the People" indeed.
Of course, this would only work when at least one house of Congress is of a different party than the president. Otherwise, the questions would all be softballs and a waste of time.
 

Rasselas

Former Staff
Feb 2010
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#44
The problem with having so many different entities making up the Parliament is that nothing gets done.
So parliamentary democracies never pass laws? Really? They aren't all Italy.

The principle difference is that the factions in our system have to stay within one party and work together (or not) all the time. In a parliamentary system, the factions form alliances AFTER the election. That gives the voters less control over how the factions operate in government but more maneuvering room for the pols to accomplish their goals.

Your conception of this works when the two parties themselves are fairly united, but we see from factions like the Freedom Caucus that minorities within the majority party can block legislation that could gain substantial majority support. In short, it's our system that allows a dedicated but minority faction to keep the legislature from getting anything done.
 

Rasselas

Former Staff
Feb 2010
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#45
Of course, this would only work when at least one house of Congress is of a different party than the president. Otherwise, the questions would all be softballs and a waste of time.
Doesn't the minority get an opportunity to ask questions? Seems like that would be easy to arrange. Every bill that comes before the House gets a rule for debate, and the time is equally shared between the majority and the minority.
 

Blueneck

Former Staff
Jun 2007
52,364
38,170
Ohio
#46
The thing I hate about candidacies like this, and it goes for Trump, Perot and Nader too, is how it's about self-serving, not serving.

None of the aforementioned are in it for anything other than being top dog. If it was about helping their fellow Americans or the country as a whole, it wouldn't be president or nothing. You'd see them wanting to serve at the state level, as judges, as representatives, maybe senators. Nope. It's all about them and only wanting the top job and nothing else.
Lol, if you don't follow AOC on Twitter, you should. She said the same thing, after Schulz blamed her for his deciding to run. She apparently got criticized for being a bartender having the gall to run for Congress instead of working her way up from dogcatcher. She's really a quite awesome and while I may not live to see it, she will be president someday, barring assassination, of course.
 
Nov 2007
1,558
655
Prague, Czech Republic
#48
Note, however, that the leading party has only 33 seats in the House of Representatives out of 150 (22%); and 13 seats in the Senate out of 75 (17%). Hardly representative of the entire country, especially where the next three parties down have even smaller percentages. While certainly coalitions - probably amongst pretty much the same parties, tend to ensure a more centrist approach to just about anything, it also makes it less likely the individual voices of the smaller parties will actually be heard, anyway. There will still effectively be a two-party system no matter how many parties are actually in existence.
I was very confused for a minute thinking you were talking about the US; but I'm not sure I see why this is a problem. You need a coalition to govern - just as you do in the US. But in the US the parties form their coalitions preemptively and thus all issues get channeled into the same two part division. In a multiparty democracy more flexibility is possible; and this is what makes the smaller parties voices heard.

The ruling coalition is struggling to pass it's central economic legislation due to its tiny majority and a lack of coherence. Along comes the animal-rights party with an offer to support it in exchange for some legislation about animal welfare. It's odd to hear the argument that small parties get ignored in such a system; since the more common complaint is that they wield disproprotionate power due to their king-making abilities.
 
Likes: Ian Jeffrey
Nov 2007
1,558
655
Prague, Czech Republic
#49
It is not at all a ridiculous outcome when you have a half dozen parties in the general election as you described. If you have say four different parties in the general election with three being rational and one being radical shitheads you might have a problem. I would not want to see someone win that the vast majority doesn't want.
Of course it's a ridiculous outcome, since nobody rational would ever consider setting up a system where you elect a President simply based on who gets a plurality of votes (of course - the US system is even stupider than this; since the electoral college means you can get a plurality of votes and still lose to an opponent with even less votes). We use a 2nd round run-off between the top two candidates for presidential elections, which seems to be the most common way of doing it around the world. In my opinion an instant runoff system makes more sense.

You're perfectly correct in saying that someone could win the US Presidential election with 20% of the votes. That's why I'm saying it should be changed.
 
Nov 2007
1,558
655
Prague, Czech Republic
#50
That depends on whether the majority chooses to allow it.
PMQs in the British Parliament works on a raffle. MPs who want to ask a question are randomly selected. Otherwise the whole thing would be pointless, since the PM necessarily controls a majority in the house.

Of course, loyal members of the ruling party put their names forward for questions too, so amongst the hostile questions from the opposition and backbenchers from a contrary wing of the ruling party, you also get questions like "Would the Right Honourable Prime Minister mind telling us about the enormous amount of money saved by government policy x and how much better it's made the lives of all common citizens?" "Why yes, I'm glad you asked..."
 

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