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Challenge Match: PatrickGarrow17 vs. Druid 42: The Two Party Dominance in America is Ending

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posted on Oct, 11 2012 @ 01:24 PM
Thank's to all involved: ATS for hosting, Druid42 for engaging in this topic, and everyone who chooses to read our discussion. May you be satisfied.

The two party dominance in America is ending

Rejoice, my friends.

No, I do not propose that we'll have a new majority party by 2016, or 2020. My argument, here, is that the Republicans and Democrats are starting a decline in influence.


Sure, among 588 offices (congress and governors combined), we have only four officials outside of the two major parties. Joe Lieberman (Conneticut) and Bernie Sanders (Vermont) are independent Senators. Lincoln Chafee( Rhode Island) and Charlie Crist (Florida) are independent Governors.

The current dominance in politics by the two parties is exactly why their power will decline.

In 2011, only 42% of Americans were satisfied with how well the government system works. 31% were satisfied with the size and power of the federal

We've seen movements rise, including the Tea Party and Occupy. Both held the common denominator of protesting abuses of power. The tea party wanting a smaller federal government, occupy wanting a check on the power of Wall Street and financial industry.

Both movements gained high participation, and became a major part of the political discussion. Each showed the dissatisfaction in government related in the poll numbers above. And, these movements are just the first two cars of what will be a train of ideological shifts in American politics.

A slim majority of Americans say it's time for a third party because the Democratic and Republican Parties are doing such a poor job, a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows.
USA Today, 5/11/2011

In recent years, as many as 58% of Americans polled said they would like to see a third party more involved in American politics.

The natural progression of political movements will create larger groups focused not on checking the power of the banks, or government, but of the Republican and Democratic parties that play a major role in accomplishing all goals.

Americans are sick of the polarization and gridlock.

More than 2.5 million voters have left the Democratic and Republican parties since the 2008 elections, while the number of independent voters continues to grow.
USA Today, 12/22/2011

Democrats and Republicans are controlling a broken system. Thankfully, our democracy will allow for us to express our dissatisfaction and begin to challenge these parties. Over the next ten years, the trend of voters choosing alternatives to the elephant and donkey will continue.

Neither Obama or Romney will fix the system and increase the confidence of the electorate. Party line voting will continue, along with filibusters and gridlock. And as America sees the same old politics, we will continue to demand improvements and alternatives to those that play the biggest role in the failure.

Are you satisfied with the two parties?

posted on Oct, 12 2012 @ 09:25 PM

The Moon is made of Green Cheese.

Such a preposterous statement, yet the opening I bring forth in this debate. I'll pause to thank the staff of ATS, and PartrickGarrow17 for participating, but otherwise I will delve into the heart of the matter. A bit of history.

....with whom those who strongly supported the policies of President Jackson closely identified historically- back in 1796 and 1800. This Major Party has, of course, stayed with the name Democrats ever since.

....producing a new "Democrats versus Republicans" Major Party alignment: one that, at least insofar as the Parties' names are concerned, continues to this very day.

Political alignments are based in majorities, and not minorities. At the end of the day, whether you agree to a certain policy or not doesn't change in the least the fact that there are two political parties in America. They are not changing anytime soon, as the current population has accepted the standard. Two parties.

You vote, on election day, either way, or vote for a minority, or write in a candidate. (Well, of late, there's no position to "write-in", as they are electronic gadgets now.)

Further in this debate I'll perhaps entertain the idea of a multiple party system, and to plant the seed of such nonsense, I'll propose a few socratic questions closer to the end of my character count.

My opponent seems to think the wisdom of hundreds of years of political wisdom our ancestors were clear to provide us with will be replaced with another standard. I'll give him the next two elections, however handicapping him with the fact that it takes money to form a political party, and to sell your wares to the electorate. If he can prove a feasible method throughout the course of this debate to form a third party, keyword being feasible, I'll concede defeat before a judges ruling. Until then, the words are on.

Ross Perot ran twice, and got my vote both times, and Ron Paul, our beloved ATS candidate, is no longer on the ticket. He could run as an independent, but lacks the funds to gain a popular vote. The Electoral College still stands in his way. (My opponent, a gift, to refute at your leisure.) The fact remains that anyone outside of the two-party system will never get elected in this day and age. A vote for an independent is a vote for the incumbent.

The Electoral College is a process, not a place. The founding fathers established it in the Constitution as a compromise between election of the President by a vote in Congress and election of the President by a popular vote of qualified citizens.

We all know popular vote is superseded by the vote of the Electoral College. The members of Congress decide the next president, not us.

The political system is rife with glamor, big business, and special interests. That's what keeps a two-party system intact, and doesn't allow for other parties to compete fairly. The money controls the direction. That's not going to change anytime soon. With control of the system bound to Congress, that is the way things are. Congress will never allow another party, nor four or five. Conservative or Liberal, not something in between. Politics border on ideal moral decisions. There is one side, or another, no reason for shades of grey in politics, yet there is. History, my friends, history. The record shows the ability to decide a side. We face those choices everyday. Our political stance is not a whim like changing underwear, but something that is what we adhere to, a core of our faith, a definition we allow ourselves.

To change that, PatrickGarrow17, you will have to present a scenario where the very fabric of our well-established political system is altered. There has been no precedent for you to draw upon, and to back up my claim, this Republic has stood firm upon it's principals since it's inception. You cannot change the Electoral College, nor can you wishfully add another party to the system without altering the essence of the system. It would require an amendment to the Constitution.

Socratic Question #1: If you could define a third party, in one paragraph, what would it's main tenets be that are different from a variation on the current two-sided system? Wouldn't a third party just be a subdivision of already defined principles?

Socratic Question #2: Could you agree that a re-definition of what the two parties represent would be more beneficial to the spectrum of politics? Is such a task feasible?

Socratic Question #3: If you state that neither Romney nor Obama can fix the disparity, who can? Can you present in one paragraph what your solution would be? Who is the super-politician? Or, perhaps, is it just a fundamental flaw in the Constitution itself?

posted on Oct, 15 2012 @ 08:45 PM
A perfect transition into my next point, which is to point out that third parties cutting into the dominance of the two party system is not unprecedented.

The Anti-Masonic Party was the original third party to be active on the national scene.

A popular movement arose in early America that sought to expose the disproportional control that Freemasons had on the government. In the late 1820's the party had popular support, and had a significant impact on the political scene. Eventually, some of it's members would help establish the Whig Party Another new movement that enjoyed better success, electing multiple presidents.

A similar sentiment exists today, with the growing knowledge of covert influences on government. Another parallel can be drawn to frustration with big business, which existed in the early 1900's and once again today.

In 1912, Teddy Roosevelt ran for President as the Progressive Party nominee. It would be the most succesfull of all third party Presidential campaigns by recieving 26% of the vote.

Despite losing, the platforms of the progressive party played an important role in shaping America. They called for child labor prohibition, a minimum wage, a national health service, preventing big business excess, patent laws, and equal suffrage.

Also, from the Progressive platform:

We pledge our party to legislation that will compel strict limitation on all campaign contributions and expenditures, and detailed publicity of both before as well as after primaries and elections.

Which brings me to my next point.

One of your strongest arguments is that the Republicans and Democrats have a significant financial advantage that no third party can compete with, aside from wealthy independents like Perot.

A majority of voters strongly favor both requiring corporations to get shareholder approval for political spending (56 percent strongly favor, 80 percent total favor) and a ban on political spending by foreign corporations (51 percent strongly favor, 60 percent total favor)."

Campaign finance reform is high on America's political agenda, and it will prove liberating for third party and independent candidates.

Poll after poll reveal a public convinced that lobbyists are a destructive influence


More evidence of a public that opposes the influence of money on politics.

And it is possible that the recent Citizens United decision could be overturned.

In a chat with the website Reddit, President Obama called for serious look at a constitutional amendment to reverse the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling.

So, America has a history of third party influence and a public seeking to reform political financing

The third parties of the past have risen as the result of the public perception that too much power has been concentrated in too few hands. We have this very attitude now.

If I, personally, were to define a new party. It would be primarily geared toward increasing activism, reducing money in politics, and generally checking the power of Democrats and Republicans. It would be an open ended ideology with the first priority being higher involvement throughout the population, and second being a call for politics going beyond the current two party gridlock and ineffectiveness.

1.It would be a party split in vote issue by issue, not a leverage bloc seeking to fulfill an entire agenda.

2.A re-definition of the two parties is the only possible way they can avoid losing influence. But such a development would be more likely seen as a desperate maneuver by the public, aimed at retaining power.

3.There is a dormant super-politician, it is the American people.

This super politician is not satisfied with it's government, and the parties that control it. The super-politician is leaving the two parties by the millions.

There is a distinct trend away from cooperation with the failing parties. As new ideologies become better defined, our mass communication tools will allow for groups to rise and challenge the Democrats and Republicans with breakneck speed.

The whispers of dissent have begun in recent years. If trends continue, which I propose they will, these whispers of a few will become the chatter of many.

A collective booming scream of the super-politician, the American people.

The Democrats and Republican parties are declining, dominance is ending.

posted on Oct, 16 2012 @ 08:05 PM

The super-candidate: "Al M. Dollar".

A candidate must be an individual, and not a collective, so my opponent's analogy doesn't hold much weight in this debate. I would however, like to present my candidate for the position, one who supports both parties, and one who doesn't want the two-party system to end, ever. His name? Al Mighty Dollar. Let's just call him Mr. Dollar, or Al, if you are on personal terms with him.

Romney came close to matching the $181 million that President Obama raised last month — and he did so during a rocky period for his candidacy and before his solid performance in the Oct. 3 debate, an event that greatly energized the Republican base.

The current system requires you to raise and spend money. On advertising, that is, on a national level. Average Joe doesn't have that kind of money, and we watched, unfortunately, as Santorum and Gingrich, for example, left the ranks of candidates due to lack of funds. There just wasn't enough money being given to them to support their campaigns. Mr. Dollar obviously didn't like those two.

My opponent's mention of the Whigs bears merit, that in times long past there were other parties available to run on. The Federalists also managed a presidency or two, but those facts don't relate to the topic of this debate, which is that a two party system is ready to end.

There is no viable alternative, save Independent, to run on. Without Al's approval, however, you don't really stand a chance to get elected. Let's take this graphic:

If Al doesn't like you, you don't stay in the running as a presidential candidate. Even our beloved Ron Paul dropped out of the race, but in our hearts, he will be remembered. Ron Paul left the race, not for lack of popularity, but for lack of funding. Sadly enough, in the constitution, there is no stipulation for the amount of money you have, just a few requirements such as being a natural born citizen, above a certain age, etc. Why is it now that we are locked into a two party system? Is it for a lack of ideals? Is it because Congress opposes it?

We'll find that in all truthfulness, you can have as many write-in candidates on your local ballot as you like, and they may win the popular vote, but they get zero votes from the Electoral College, and therefore cannot be elected.

The Electoral College is a controversial mechanism of presidential elections that was created by the framers of the U.S. Constitution as a compromise for the presidential election process. At the time, some politicians believed a purely popular election was too reckless, while others objected to giving Congress the power to select the president. The compromise was to set up an Electoral College system that allowed voters to vote for electors, who would then cast their votes for candidates, a system described in Article II, section 1 of the Constitution.

To end the two party system in America, one would need to change the political affiliations of the people we elect to represent us, and once again, sadly enough, not enough is being done on the local level. We elect our Senators and Representatives based on their party affiliation, and on the local level, where it matters the most, where we choose the people who represent our Electoral Vote, there is not much concern to interject a third party. Locally, people are bound geographically, and usually vote their affiliation. The Swing States are the ones Mr. Dollar focuses on the most, those with those much needed Electoral Votes. It takes 270 to win an election, and that is what the system is based upon, and which it remains based upon. There is no feasible alternate in the works, much less coming up the pipe, as this electoral process is based more upon tradition, than on the needs of the American people.

Back over to you, PatrickGarrow17.

posted on Nov, 10 2012 @ 09:51 PM
I apologize for taking so long.

So far, I have noted trends in American politics that suggest an electorate frustrated with it's current government and increasingly leaving the two parties. There have been historical examples of third party successes and recent popular movements that breath fresh air into a stale American politic. My position is that these trends will continue to cause a higher rate of independent voting and more sophisticated alternatives to the choices we have now.

My opponent has formed an argument based on the disparity in financial capacities between the two major parties and any alternatives.

The superfluous money in politics is one of the primary issues that the electorate would like to see changed.

Nearly 90 percent of people in the United States say there is too much corporate money in politics, according to a new poll from a collection of watchdog and public interest groups.

5.8 billion$ was spent in total during the 2012 election cycle. This is disgusting.

Most agree that money in politics is a problem and it is being addressed thanks to pressure from the people.

On Thursday, Axelrod said the president would push for campaign finance reform if he won a second term.
link 6/15/12

Today at the Education Nation forum, Mitt Romney finally admitted that money distorts our democracy by improperly influencing politicians, and causing them to ignore their constituents in favor of powerful donors. He even called for action to end this problem, saying it’s “the wrong way for us to go.”
link from September

Both sides agree that campaign finance reform should be addressed, and this will inevitably cede some power to independent and third party candidates.

Surely, the influence of the two parties is declining. But, they are currently so successful in terms of elected officials, at what point will they no longer be dominant.

In terms of registration the two parties are, in fact, not dominant. 39% Republican, 33% Democrat, 28%

There are nearly as many people identifying in some other way as with one of the two major parties.

Ideologically, our electorate is not as dominated by Democrats and Republicans as one might think.

When will this translate into election victories?

As ridiculous spending gets addressed, we'll see a more even playing field. Further, social media makes it easier for a word of mouth type grassroots movement to spread without much advertising.

We have a Democrat executive and a Republican house. Recent challenges to problem solving will persist. The election will do little to address the underlying flaws in our politics. While the election cycle may have seemed to temporarily fortify the bipartisan dominance, people will once again protest our limping government between now and 2016.

I propose that in the next four years there will be a call to address campaign finance, as has been indicated. There will be a continuing trend of grassroots movements until one finally develops a sustainable national following.

The tea party was plagued by fringe fanaticism.

Occupy had too narrow a focus.

The past few years have proven that people are eager to entertain an alternative. Attempts were made to cause change in the government, and there have been results.

But, we still have the same issues and the same government. People don't like it, leaders will step up.

The correct movement when seeking a genuine change would be one with the primary goal of challenging the two major parties, making American politics more dynamic and less uniform.

I believe this will happen, but my argument is one far from being based on blind faith. People are not satisfied with government, they are leaving the two parties, they are taking action, and these trends will continue to develop into more intelligent action.

Now, if you can ensure me that our government will start functioning in a way that meets popular expectation, I might reconsider. If you can ensure me that in two, or four years, people will be proud of their president and congress and give full approval, I'll concede defeat.

Your argument is not that there is no need for a check on two party dominance.

You argue that America is not capable of enacting the changes that many want.

In closing, I'll put forward a potential candidate: Wealthy, elected as independant

Michael Bloomberg (I), mayor NYC.

posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 12:13 AM

Someday, perhaps. We can dream.

My opponent makes a few good points, but fails to address the biggest hurdle barring his ideals: The Electoral College. That is the immutable, written into the Constitution, brick wall that will not allow a third party to get elected at the federal level of politics. Locally, as I have stated, is where the changes must occur, but Congress itself will not allow the change. Thanks to the almighty dollar, and greed.

He does bring up a good point about campaign reform:

Both sides agree that campaign finance reform should be addressed, and this will inevitably cede some power to independent and third party candidates.

Yes, they say it should be addressed, but they speak out of the sides of their mouths, much talk, just posturing. He is correct that it would inevitably yield power, but not likely within our lifetimes, and not willingly. It would take major reform, and legislation, and since Congress is dominated by two parties who vote for against legislation, I honestly hope you can see the feasibility of such an event being close to zero.

Again, my opponent is correct in stating:

Recent challenges to problem solving will persist. The election will do little to address the underlying flaws in our politics.

Now that we have re-elected the incumbent, there is little reason for our politicians to move against the status quo. What we have now is a continuation of the same policies of the past four years, moving slowly "Forward", with little resolve to radically change anything. The whole system will slug along in the same direction that it has been, with no new legislation being introduced to alter any current policies.

Besides, now is not a good time to try and reform the government. It's a time to work on re-building the economy, creating viable jobs, and moving out of the recessive state that we are economically experiencing. It's time to come together as an electorate, and stand behind our president and his policies, and work toward having a positive impact on future elections.

There's no reason to blame the lack of a third party on the reasons why are in a fiscal crisis. A third party is not the solution. We need to hold the two current parties responsible, and work towards a common goal. A third party would only add more division into an already divisive landscape.

In closing, I'd like to thank PatrickGarrow17 for engaging in this debate, and ATS for providing the platform on which to scrutinize the topics that affect us. With the ability to discuss our differences, we come closer to finding a solutions to the problems that we as a nation, yea, a world, face. We must address these issues for our children, and for our own posterity, to secure our future.

The solution is to mend what we already have as a two party system, and tell our politicians we are unhappy with the job they are doing. It all starts at the local level, between you and I, then our neighbors, and then their neighbors. Together, we can be the change we want to see. "We, the people."

Thank you for reading this debate. I hope your time has been well spent.

posted on Nov, 13 2012 @ 06:38 AM
Judgments are in:

Since switching to a third party myself, I tried to pay really close attention to the merits of this debate. The validity of a third party is in question. PatrickGarrow17 took the aspect of campaign finance and the validity of third parties by givingclear examples. Druid 42 did well to bring up the Electoral College, but the ultimate flaw is that the Electoral College does look at third party candidates as seen by Ralph Naders attempt at 2000. So the win, would have to go to PatrickGarrow17

“First round PatrickGarrow17 opened well, but Druid42 took the lead with the factual history of the two-party system, and by not entertaining the need for a new system that has stood for centuries. While Patrick’s opener proved interesting as to how the American people are yearning for change, Druid took the reality road of the corruption within the current government system and the inherent costs of running as an independent.

First round to Druid42.

The second round was very hard to pick a clear winner as both opponents had very strong statements. PatrickGarrow17 came back strongly with proof of how a third party system can and has worked in the past. He also considered how the system can work against those who have the funds to run, and answered the socratic questions well, particularly this one;

3. There is a dormant super-politician, it is the American people.

Druid responded by elaborating on his first round post, clearly showing just how much money the major candidates have in their fold, and of course who finances them. Unfortunately, in my opinion he only really carried over what was already said in the first post, without adding much new information.

Second round to PatrickGarrow17.

Both opponents had very good closing statements. PatrcikGarrow17 brought a lot of facts to the table about how change can be effected and what the people can do to effect change away from the two party system.

Despite this, Druid42’s closing statement was very strong, and not only addressed the problems, but put them into a very clear perspective about the ways and means to go about repairing the current system.

This statement, in my opinion is the prize winning piece;

Besides, now is not a good time to try and reform the government. It's a time to work on re-building the economy, creating viable jobs, and moving out of the recessive state that we are economically experiencing. It's time to come together as an electorate, and stand behind our president and his policies, and work toward having a positive impact on future elections.

Third round and the debate to Druid42.”

The Debate was a tie. The tie was broken by bringing in a third judge:

Both openings are putting forward reasonable arguments for either position. They are fair and grounded, yet cancel each other out. PatrickGarrow17 claims changes are already happening, while Druid42 maintains changes are impossible. Neither more convincing than the other, this is a tie so far.

In the second round, PatrickGarrow17 parries by showing changes are not unprecedented and that the general public opposes the influence of money in politics, also claiming the public is the super-politician that can change all. Druid42 counter argument exists almost entirely of showing how big of a factor money is, and even when overcome there is still the hurdle of the Electoral College.

I give this round to Druid42, because his arguments clearly layout the difficulties of taking the obstacles for change, while the opposing arguments are a bit weak in showing how the dominance is ending.

In the closing, PatrickGarrow17 comes back strong in showing how the dominance is not really a dominance, and it is diminishing and can be influenced. It had me convinced. However, Druid42 delivers the fatal blow in his closing plea: such a change would call for change in legislation and possibly the constitution (Electoral College), which would have to be initiated by the current two party legislators.

It´s an unfortunate vicious circle, and given the title "The Two Party Dominance is Ending", I don´t see the end of it anytime soon. It´s convincing enough for me to give the debate to Druid42.

Druid42 is the winner of this Debate.

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