Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Topic #4 - "An opening for a third party?"

RESOLVED: The United States needs a third political party.


PRO #1
Some feel that the two-party system is flawed because it often forces people to compromise, i.e. choosing one political party for certain aspects of it while possessing the desire to support other causes that this party rejects. Americans have defined a cut and dry line of political thought with the two party systems: one can either choose Republican or Democrat, but there is no middle ground. There exists no combination party that allows the voter to vote based upon all of their values. After all, Americans’ ideas have been rapidly changing over the years, shouldn’t they get to choose who they would want to govern based on all of their beliefs?

The formation of a third political party could bring America closer to its founding principles; the idea that all men should be able to have a say in the government. By creating a third party, one that includes ideas intermixed from both existing parties, man would have the opportunity to feel he has full representation based upon all of his beliefs. This would encourage voting, because with a third party, people would be more willing to vote. When faced with the ballot, the voting citizen would be able to choose based upon all of their beliefs, not just focusing on the most important ones.

In fact, 52% of all Americans would like to add a third major political party. The addition of another party would increase voter’s choice and therefore increase voting. America today is too complicated to be encompassed by a single line the liberal on the left and conservatives on the right. Other, legitimate, viewpoints are excluded. Therefore, the addition of a third party would diminish this hindrance on American’s choice of thought. (Emily K.)
 
PRO #2
An estimated 37% of Americans call themselves Independent voters due to what they perceive as extremism by the Democratic and Republican parties. With the development of a third party, the independent voters would have government officials to represent them and their views. Also, a third party would bring a compromise to the views of the Republican and Democratic parties by using views from both parties. A third party would encourage more participation by the citizens in voting by appealing to a less extremist group of people. People would not be forced to choose between two extreme parties, but be able to have a compromise in the middle. By developing a third party, competition will yield a superior candidate by focusing on important issues the Republican and Democratic parties ignore. Also, it will provide solutions that will appeal to both sides. (Anthony E.)


CON #1
Our group is against the resolution that a third party would benefit America. First of all, a third party usually branches off of the republican or democratic party. For example, the Tea Party is just a very conservative version of the republican party. Eventually, this will split the vote between the republican party voters, giving the democrats an advantage. If the third party gets serious enough, then the republican candidates will focus on their ideals, similar to Santorum sating Romney is too liberal to appeal to the Tea Party. Second, there are already several third parties in existence. Because of the magnitude of the two main parties, third parties will never get enough support to overpower these two parties. There are 55 million members in the Republican party, 74 million members in the democratic party, and less than 1 million members in third parties total. There is only one member in the house of representatives who belongs in a third party. (Jonny W.)



CON #2
Restricting choice to two parties limits the free marketplace of ideas, reduces each voter's choice, and is undemocratic. A democracy that practices social equality might see that introducing a third party could benefit the citizens. 40% of Americans call themselves Independent Voters (www.independentvoting.org). We need some third official force to come in and try and change political dispute. We can develop a district itself for the set of bolder ideas we need in a global area. The primary focus of a third party is to raise awareness to principals and issues that are often misunderstood.

“Discriminatory ballot access requirements that are heavily biased against independent and third-party candidates, and the exclusion of such candidates from the nationally televised presidential debates jointly sponsored by the two major parties, are other obstacles.”

By introducing a third, fourth, or even fifth party into Americans’ choices it will compel major parties to change and renew themselves. The parties could create a platform that executes all important issues and meets the DEMAND of America’s citizens. To create a more unified democracy the party’s may have different goals but a similar outcome of success and a range of happiness among all citizens. (Mercedez S.)

CON #3
With the recent growth of a third political party, the Tea Party, gaining popularity around the country, a discussion on whether a third political party would benefit the United States was brought up in our study of government. This blog post will discuss several key issues on why a third party would hurt the American system of government. To start we must all realize that America has been a two-party nation since the birth of the country. We began with the Federalist and Anti-Federalists, but did they really go away or rather evolve into a more sophisticated version covering a wider range of issues. Next I call to your attention a two-party system is very stable and has allowed for America to prevail through adverse times in our history, such as building the Constitution and slavery. Last of all, the system in which officials are elected is based on a two-party “winner take all” method in which the largest party gets all the representation for that district. While a third party could potentially get votes the fact is that the number of votes this smaller party would receive would be miniscule in comparison to the larger parties and appear to voters as a waste. The fact of the matter is that America does not need or want a third political party, if one were to arise, this party would not survive in the long run as it would eventually fade out behind the two larger parties. (Tucker D.)

18 comments:

Travis S said...

I think that a third party would bring America closer to its founding principles but the system of elections and parties that we have set up don't allow for a third party to be able to emerge. For example there have been many people that have tried to run for president as independent but none have been able to overcome difficulty of not being in one of the two major parties already set up.

Claire Criss said...

While the two party system may seem like it isn't actually doing it's job, in reality it is benefitial to the political system today. It makes sure that one nominee is given the majority vote. Without this check, we would never have a president that would 1) represent our country and 2) represent our people.

Katherine P said...

Even though I debated the other side of this, I actually do agree with you Claire. No matter what, people will not be happy with the system, and realistically, not every citizen can have all of their views and ideas shown in the President.

Andrew Boyd said...

According to a study done by PoliticsDaily.com and estimated 37% of all American voters identify themselves as independentes. This is compared to 34% saying they are Democrats and 28% Republicans. This is showing that the majority of Americans are unrepresented in government. America need a third party to represent all Americans, not just a small portion.

Stephen R said...

I think there needs to be a third independent party in order to have a safe party for liberal republicans and conservitive democrats. However, when we don't have a seperating force, problems occur. Look at the Civil War, one real group of people that felt totally different on an opinion. The resolution included war which obviously isn't the best way to settle problems.

Nick izzard said...

I think that the idea of a third party is exactly what the United States needs during a time of massive separation. The two strong parties in America slowly have been polarizing over time bringing the people of the country with them. With the Demorat and GOP now withholding the ideals of such extremes, there is a large percentage of people that do not agree with these extremes. Rather the percentage of people hold a middle ground standing between the two parties. I think the institution of a third party to represent this middle ground would be a good idea and is almost necessary.

Ryan said...

I believe that as time progresses and more and more liberal/independent voters arise, a third party is totally reasonable. Sure, one can argue how we've always only had two from the beginning, but that was then and this is now. Times have changed and to fit the growing population of independent voters due to the individuality the country is gaining on a continuous basis, we need a third party. For all this time, those independents have just either had to settle for one candidate or just not vote at all.

Blair S. said...

I feel that an addition of a third party in politics would be beneficial for the American people. In some, if not most instances, people like certain stances of both the major parties’ platform so the third party could be a middle-man between the Democrats and the Republicans. In the past, third parties have not been relevant because the party was usually a branch off of the democrat or republican parties, but if the third party could take ideals from both the democrats and republicans I believe it could attract a lot more voters and finally open up a spot for a third party in the political world.

Marcy said...

I believe America does not need a third party. A third party would make the election process much more difficult for deciding how many more votes a person should have in order to win. Then, as a result of the voting, corruption in society will arise. Also, I agree that if a third party were to exist, it would eventually fade out over time because as seen today we do have the liberals and they do not gain as much attention.

Selina R said...

I think having a third party would be a great idea. Most people do not like being limited, and by only having two parties can make people feel restricted. Also a third party would be perfect for right in between for the people who do not support all aspects of the Democratic Party or support all aspects of the Republican Party. There is a higher percentage of “independents” then there are people loyal to either side of the parties. A third party would be a perfect safe middle grounding.

Michael Murph said...

I believe that the United States needs a third political party. There is a large amount of American voters that call themselves independents. Today, because there is not a third party, many people feel uninvolved because they do not belong to the two political parties. These people often do not even vote. Establishing a third party would change politics for the better.

Emily S. said...

I agree with Marcy in that American does not need a third political party. We already have a third party that exist today and they do not receive hardly any attention. If all of a sudden the third party was growing eventually the thrill would wear off, and there would be a split again into the larger sects (Republicans and Democrats). Also, if too many other parties formed the ideals of each party will eventually loose value. Lets stick to the status quo and keep with the system we have now.

Eric M said...

I find the proposition of a 3rd political party to be rather impractical. The Republican and Democratic parties support the interests of the majority of the people in the United States. A third political party would not perfectly align with all of the beliefs of those who are more moderate either. There will never be a perfect fit for every citizen of the United States. If a third political party was to emerge, it would be outcompeted just as the Green party has been outcompeted in the past. The current political party system requires compromise and also for citizens to determine what policies and political philosophies are the most integral to be addressed in the current election.

Megan Riney said...

I feel that the pro side presented the best argument as to whether there is an opening for a third party. What resonated with me the most is that a third party "could bring America closer to its founding principles; the idea that all men should be able to have a say in the government." I believe that with an opening of a third party, those who settle to vote Democratic or Republican will finally have chance to have a party that expresses their opinions on issues more ideally. Also, in my opinion, it will bring America together in democracy better.

Dainelle W said...

I feel like adding a third political party would be extremely propitious to our current voting system. As of right now, with two political parties, many potential voters feel as if they are being inhibited by either voting Republican or Democrat, and feel excluded from the political process that as Americans, is our duty to take part in. As we know, the issues associated with both sides are extremely different and often times, there is usually no "middle-ground". By adding another party, those who feel like they don't necessarily agree with the two current party's views can choose the middle ground, or the third political party. This will enable voters, who haven't voted before because of these concerns, to take part in choosing who represents their country.

Katherine Trent said...

While I agree that often times parties are so far divided right or left that moderates are not equally represented, I think a third part would not be a feasible solution. By having an independent party I agree that it is inevitable for them to not swing toward democrat or republican. Also, it is obvious that as a nation we are not good at compromising or working together with opposing parties, and I think that presenting another party would only increase this. I have hopes for a less divided set of parties, but I don’t think a third party is a good solution.

Lauren S said...

I think that adding a third party would not benefit our government and country. Although it could provide medium ground on very ‘left’ and ‘right’ views of issues, the complications of voting process, candidacy, and government power between three parties would be disastrous. Also, in the past many aspiring third parties have been unsuccessful because of inexperience, lack of momentum, as well as lack of support by a majority of Americans. Overall, adding a third party would not be wise.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, the opening for a third party would be confusing for potential voters and may cause an emence amount of distress amongst existing parties. The two-party system is the way elections have always been structred in the U.S. Due to the fact that only one parties candidate can win in each district, there is a a strong incentive for candidates to organize themselves into two parties. According to American political histroy, the thrid parties success in elections has been short-lived. In most cases, the issues or ideas mantianed by third parties are, for lack of a better word, "stolen" by the candiates of one of the two major parties. The positions of the third party on certain issues also parallel the positions on that of another party. In essence, the thrid party would be an addition to either the Republican or the Democrat party, not really having their own opinion.
Cassidy H