Sunday, February 19, 2006

Let's Party! 

As I mentioned in a previous post, I think that the best possible route of salvation for this country in the future is for the electorate to reject both the Democratic and Republican parties, and empower the so-called "third" parties by voting for them in large numbers. Ultimately, I think our contry is big and diverse enough that two parties (or two entites that pretend not to represent the same moneied interests) are not sufficient to represent us. If anything, we really should have Parliamentary representation, with parties of the far-right, far-left, moderate right, moderate left and center all represented proportionally. If anything, it would marginalize the nutjobs from both the right and left, and give more equal power to all the folk in the middle who differ, really, in only small degrees over minor issues but tend to agree on the major ones.

That said, I provide now as a public service An Introduction to Your Third Parties as a way for you to decide which one best represents your interests. I present them in alphabetical order, so here we go.

The Constitution Party: also known as The U.S. Taxpayers' Party, The American Independent Party and the Independent American Party. If you're fiscally conservative, this is the party for you. Their platform, courtesy of Wikipedia:
The Constitution Party holds that Republican and Democratic parties are becoming corrupt and are subversive in nature. They emphasize how America was not founded upon religion, but upon biblical principles. It advocates a stronger adherence to the "original intent" of the United States Constitution and the principles of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. It has a strong conservative approach on moral issues and seeks to encourage the role of Christian values and morality in American life, and thus oppose legalized abortion, and gay rights.

Constitutionalists support reducing the role of the United States federal government through: cutting bureaucratic regulation, spending, and they call for the abolishment of the IRS to be replaced with a fair tax system. Its leaders are among the strongest advocates of abolishing most forms of federal taxation, especially the income tax. They view most current regular federal expenditures (such as those for healthcare, education, welfare, etc.) as unconstitutional per the Tenth Amendment.

They support paying off the federal debt through a systematic elimination of further borrowing and unconstitutional programs and agencies such as the Department of Education, Internal Revenue Service, United States Department of Health and Human Services, etc. They strongly oppose foreign aid which they call an unconstitutional international giveaway program. They call for no further funds be appropriated for any kind of foreign aid program, and that United States participation in international lending institutions, such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and the Export-Import Bank be abolished. They pledge that all government subsidies, tax preferences, and investment guarantees to encourage U.S. businesses to invest in foreign lands be immediately terminated; and all debts owed to the United States by foreign countries, or foreign entities, be collected.

Additionally, they favor a noninterventionist foreign policy. In such, they advocate reduction and eventual elimination of the role the United States plays in multinational and international organizations such as the United Nations and favor withdrawal of the United States from most current treaties. The party takes paleoconservative positions in supporting protectionist policies on international trade. They are steadfastly opposed to the USA Patriot Act, illegal immigration and governmental welfare, and they also seek a more restrictive policy on immigration and support a federal law of California proposition 187.

They demand that the federal government restore immigration policies based on the practice that potential immigrants will be disqualified from admission to the U.S. if, on the grounds of health, criminality, morals, or financial dependence, they would impose an improper burden on the United States, any state, or any citizen of the United States.

Additionally they oppose the provision of welfare subsidies and other taxpayer-supported benefits to illegal aliens, and reject the practice of bestowing U.S. citizenship on children born to illegal alien parents while in this country; also any extension of amnesty to illegal aliens. The Constitution party calls for the use of U.S. troops to protect the states against a influx of illegal immigrants.

The party opposes bilingual ballots and insists that those who wish to take part in the electoral process and governance of the US be required to read and comprehend basic English as a precondition of citizenship. They support English as the official language for all governmental business by the United States.

They endorsed Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist for Congress who is also an affiliate member in 2005.

They strongly support the right to bear arms and view the Second Amendment to the Constitution as securing broad rights to own guns.
Interesting, isn't it, when you get into a third party platform? Because even I, as a liberal, can agree with some of this party's ideas -- like getting back to what the Constitution intended, supporting the Second Amendment (surprise surprise, dear readers) and redesigning the tax system. Their attitudes toward abortion, gay rights and illegal immigrants suck ass, but you can't win them all. On the bright side, none of their candidates are owned by pharmaceutical companies, lawyers, PACs or other various and sundry scum.

The Green Party: These are their Ten Key Values, basically their platform:
1. Community-based economics, e.g. LETS, local purchasing, co-housing, Community-supported agriculture
2. Decentralisation, e.g. via Bioregional democracy, sustainable agriculture, regional transmission grids
3. Ecological Wisdom, e.g. ending human-caused extinction, promoting ecological health
4. Feminism, e.g. health security especially for mothers and children, and thus a focus on environmental health, gender equity in government; also referred to as Postpatriarchal Values, e.g. de-emphasizing competition and encouraging cooperation
5. Grassroots democracy, e.g. via electoral reform to improve deliberative democracy
6. Non-violence, e.g. via de-escalation, peace processes
7. Personal and global responsibility, e.g. moral purchasing, voluntary simplicity
8. Respect for diversity, e.g. via fair trade, bioregional democracy
9. Social justice, e.g. harm reduction rather than zero tolerance, a Living wage
10. Future Focus/Sustainability, e.g. measuring well-being effect over seven generations, leading to what is called seven-generation sustainability, Renewable energy and Conservation, New urbanism, Zero waste
Hm. Y'know, I really can't find anything to disagree with in these statements. Figure out a way to make a free-market economy support Green Values (and it can be done), and you'd have a winning strategy for the future. If you're ultra-liberal or, ironically, support elimination of government intrusion into people's personal lives (read between the lines on the above), then this is your party.

The Libertarian Party: I have to admit that this is the party with which I'm registered to vote, and have been for a long time, although I consider myself much more of a social libertarian than an economic libertarian. For example, I can see the value of heavy government regulation of corporations, as well as the need for some sort of taxation, whether it be of income or property. But a lot of their platform makes sense, and here it is:
Key tenets of the Libertarian Party platform include the following:

* A self-regulating free market economy (primarily by voluntary consumer groups), including support of the right to keep and bear arms, opposition to drug prohibition, and elimination of the state-supported social welfare system and indeed all taxation for voluntary alternatives along lines of the Libertarian originated Alaska Permanent Fund.
* Strong civil liberties including free speech, freedom of association, sexual freedom, abortion, and a foreign policy of free trade, non-interventionism, and opposition to the initiation of force (particularly military) to attain goals.
* Total opposition to any and all forms of gun control at all levels of government.

Libertarians state that their platform follows from consistent application of the principle of mutual respect for rights, and the liberty of exercise thereof, and thus are deeply interested in of individual liberty as a pre-condition for moral and stable societies. In their "Statement of Principles," they say "We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose." To this end, Libertarians want to reduce the size of government (eliminating many of its current functions entirely), and "support the repeal of all taxation."[1]

Libertarians reject the view of politics as a one dimensional, left-right spectrum, divided between left and right, with the Democrats representing the center-left or left, and Republicans representing the center-right or right.

To illustrate their view that the one-dimensional view of politics is insufficient to describe the myriad of political philosophies held by the public, Libertarians introduced the Nolan chart to communicate their belief that politics is at least two-dimensional.

Among outside political watchers, some consider Libertarians to be conservative (primarily because of their support of the right to bear arms and because of their view on taxes and states rights); while others consider them liberal because of their advocacy of a non-interventionist foreign policy, the repeal of Drug Prohibition, and the elimination of laws that interfere with private consensual acts (such as prostitution and gambling).

Within the framework of libertarian politics, the Libertarian Party's platform falls roughly in the realm of free market minarchism. The party advocates limiting the government as much as possible, within the confines of the United States Constitution. As in any political party, there is some internal debate about the platform, and not all the party's supporters advocate its complete or immediate implementation, but most think that the USA would benefit from most of the Libertarian Party's proposed changes. However, under a policy known as the Dallas Accord, the national Libertarian Party does not favor any particular approach, leaving individual candidates and other advocates of Libertarian solutions free to determine how that message will be presented.
BTW, the Libertarians created the World's Smallest Political Quiz to determine where your politics lie. I urge you to take it. (I scored 100% on personal issues and 60% on economic issues.)

There's also the Peace and Freedom Party, which fell below necessary registered voters in 2004, so is on the back burner for the moment. But the point is this -- there are more choices on the ballot than D or R. If you're Liberal, consider voting Green. If you're Conservative, consider voting Constitution Party. If you're tired of the government fucking up in general, vote Libertarian.

But... we have the power to do this. Tired of the Status Quo? Kick all the bastards out. Learn your options, register and vote accordingly, and know that you've done your part to take power away from the powers behind the throne, the wealthy bastards who own our government. That, more than anything, will save this country. Consider it a Soft Revolution, fought with the ballot instead of the bullet. The end results will be the same... and the amusement factor alone of watching the mainstream media try to figure out where to stand on a third party president will be priceless.

But, here's the key to it, because I've been guilty of the following. We all have to do this together, as a bloc. Convince your friends and neighbors, and get them to do the same. Because, especially in the last two National Elections, I really wanted to cast my vote for my party, but voted instead for the Democrat not because I necessarily supported him more (okay, 2000 yes, 2004, only by default), but because I didn't want to "waste" my vote on the Libertarian. And that's bullshit. If we all decide to vote for what we prefer instead of the two choices the mainstream gives us, we'll discover power in numbers -- a power that will make the current power elite, on the morning after, shit a brick and smell the coffee.

And how cool would that be?

Thought you may be interested in this cbsnews.com article about a diabolical third party takeover in 2008, http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/05/10/opinion/meyer/main1609133.shtml I Hope you don't mind me sending it, check it out.

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