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Internet-Based Political Party Opens Doors

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the until-pudge-starts-voting dept.

Government 291

AlamedaStone writes "New York Times Op-Ed Columnist Thomas L. Friedman writes (edited for brevity): 'If [...] idiocy by elected officials [...] leaves you wishing that we had more options today [...] not only are you not alone, but help may be on the way. Thanks to a quiet political start-up that is now ready to show its hand, a viable, centrist, third presidential ticket, elected by an Internet convention, is going to emerge in 2012.' Currently it looks like more liberal-inclined individuals are registering, but it would make for a healthier system if more viewpoints were represented."

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Yawn (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862262)

Wake me when the US voting system actually gives a third party a chance to play any role.

Re:Yawn (2)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862354)

Wake me up when /. posts a non-NYT ad prompting me to log in.

And when, if talking about a web-based political party, actually gives the hyperlink for it.

Re:Yawn (4, Informative)

tagno25 (1518033) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862440)

As the group explains on its Web site, www.americanselect.org [americanselect.org] : “Americans Elect is the first-ever open nominating process. We’re using the Internet to give every single voter — Democrat, Republican or independent — the power to nominate a presidential ticket in 2012. The people will choose the issues. The people will choose the candidates. And in a secure, online convention next June, the people will make history by putting their choice on the ballot in every state.”

Re:Yawn (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36862826)

every single voter with easy access to an internet connection, that is.

Re:Yawn (1)

AlamedaStone (114462) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862832)

Wake me up when /. posts a non-NYT ad prompting me to log in.

I don't know if it's a function of my NoScript or ABP, but I never get prompted for a login to NYT as long as I go in the "front door", so to speak.

http://www.nytimes.com/ [nytimes.com]
"A Third Way" is the title, and it's on the right of the page.

Re:Yawn (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 3 years ago | (#36863172)

I just use the provided summary link, but my user agent is set to Googlebot... also running NoScript and ABP.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36862386)

Wake me when the US voting system actually gives a third party a chance to play any role.

There is. I vote third party whenever I see it and many times, they get a few percentage points of the vote. Throwing my vote away? That's not the way I see it because voting Democrat or Republican is a vote for big money.

Also, I can't tell you how many "Libertarians" I know who end up voting Republican because they're afraid the Democrats would win - which is retarded. For one, here in Georgia at least, a Democrat has very little chance in most districts.

And too many people vote for "social issues". To them, Government belongs in the bedroom Or the thing I don't understand, social conservatives don't want to pay for poor people and their children, but yet insist on forcing them to reproduce - banning abortion. And on the other side, there are the folks who don't see the lessons from Greece.

tl;dr: There will never be a viable third party until the electorate stops falling for the false dichotomies that the people in power create and the moronic media propagates or in the case of Fox News, adds to it.

Re:Yawn (2)

desertrat_it (650209) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862466)

that is a very US-centric view of politics. The US is not the world.

Most other countries have a functioning system of multiple parties that represent multiple viewpoints. The lack of options in the US is due entirely to the dysfunctional system in the US that locks any other choices out of the system by prohibitive costs.

To put it another way: the Dems are Miller, the Repubs are Bud.

Re:Yawn (2)

unitron (5733) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862618)

To put it another way: the Dems are Miller, the Repubs are Bud.

As someone smarter than I am put it here on Slashdot a few years ago, "The Republicans are the party of evil and the Democrats are the party of stupid".

My corollary to that is that bi-partisan is when they get together to do something that's both.

Re:Yawn (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862696)

"Republican party is the party of bad ideas and the democrat party is the part of no ideas" - Lewis Black

Re:Yawn (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36863024)

The US system relentlessly drags both parties to the center of the electorate. The parliamentary systems of much of the world allow disproportionate influence by the smaller parties that make up the ruling coalition. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. Don't forget that the people that wrote the Constitution knew exactly how Westminster worked and consciously rejected that model.

Re:Yawn (2)

Hope Thelps (322083) | more than 3 years ago | (#36863182)

Don't forget that the people that wrote the Constitution knew exactly how Westminster worked and consciously rejected that model.

Well, in this respect they didn't do a very good job then. Two main political parties alternating in power is pretty much how Westminster operates (originally Tories and Whigs, later Conservatives and Liberals - effectively the successor parties to the Tories and Whigs, not an example of one of them being pushed out - now Conservatives and Labour - the single instance of a new party managing to get into power and only by Labour effectively replacing the Liberals as a party of government, not joining them). If they meant to reject that then it looks as though they failed.

Re:Yawn (2)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862534)

There is. I vote third party whenever I see it and many times, they get a few percentage points of the vote. Throwing my vote away? That's not the way I see it because voting Democrat or Republican is a vote for big money.

Also, I can't tell you how many "Libertarians" I know who end up voting Republican because they're afraid the Democrats would win - which is retarded. For one, here in Georgia at least, a Democrat has very little chance in most districts.

I voted third party for the first time last gubernatorial election, because all Deal and the democratic candidate did was run attack ads against each other. I didn't know any of the candidates platforms, but at least the libertarian candidate didn't spend all his money attacking the others. And I was glad to see my county (Cobb), had some of the highest number of votes for the libertarian candidate than any other county in Georgia.

Re:Yawn (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | more than 3 years ago | (#36863110)

And what exactly dd those few percentage points achieve in the American winner takes all system? All you managed to do, was take away votes for the major party that you would otherwise have voted for if only those two existed. So basically, you might as well have voted for the other major party that you want least.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for third parties, more choice, better ideas, etc... But in a system where the local winners are the only ones that count to the grand total, you are better off voting for the least of two evils rather than helping the other by voting for the third.

Re:Yawn (2)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#36863164)

Surely that depends on your judgement as to momentum?

What if enough vote for a third party that other folks take notice, and then a few more, a few more, and eventually in a two or three more election cycles it's possible that a third party could mount a decent challenge?

And the whole "take away votes" thing is a fallacy that assumes you are just deviating from the 'proper' behaviour in voting third party. Me, I have objections to that in electoral situations where I can't honestly give my mandate to either of the big two.

Re:Yawn (5, Insightful)

MikeURL (890801) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862716)

If you are going to shit on any efforts and will only pay attention when there is a fully reformed electoral system then your wake up call might be a fascist dictatorship.

Apathy and sarcasm are good ways to unplug from a system that seems too broken to fix. But it is an attitude that assures continued decline. The internet was supposed to transform politics and so far it hasn't really happened. All that the internet has helped raise more money for the same old candidates pushing the same old agenda.

Will this effort work? I don't know but I'm not just going to throw up my hands in disgust.

Re:Yawn (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862942)

All that the internet has helped raise more money for the same old candidates pushing the same old agenda.

Actually, to be fair, w/o the Internet, Obama would not be president right now.

No, not because McCain would've won, but because w/o the Internet and its organizing power, Hillary Clinton would have likely won the convention, and Obama would have been a footnote. Sure, he had a strong press backing, but so did many other candidates in the field.

Now honestly? Not a democrat here, and I never supported Obama with a dollar or a vote. OTOH, I am rather impressed how a short-tenure (one or two term?) senator managed, in less than a year, to come out of nowhere and break the back of the strongest political machine in the US. IMHO, the Internet played a large part in that.

Re:Yawn (2)

michelcolman (1208008) | more than 3 years ago | (#36863126)

It's not the effort that's disgusting, it's the perverse result that will inevitably happen. People voting for a liberal thinking internet party are more likely to be democrats, ergo the republicans will win the election. Sad but true.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36862994)

Yo, approval voting: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Approval_voting

Approval voting is a single-winner voting system used for elections. Each voter may vote for (or 'approve' of) as many of the candidates as the voter wishes. The winner is the candidate receiving the most votes. Each voter may vote for any combination of candidates and may give each candidate at most one vote.

The problem with our plurality voting system is that voting for a third party is equivalent to throwing away your vote for whichever of the two major parties you prefer. This virtually ensures that third parties never get off the ground. This is a serious defect that needs to be corrected if we want to have more than two options for representation. There are a variety of other systems, such as instant runoff and range voting, but in my opinion we would be best served by approval voting because of the simplicity and the backwards compatibility. Even if approval voting was implemented next year and only 60% of people understood the new system, the stupid 40% could still cast a perfectly valid vote and have their voices heard.

A guy can dream...

Re:Yawn (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | more than 3 years ago | (#36863064)

I disagree. Third parties have played a huge role in several elections in the past. By stealing votes from the democrats and thereby handing the victory to the republicans. Some might even say it was intentional.

liberal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36862266)

"Currently it looks like more liberal-inclined individuals are registering"
obviously

Re:liberal (1)

taiwanjohn (103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862640)

When polled on individual issues, about 60% of the electorate tends to support the "liberal" position. But when asked about their political orientation, about half claim to be moderates, while the other half splits about 30/20 between conservatives and liberals. So a solid majority tends to self identify as conservative-leaning moderates, despite holding "liberal" views on most issues.

My point is that the people registering on the site may "look" more liberal simply because they answer the individual issue questions that way.

Re:liberal (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862912)

No offense, but considering "liberal" not to be "moderate" pretty much sums up the problem you got with your political system over there. Not to put a slant on it - you can exchange "conservative" for "liberal", and the point is still valid.

Re:liberal (1)

D'Sphitz (699604) | more than 3 years ago | (#36863002)

Or maybe it's that conservatism has become so extreme that moderates now look like flaming liberals.

Re:liberal (3, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 3 years ago | (#36863008)

The problem is, politics is more than one dimensional. It is even more than two dimensional.

In fact, it is (at least) fully cartesian: The X axis is one's desire/tolerance for state control over individuals in general (order vs individualism), the Y axis is one's fiscal ideological inclination (spending/taxation tolerance), and the Z axis is one's social ideological inclination (charity vs non-involvement).

Most folks only think in one-dimensional left-right terms, which is IMHO stupid and dangerous.

Re:liberal (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36863056)

about 60% of the electorate tends to support the "liberal" position

I'd love to see that poll. I think self-identification is a lot more accurate: there are more conservatives than liberals, although there are roughly equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats, because the Democratic party contains numerous conservative groups (in the past, these were often blue-collar whites, but today the most notable such group is black Americans).

unfair (1)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862278)

Any presidential nominee must conform to all the Constitutional requirements, as well as be considered someone of similar stature to our previous presidents. That means no Lady Gaga allowed.

Where would we be without movie star politicians?

Re:unfair (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862312)

That doesn't have anything to do with movie star politics. More that Lady Gaga has supporters, is well liked, seems to know how to make a lot of money and have a positive cash flow and how to generate a flock of followers of all trades and areas, aside maybe the die hard ultraconservatives.

This is by no means in any way "of similar stature" than any previous president I could think of right now.

Re:unfair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36862372)

I'm pretty sure you're being sarcastic but I'm bewildered as do what they really do mean. Does she not meet the constitutional requirements? Or do they mean women have a different "stature" to men? Or does she in some other way lack "stature" compared to say Ronald Reagan?

Re:unfair (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862404)

You have to be 35 years old to be president. Lady Gaga has 10 years to go before she can be eligible.

Re:unfair (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 3 years ago | (#36863028)

You have to be 35 years old to be president. Lady Gaga has 10 years to go before she can be eligible.

...and by then the music industry will have been long-since done with her, and aside from DJs and a few die-hard fanboy types, most folks will forget she ever existed.

Re:unfair (1)

MimeticLie (1866406) | more than 3 years ago | (#36863158)

You're interpreting his comment as a slight against Lady Gaga. I saw it as a dig at our recent presidents.

of course (1)

PhreakOfTime (588141) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862288)

Currently it looks like more liberal-inclined individuals are registering

Yes, and I wouldn't expect that to change, any more than I expect AM radio to not be dominated by conservatives.

Granted, this story is written by the guy who was able to bless the world with a unit of time measurement that has since been named after him; Friedman Unit [wikipedia.org] He doesn't exactly have a good track record in predicting future events, much less future political events.

This will work incredibly well (1)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862292)

"We have 87 million members in our party, based on people having to do the equivalent of signing a Facebook petition!"
"Great! How many of them are going to vote for our candidate?"
"10. No wait, 11, I forgot our candidate can vote for himself."

Sounds nice, but... (1)

martyros (588782) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862300)

This isn't very promising:

Kahlil Byrd, the C.E.O. of Americans Elect, speaking from its swank offices, financed with some serious hedge-fund money, a stone’s throw from the White House.

[Emphasis mine]

Re:Sounds nice, but... horrible idea indeed (4, Insightful)

openfrog (897716) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862590)

Check where this initiative originates from, indeed, and observe how it follows a pattern. This is something that we are seeing more and more, like in UK with the creation of the Lib Dems. The creation of new parties, so-called centrists but mostly taking votes on the left, ensuring the election of conservatives, or at least of a coalition government dominated by the conservatives.

The usual response to this observation is that the targeted party, here the Democrats, is anywhere but on the left. Well, considering where are the Conservatives in your country, way out to lunch, and considering how they are actively taking hostage and destroying the democratic institutions, I would pay some attention before voting for a third party...

First things first.

Re:Sounds nice, but... horrible idea indeed (1)

martyros (588782) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862736)

This is something that we are seeing more and more, like in UK with the creation of the Lib Dems. The creation of new parties, so-called centrists but mostly taking votes on the left, ensuring the election of conservatives, or at least of a coalition government dominated by the conservatives.

Ah, fascinating sir. Thank you for that bit of insight.

Re:Sounds nice, but... horrible idea indeed (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862952)

Yeah, because there has never been a case of centrists skewing the vote left (Perot etc). /SARCASM

The left always acts like shit only happens to them.

Re:Sounds nice, but... horrible idea indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36863060)

Poll after poll after poll demonstrated that Perot pulled votes equally from Clinton and Bush.

You really think that people upset enough with the incumbent to vote third party would've broken FOR the incumbent nearly 2-to-1 otherwise?

Re:Sounds nice, but... horrible idea indeed (1)

MischaNix (2163648) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862740)

Well then, we need a Left equivalent of the horrific Tea Party. I can see the signs of protest now: We're not pussies! Fight the right! ... What to name it? Perhaps something stately: The New American Left.

Ah, free demonstration and facebook. Volatile combination, those.

I Vote for (0)

adamchou (993073) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862308)

Stephen Colbert and Chuck Norris

Re:I Vote for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36862390)

Stephen Colbert and Tina Fey

Geography Problem (1)

Thunderstruck (210399) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862314)

This is a neat idea, but it would suffer from a lack of geographic unity.

How exactly will an Internet-based political party handle issues like where to build the school in my neighborhood, how high the bridges should be, or what the penalty should be for selling small quantities of marijuana? Wouldn't joining such a party actually harm my ability to influence the laws that actually affect me on a daily basis?

Also, why is it every new political party seems to charge right for the presidency? Why not state legislatures or even Congress first?

Re:Geography Problem (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862566)

How is "the penalty for selling small quantities of marijuana", a local issue, give that it should be universally legal, and yet most governments fail on this point?

Re:Geography Problem (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 3 years ago | (#36863072)

How is "the penalty for selling small quantities of marijuana", a local issue, give that it should be universally legal, and yet most governments fail on this point?

I live in Oregon, where it is perfectly legal to grow and sell the stuff to medically-licensed individuals in small quantities (the sale price can only be to cover costs, however, and not for profit). There is no penalty for doing so here. This is an example of states doing what they feel best for their population, and is actually protected by the US Constitution.

Now in New York OTOH, selling small quantities of marijuana would likely get you a ticket to Rikers Island.

That's why it is currently a 'local' issue.

Re:Geography Problem (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36863074)

Because your local cops are the ones who actually arrest people for possessing small quantities of pot - it's usually not the state police or the FBI.

Re:Geography Problem (1, Offtopic)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36863080)

It shouldn't be legal until it is demonstrated to be safe through rigorous research. Things like that are dangerous until proven safe. Same goes for anything else that you put in your body.

As for this regardless of ones viewpoints, this is definitely a federal issue as that's where the current law banning it was passed.

Re:Geography Problem (1)

Ritchie70 (860516) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862604)

They seem to be solely after the president, so the local stuff doesn't really matter.

In a lot of places in the US, there aren't Republicans and Democrats running in the most local races anyhow - it's the "North Haverbrook First" and the "North Haverbrook United" parties.

They probably charge for the presidency because it's a big target but it's just one target. One race, one candidate. A lot easier to manage than enough to take Congress. And if they take the presidency it gives them the legitimacy they need to win other campaigns two years later. In fact, just having a presidential candidate who is taken seriously is a help with that.

Re:Geography Problem (1)

MischaNix (2163648) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862658)

Well, in America, our provinces have rights--so much so, we call them states.

Re:Geography Problem (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862700)

what the penalty should be for selling small quantities of marijuana?

That is not a local issue but one of essential liberty.

Re:Geography Problem (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 3 years ago | (#36863098)

Depends - what if he replaced the word "marijuana" with "heroin" ?

Personally, I believe that the government has no right at all to ban drugs as a chattel item, but I do believe they have the right to intervene and regulate when the use/manufacture of it interferes with public safety (e.g. driving while under influence, creating a demonstrably toxic chemical environment, etc). OTOH, I can at least recognize that the issues are a lot more subtle than calling the sale/consumption of drugs an essential liberty.

Pardon Me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36862328)

While I just forge all these TCP packets to nominate myself.

Thomas Friedman = moron (3, Interesting)

Scareduck (177470) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862338)

It is really difficult to have enough contempt for this man; Glenn Greenwald's "The Tom Friedman Disease" [blogspot.com] is a good example of the kind of half-digested pap he routinely emits. Instead of looking at this gimmick and calling it a gimmick, he pats himself on the back with this unbearably asinine summary:

What Amazon.com did to books, what the blogosphere did to newspapers, what the iPod did to music, what drugstore.com did to pharmacies, Americans Elect plans to do to the two-party duopoly that has dominated American political life — remove the barriers to real competition, flatten the incumbents and let the people in. Watch out.

So, um, Tom, shall we ask a few slightly important questions, such as, how does this party hope to get candidates on the ballot when they aren't even registered as a party in the many states? Politics are nothing like distributing books or drugs. The fact that he glosses over this entirely is why I hold the man in such low esteem.

He is a thirteenth-rate thinker who, for reasons that are entirely unclear, has been drastically wrong about a very great deal and yet continues to hold his position on the New York Times' opinion pages.

Re:Thomas Friedman = moron (1)

funkatron (912521) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862374)

Presumably registering a party is just paperwork? Hardly seems like an insurmountable hurdle. A greater concern should be getting funding and recruiting members, figuring out what this party is going to offer and how to promote those ideas is the real challenge here.

Re:Thomas Friedman = moron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36862458)

Lots of paperwork - many states require large numbers of signatures or votes in prior years to appear on the ballot in that state. This needs to be done for many states to garner votes, as no one votes for someone that lacks even a theoretical chance of winning.

Re:Thomas Friedman = moron (1)

Ritchie70 (860516) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862538)

It isn't "just paperwork" or the ballots would look like encyclopedias.

It takes something different from state to state, but typically it's a large number of signatures, or, in those states where political party is tracked for registered voters, possibly a number of real members.

In California, for example, you need 1% of the people who voted in the last gubernatorial election as members, or 10% as signatures.

It's an intriguing idea, but their web site leaves out the very important facts of who is behind it, and other online sources seem to indicate it may be shady.

I would recommend everyone go and take their full positions quiz, though - it made me stop and think about my position on various issues. My only problem with it is that there are very few answer of "it's OK now."

Based on the "country's" answers, the "country" is on average a good bit more liberal than I am.

Re:Thomas Friedman = moron (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36863092)

Given that Friedman's article is probably the first major press this has had, I'd say that it just means that the NY Times' readership is a good bit more liberal than you are. I tried to take their quiz, but it wanted me to sign up, so the hell with it.

Re:Thomas Friedman = moron (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36863094)

Around here it's just paperwork. We've more or less abolished political parties for all intents and purposes following the Democrats and the GOP throwing out our at large primary system. Ultimately, it's gotten to the point where for state elections the candidates can choose whatever party they like and the voters can continue to vote for whomever they like.

The main issue is one of funding, but that's less about paperwork and more about getting enough votes to get funding.

Re:Thomas Friedman = moron (0)

MischaNix (2163648) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862556)

Call someone a moron for challenging the norm.

Yeah, you're great.

Re:Thomas Friedman = moron (1)

PhreakOfTime (588141) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862692)

No, he is a moron for other reasons.

He has been around for awhile, and is most notably known for his constant claiming that the war in Iraq would be over in 'another six months'... for a period of almost a year and a half. Among many other asinine proclamations, that he then would proceed to announce how awesome he was because his insights would be coming true and 'then you will all see how smart I am'. You go right ahead and google the phrase 'Friedman Unit', and then come back and tell us he is not a moron with references why that would be true in any way.

Credibility is not something Friedman has much of. He is most certainly not 'challenging the norm'. He is an arrogant gasbag, and has been for over a decade.

Re:Thomas Friedman = moron (1)

MischaNix (2163648) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862764)

Yeah, I totally didn't read enough of the background.

I now agree with the 'moron' bit. Just, the OP's wording didn't do him quite justice. That, and it's no grounds to dismiss this third party of credibility.

Centrism IS the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36862344)

This centrism I keep hearing about seems to be the same endless warfare, free lunch can kicking that got us into this mess.

Fuck centrism.

Re:Centrism IS the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36862368)

Then what is the solution? IF not centrism (IMO the BEST way), then what, liberalism, conservatism, fascism, communism, or what?

Centrist? (3, Informative)

jo7hs2 (884069) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862378)

Let me get this straight...a party where mostly liberals are signing up so far is centrist...because they say so? And they are viable...because TFA says so? Anybody else see the problem here?

Re:Centrist? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36862456)

Not Romney and the GOP... they would love to see the liberals split.

Re:Centrist? (2)

haggus71 (1051238) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862552)

How about, instead of everyone crying about the leaning of the site, you REGISTER and GIVE your opinion. They are very good at setting the questions in a way that reflects left, right AND center. Its percentages reflect those opinions of those who register.

Right now, this is the best "third option." Do you think you will affect things just by sitting at home and crying like a 3 year old, not doing anything to change what's been going on the past hundred and fifty years, with two sides basically flipping a coin for control while we suffer? Is sitting on your ass working out well with this default looming over our heads?

At the least, this offers, if enough people get motivated in the REAL American center, a way to let politicians know their time is limited. The internet is the one place where opinion can still be heard, unfiltered by a talking head or a PAC. It's about time we organized it ourselves according to our true beliefs and ideals.

Re:Centrist? (1)

Ritchie70 (860516) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862578)

I took their full positions survey - dozens of multiple choice questions. After each question they give the answers thus far (percentage who selected for each multiple choice answer.)

If I recall correctly (there doesn't seem to be a way to go back and review it) the people who have done the positions survey definitely want government-run health care, are very concerned about the environment, and think abortion should be legal. They don't necessarily want to make every illegal immigrant a citizen, don't like school vouchers, and do like teacher tenure.

So yes, basically typical American liberal.

But if you want to express your views, go take the survey too. I don't think I'd give them any money at this point, but the survey seems harmless. And if enough people who are more conservative take the survey, if they're honest they'll act accordingly.

Re:Centrist? (1)

MischaNix (2163648) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862608)

Yeah, I took the survey with my own fiscal conservative stance and laughed at some of the results.

Is it okay to not be jingoistic, short-sighted, and Christian, though? I feel like I can't call myself a conservative on some topics, but maybe that's just what post-Cold War politics does to one's identity...

Re:Centrist? (1)

taiwanjohn (103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862808)

Over 70% of the electorate supported the public option. About 2/3rds are pro-choice. Over 3/4ths support environmental conservation. (I don't the breakdown for immigration, school vouchers or teacher tenure.) But a majority also self-identify as moderate-to-conservative. Go figure.

Re:Centrist? (3, Insightful)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36863122)

The "public option" polled well because it was ill-defined. Many people think that abortion shouldn't be totally illegal but also don't think that late-second-trimester abortions should be legal. And "environmental conservation" is such a nebulous phrase that people will say "sure, yeah, I like that." IOW, if you choose your phrasing well, you can make it seem like your side's opinions are mom and apple pie, but when it comes down to the actual specifics the electorate may not agree with you. Works for both parties.

Re:Centrist? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36863174)

Over 3/4ths support environmental conservation. But a majority also self-identify as moderate-to-conservative. Go figure.

If you ask "Do you want to conserve or destroy the environment?" then very few people will go for "destroy". The question is when it comes to concrete things like are you willing to support measures that'll be a public expense and implicitly lead to higher taxes, lead to higher prices on certain goods, ban environmentally harmful products even though this leads to lower quality or worse products or reduce your own consumption and environmental footprint. Most people will accept some small sacrifices and say "I'm doing my part" and that's the 75%+, then you have the real environmentalists who'd possibly vote for the Green party which are maybe 5%. That's just a figure out of thin air, but for example in the EU parliament there's 6.3% Greens. It's very hard to say if that 75%+ number says anything meaningful at all.

Re:Centrist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36862598)

Don't worry, what US Americans call "liberal" or "left" is still pretty right wing to large other parts of the world. So, perhaps some folks in the US see your problem, but the rest of the world does not. (Which does not mean that this new "centrist" party would be a good idea.)

Good job! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36862602)

Let me get this straight...a party where mostly liberals are signing up so far is centrist...because they say so? And they are viable...because TFA says so? Anybody else see the problem here?

What makes you think they are "mostly liberals"? Show me, please.

Also, whenever someone uses names like "liberal" or "conservative" I become very skeptical about anything that person says. Here's an example or two of many I have:

Expressing my reservations about the TSA searches once with someone, I was told that it was a "liberal" belief that it's a violation of our Fourth Amendment Rights. Another: When I expressed a problem with our continuing surveillance society, I was told that if you do nothing wrong then you have nothing to worry about and that I was a "liberal" for having a problem with increased Government surveillance. Of course when I mention that this increased surveillance does increase government spending, I then heard a bunch of parroted propaganda about terrorist threats, defending "freedom", etc ....

Re:Good job! (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 3 years ago | (#36863180)

Well, in Iran they're killing scientists, so just be glad you're not over there! :(

Re:Centrist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36862766)

The thing is: From a EU standpoint, the US got two parties:
- A far-right wing party.
- And a extreme-right fascist party.
- Plus you got an even more extreme offspring of the latter, which isn't such a big success, since most of its members barely manage not to drool on themselves or shoot each other.

There is no liberal party in your country. Sorry mate.

Whatever. The whole idea of putting parties into a one-dimensional set of stereotypes, only shows, that we have far surpassed "broken".
I always laugh when they try to put the Pirate Party in there somewhere. As if you had to force everything in that scheme. And as if the PP would care for such childish/retarded concepts.

Re:Centrist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36862868)

Let me get this straight. We actually need yet another party claiming to be the center?

Last time I looked, the Democrats are simply recyclying Republican policy from the past. If it actually became a viable leftist party that would actually make politcs possible again.

Re:Centrist? (1)

rpillala (583965) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862900)

The truth appears much worse. Here's an article at Capitol Weekly about this group: http://www.capitolweekly.net/article.php?xid=znc6uo0z1a56ld [capitolweekly.net] . Of note:

“They’re very secretive,” said Richard Winger, the long-time publisher of Ballot Access News. “I found out about their petition drive independent of them.”

Why be secretive? I went to the official website and looked at the "about" page trying to see who the founders were and what political positions they might have taken in the past. I don't see any of that kind of info there, and usually that's where you find it.

Consider also:

At a recent visit to the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op and the neighborhood Savemart, paid signature-gathers sought support for a petition they said would grant ballot access to more political parties.

“Do you want just people on the ballot you believe in?” one signature-gatherer asked.

What these signature-gathers – paid by Arno Political Consultants of Carlsbad – are trying to accomplish is to place Americans Elect, a new political party that says it isn’t one, on the ballot in 2012.

I looked up Arno Political Consultants and they have a pretty spotty history, having been accused several times of fraud. The main accomplishment of America Elects so far has been a large number of petition signatures, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arno_Political_Consultants [wikipedia.org] shows a petition the company prepared in 2009 whose overall signature validity was rated at 51%. 800k is a lot less impressive than 1.6 mil.

Now, obviously, accusations aren't guilt, but why would Americans Elect hire an organization with this kind of troubled history with petitions to gather their signatures for petitions? I'm making a number of assumptions here about the scale of their operation. None of this proves any sinister intent on their part nor does it prove good intent.

Just be skeptical is my advice - make them earn trust.

Re:Centrist? (1)

rpillala (583965) | more than 3 years ago | (#36863100)

Sorry to self-reply but I see I got the group name wrong towards the end there. I thought I checked for that!

Re:Centrist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36863096)

Conspiracy theories aside, this statement from TFA epitomizes with what's wrong with the current system and all parties involved in it:

Any presidential nominee must conform to all the Constitutional requirements, as well as be considered someone of similar stature to our previous presidents. That means no Lady Gaga allowed.

I'm tired of having pre-selected "electable" candidates. Fuck you people. I would sooner vote for the unelectable Ron Paul, Howard Dean, or Lady Gaga before I would ever consider Barack Osama, Hitler Bush or anyone else of their electable 'stature'. Give me a candidate that doesn't wipe their ass with the constitution, and I'll give that candidate my vote. What a fucking joke. >:-|

The real Internet Party, liquid democracy,in Spain (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36862420)

Full disclosure: I work in the Agora Ciudadana [agoraciudadana.org] Voting System.

In Spain we have created a "tool" political party which doesn't have and will never have any any ideals called Partido de Internet [partidodeinternet.es] . The idea behind it is that its elected representatives will always vote in the representative chambers proportionally to what the people previously voted via Internet, with support for vote delegation so that you don't need to vote in all votings (6600 only in spanish congress per year or about one per hour). This is what is called liquid democracy [democracialiquida.org] = direct democracy + delegation. Using this together With legislative initiative, the people can execute 100% their legislative power through this liquid democracy setting.

The vote will be secret and secure, we will use our electronic national identity cards for authentication (hey, they are good for some things =), and the votings will be universally verifiable, we're using elgamal encryption based anonymization mixnets via Verificatum [verificatum.org] . The software is not finished yet, mind you. We're in contact with security researchers to make it as secure as possible, the secret of the vote is subject to a set of athorities in charge of the votings, who create a combined ElGamal encryption key for the votations. There's a good overview in a well known spanish security web site, Security by Default [securitybydefault.com] , but unfortunately it's in spanish, maybe you can read it translated with Google Translate.

I'll tell the people in PDI (Partido de Internet) contact with this other USA party, because AFAIK spanish Internet Party was the first such as a party in the world. It'll be nice if the idea spreads out through all the world. Will it work? I don't know, but we'll never know we don't try.

Re:The real Internet Party, liquid democracy,in Sp (2)

Edulix (726376) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862430)

Sorry, it was me who posted that, I forgot to login =)

Translation ... (1, Funny)

Boona (1795684) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862480)

"Currently it looks like more liberal-inclined individuals are registering, but it would make for a healthier system if more viewpoints were represented." Translation: Currently we only have 20 some year olds who know nothing about economics or the world. It would be nice to get some older people in here because currently we are so far left we might as well just rename ourselves to "the communist party".

Re:Translation ... (0)

MischaNix (2163648) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862564)

Because Tea Party members understand macroeconomics, yeah?

Re:Translation ... (1)

olderphart (787517) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862864)

Did Tina Fey tell you that she could see stupid and ignorant from the Tea Party?

Looting has been tried before, Skippy. Sooner or later you run out of other people's money, and then there's hell to pay. There's more to macroeconomics than "you've got it, I want it, hand it over" class warfare. Read some Bastiat.

Re:Translation ... (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862940)

How about you learn about politics and history, take a long break from posting, and come back when you finally realize that "communism" is not a synonym for "things I do not like but lack the brains to properly categorize"?

Re:Translation ... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36863116)

Not really, I take it you haven't been paying attention lately. We had nearly 30 years of conservative economic policy over which time we've had several bubbles and the working class has lost more and more ground to the rich.

You'd have to be some sort of a grade A moron to suggest that the conservatives know anything about economics when the solution to our current economic woes is more of the same policies that got us here in the first place.

These guys already lost my trust (1)

cultiv8 (1660093) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862676)

How am I supposed to trust Americans Elect 2012 when they illegally embed fonts onto their website (eg. this page [americanselect.org] , this font [adobe.com] )? I'm not trying to be a troll, but if they're not doing their homework for a freaking website (or hiring the right web design firm to do it for them), how do I know they're going to succeed in the political landscape?

Re:These guys already lost my trust (1)

MischaNix (2163648) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862794)

Instead of losing your trust in them from the get-go, why not just inform them of the infringement and see how quickly they change it? Their reaction time can be your judge, and you've saved them some Adobe in the process.

[Adobe is its own gerundive.]

Another PROBLEM party! (3, Interesting)

SirAstral (1349985) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862782)

This will turn out to be just another problem party.

Go and read George Washington's farewell address. He predicted the civil war and basically said that everyone should consider that they are Americans first and stop dividing themselves according to geography and party lines.

How about instead, we create a law that legally prevents the formation of any political party of any kind. Lets make people actually have to learn about who they are voting for instead of just looking for the D or the R on the ballot. At the rate things are going, we will probably choose the better candidate on accident than we ever will intentionally!

Political Party (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862796)

As a political party (for lack of a better word), I think Americans Elect is doomed to failure. I took the survey that was offered upon sign-up and I found the answers to the questions to be very limiting and, in some cases, black and white when few issues are as such. For example, the immigration issue had no answer that really matched my feelings so I had to answer Unsure. Also, when it came to renewable energy, the survey used the fad buzzwords like wind and solar. Wind and solar are, at best, inefficient. I would sooner put money into hydrogen fuel cell technologies. Another example: Education. Not one question asked whether politics should be totally left out of education. Politics should play no role in education whatsoever considering that I question the value of the education many of our politicians have recieved. The survey was worded almost so that it would "trap" the same kinds of candidates: red or blue/democratic or republican. Based on these survey questions, I fail to see how Americans Elect will effect any real change.

Fix the system first (1)

Moof123 (1292134) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862814)

Our current system will not ever have more than 2 viable parties. We have a winner take all system that will never result in a proportional representation of the views of the populous.

The best we can do with a third party is weaken an existing one temporarily, or replace it entirely. But everything will still end up with two parties with a huge swath of the population having nobody in congress coming close to sharing their views.

We would need a fresh constitution based on proportional representation in at least one branch of government. Never going to happen in pre-collapse USA.

Re:Fix the system first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36863048)

That only works in a system of government where the political parties are officially part of that government, which isn't the case in the US. In those proportional representative elections you vote officially for that party and the members who take those seats are selected by those parties. In the US you vote for an individual who may happen to belong to a party. Early on there was no concept of voting for a party, you had to write out the name of each candidate individually and submit that as your vote. You can still do this today, writing in the name of any random person you want.

Follow the money (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862816)

The last effort I remember seeing like this was the genesis of the Tea Party and we discovered later it was funded by the Koch family through FreedomWorks (they are no longer aligned).

I'm looking over their site, not seeing any information on where the money comes from. I like the idea, but I'm vaguely concerned this is an effort to split the Democrats vote.

We need something like this, even at the risk of aiding the scumbag Republicans.

Doesn't the Pirate party already do this ? (1)

Anon8---) (1981904) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862878)

The Pirate Party allegedly already has a similar system in place, where any party member can vote on current issues or bring up new ones for discussion. The idea is full disclosure and - I call it - radical democracy, a system which I btw fully support. Outside of the U.S I know it's working pretty well, because there's a different political system.

Suck a dick, submitter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36862896)

Currently it looks like more liberal-inclined individuals are registering, but it would make for a healthier system if more viewpoints were represented."

Because we have such a broad diversity of views in our current mostly-right and far-right (and teabaggers, in the OMG-was-that-a-Hitler-salute-far-right) parties, amirite?

None of the Above (1)

ChucktheMan (1991030) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862922)

What I want to see is "None of the above" added to any elected office. If "None of the above" is selected the office is filled by selecting at random from the pool of qualified jurors already maintained by every jurisdiction in the US. The principal is the same: someone drafted at random to a public service. I am sure that we would occasionally be represented by a person who was an idiot, poorly informed, or an unconvicted criminal. Oh. Wait. We already are.

Hoping (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 3 years ago | (#36862936)

I was hoping that Americans Elect would be more for issue-dependent voters like myself. The questions on the survey were still geared towards Blue and Red. I believe that the rug should be pulled out from under the Health Insurance companies, abolishing pre-existing conditions clauses and lifetime caps. I believe in the right to own firearms. I believe the government has no business regulating natural drugs like marijuana. I believe in deporting illegal immigrants (with notable exception of political asylum) because our country was founded on legal immigration. Political asylum is something that should be announced upon arrival on our borders. I don't fall into the typical voter category.

Re:Hoping (1)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | more than 3 years ago | (#36863148)

our country was founded on legal immigration.

Our country was founded on the backs of colonial empires who wanted the resources of the new world and weren't afraid to take them from the natives.

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