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View Full Version : Third Party Options in 2008: "Unity 08"


Mr. Kotter
06-28-2006, 02:51 PM
A lot of folks around here talk about how we need a serious third party challenge....my skepticism is pretty well documented. As much as I'm fed up with partisan bickering and demagoguery....the system really is rigged against third parties, so I generally consider it a wasted effort--unless one casts their vote as a matter of protest.

This group seems to be taking a unique approach though; this seems to capture the intent of Unity 08:

They are identifying "moderate" Republicans and Democrats, and as Unity 08 members....they are supporting THOSE moderates, and encouraging like-minded Republicans and Democrats ALIKE....to join them in supporting those candidates FROM the major parties Here are the types of candidates they envision themselves supporting (from their website)

http://www.unity08.com/node/49

Mark Warner
Wesley Clark
John McCain
Rudy Giuliani
Chuck Hagel


What do you think? :hmmm:

http://www.unity08.com/

http://www.unity08.com/themes/unity/images/unity08_logo.png (http://www.unity08.com/)

http://www.unity08.com/assets/2006/06/27/signit_declaration.jpg (http://www.unity08.com/declaration)

Fed up with partisan bickering? Disgusted by the big money influence of special interests? Want to get our country back on track?
Then add your "John Hancock" to Unity08's Declaration of Independence from Politics without Purpose right now. SIGN IT (http://www.unity08.com/declaration)

Waiting until 2008 to send Washington a message may be too late. Even waiting until this November is risky.
Every day wasted in the blame-game politics of Congress is another day without good schools, another day without affordable health care, another day without serious progress toward energy independence.
So sign the Unity08 Declaration of Independence (http://www.unity08.com/declaration) today – right now – and then go get your family, neighbors and friends to do the same.

What We Believe <A class=nolink id=2 name=2>
Unity08 believes that neither of today’s major parties reflects the aspirations, fears or will of the majority of Americans. Both have polarized and alienated the people. Both are unduly influenced by single-issue groups. Both are excessively dominated by money.
For most of the 20th Century, the contest for the U.S. presidency was waged over those “in the middle.” Recent Presidential elections, however, have not been focused on the middle but on the turnout of each party’s special interest groups – with each party’s “base” representing barely ten percent of the American people.
We believe that, while the leaders of both major parties are well intentioned people, they are trapped in a flawed system – and that the two major parties are today simply neither relevant to the issues and challenges of the 21st Century nor effective in addressing them.
As a result, most Americans have not been enthusiastic about the choices for President in recent elections, the key issues they ran on, or the manner in which the campaigns were conducted.
Therefore Unity08 will act to assure that an alternative ticket is presented to the American voters in 2008

Bootlegged
06-28-2006, 02:57 PM
Is John Murtha in the Unity '08 party?

dirk digler
06-28-2006, 03:57 PM
I wish a good 3rd party candidate would emerge and I also wish the demise of both of the Republican and Democratic parties but it ain't going to happen.

alnorth
06-28-2006, 04:42 PM
Here's a slogan for you, I'll want credit if the party uses it in advertising.

"On election day, waste your vote on us, because you probably have nothing better to do!"

FringeNC
06-28-2006, 04:59 PM
The only way there could be a viable third party is if we scrapped all so-called "campaign financing reforms". They simply exist to protect incumbents.

The way it is now, candidates have to spend so much time fundraising because individual contributions are capped.

By the way, with each new campaign finance law, the incumbent reelection rate goes up.

I really, really hope the Roberts' court puts an end to this nonsense, and gross violation of the 1st amendment, and declares not only McCain - Feingold unconstitutional, but ALL of this campaign finance crap. Then we can get back to real people running for office instead of robo-candidate fundraising machines.

banyon
06-28-2006, 05:03 PM
The only way there could be a viable third party is if we scrapped all so-called "campaign financing reforms". They simply exist to protect incumbents.

The way it is now, candidates have to spend so much time fundraising because individual contributions are capped.

By the way, with each new campaign finance law, the incumbent reelection rate goes up.

I really, really hope the Roberts' court puts an end to this nonsense, and gross violation of the 1st amendment, and declares not only McCain - Feingold unconstitutional, but ALL of this campaign finance crap. Then we can get back to real people running for office instead of robo-candidate fundraising machines.

No regulation in this arena would mean what no regulation usually means. People with money can run and win and that's it.

FringeNC
06-28-2006, 05:07 PM
No regulation in this arena would mean what no regulation usually means. People with money can run and win and that's it.

So you're saying things were worse pre-early 1970s as opposed to now?

I could give a rats' ass who is funding a candidate. You still have to get the votes. I'd love Bill Gates or someone to fund a clever, non-cookie cutter candidate.

banyon
06-28-2006, 05:13 PM
So you're saying things were worse pre-early 1970s as opposed to now?

I could give a rats' ass who is funding a candidate. You still have to get the votes. I'd love Bill Gates or someone to fund a clever, non-cookie cutter candidate.

No I'm saying that I'm for public financing to get the money out of it.

Now what we have is a bunch of corporate shills on both sides of the aisle because that's who can afford to finance them. I don't think simply allowing millionaires to spend more will fix any problems.

alnorth
06-28-2006, 05:18 PM
So you're saying things were worse pre-early 1970s as opposed to now?

I could give a rats' ass who is funding a candidate. You still have to get the votes. I'd love Bill Gates or someone to fund a clever, non-cookie cutter candidate.

If I understand correctly, he would prefer private campaign financing in any form to be illegal, only the government would finance candidates, probably from taxes. Presumably he would then make it easier for 3rd party candidates to qualify for government campaign funding.

The diametric opposite of this view (which you and I belong to) is no regulation of any kind, other than laws for libel, slander, etc.

The only people happy with the pile of poo we have now in between the two extremes are the incumbents.

FringeNC
06-28-2006, 05:22 PM
No I'm saying that I'm for public financing to get the money out of it.

Now what we have is a bunch of corporate shills on both sides of the aisle because that's who can afford to finance them. I don't think simply allowing millionaires to spend more will fix any problems.

That's what they have in Europe and it is a disaster. It essentially hands control of the government to bureaucrats. Let me give you an example. Capital punishment is a 50/50 proposition among the electorate in a few countries over there. You'd think, a 50/50 proposition would be hotly debated. Wrong. It's never debated! Why? Because the elites in Europe have decided it's not something that the population should be allowed to vote on.

The harder you make it for private citizens to be heard, the more entrenched the politicians become. Nobody on the outside can reach them.

The founders new what they were doing regarding the First Amendment.

Adept Havelock
06-28-2006, 05:27 PM
No I'm saying that I'm for public financing to get the money out of it.

Works for me. It seems to have been quite effective for a long time with our friends over in the UK.

If we by some miracle do this, I want us to adopt a US version of the "Prime Minister's Question Hour" as well. Depending on the president, it could be incredible theatre, or fantastic comedy. Sometimes both!

Mr. Kotter
06-28-2006, 05:38 PM
Here's a slogan for you, I'll want credit if the party uses it in advertising.

"On election day, waste your vote on us, because you probably have nothing better to do!"
That's kinda my take, if you read the thread starter (I've since edited it, to make the point clear).....but they appear to be going at this from a different and unique angle: They are identifying "moderate" Republicans and Democrats, and as Unity 08 members....they are supporting THOSE moderates, and encouraging like-minded Republicans and Democrats ALIKE....to join them in supporting those candidates FROM the major parties Here are the types of candidates they envision themselves supporting (from their website)

http://www.unity08.com/node/49
Mark Warner
Wesley Clark
John McCain
Rudy Giuliani
Chuck Hagel
Interesting approach, if nothing else.....:hmmm:

alnorth
06-28-2006, 05:49 PM
That's kinda my take, if you read the thread starter (I've since edited it, to make the point clear).....but they appear to be going at this from a different and unique angle:Here are the types of candidates they envision themselves supporting (from their website)

http://www.unity08.com/node/49
Mark Warner
Wesley Clark
John McCain
Rudy Giuliani
Chuck Hagel
Interesting approach, if nothing else.....:hmmm:

Fair enough.

In my opinion, I've never understood what is so inherently noble about being a moderate. I guess it depends on what moderate means. If by moderate you simply mean you have solid and firm principles that you would defend every bit as zealously as the so-called extremists, but they happen to not fit a party profile, then thats fine, but you would have several "moderates" who are completely opposed to one another on most issues. If thats the case, it would be kind of silly for any organization to endorse both since they are not going to fit whatever your philosophy happens to be.

If by "moderate" you mean someone who has no firm opinions and thinks of themselves as open-minded and swayable to a good arguement (or polls), then I have no use for that person, they should not be in politics. Firm opinions can change over time, but not in the amount of time it takes for a new Gallup poll to be released.

As far as I am concerned to politicians: If you dont really firmly believe in anything, then get the hell out of the way. If you do have firm beliefs, tell me what you stand for so I can decide whether or not to vote for you. If you do not vote your beliefs a year from now, I'll be pissed. (Allowing for someone to change their mind every once in a while on an issue or two if they truely have a real change of opinion.)

BucEyedPea
06-28-2006, 06:01 PM
The diametric opposite of this view (which you and I belong to) is no regulation of any kind, other than laws for libel, slander, etc.



That's what I say...free it up! The whole thing. But disclose who paid what to who. Every campaign finance law has made these things worse.

Dr. Van Halen
06-28-2006, 06:10 PM
That's what I say...free it up! The whole thing. But disclose who paid what to who. Every campaign finance law has made these things worse.

I agree with you. Politicians will always find a way to be "bribed," as it were -- which is essentially what campaign contributions have become.

I want to know who is bribing whom.

Mr. Kotter
06-28-2006, 06:11 PM
Fair enough.

In my opinion, I've never understood what is so inherently noble about being a moderate. I guess it depends on what moderate means. If by moderate you simply mean you have solid and firm principles that you would defend every bit as zealously as the so-called extremists, but they happen to not fit a party profile, then thats fine, but you would have several "moderates" who are completely opposed to one another on most issues. If thats the case, it would be kind of silly for any organization to endorse both since they are not going to fit whatever your philosophy happens to be.

If by "moderate" you mean someone who has no firm opinions and thinks of themselves as open-minded and swayable to a good arguement (or polls), then I have no use for that person, they should not be in politics. Firm opinions can change over time, but not in the amount of time it takes for a new Gallup poll to be released.

As far as I am concerned to politicians: If you dont really firmly believe in anything, then get the hell out of the way. If you do have firm beliefs, tell me what you stand for so I can decide whether or not to vote for you. If you do not vote your beliefs a year from now, I'll be pissed. (Allowing for someone to change their mind every once in a while on an issue or two if they truely have a real change of opinion.)I understand your point, and agree for the most part.

I've been attacked by both sides here, before....for straddling the fence, or trumpeting the virtues of moderation. This is what it means to me.

In my world moderates are wed to "firm" principles. You are quite right, depending on how it's defined moderates can either be principled or not. In my view, these are a couple of the principles which should guide good moderates:

1. A Willingness to do what is best for the country--and, in a democracy, that means the majorty rule. (No, that cannot be used to deny minorities of basic fundamental rights, like voting--but not every right is "basic," and in those cases majority opinion should prevail...prostitution and drugs, for example)

2. A commitment to identify and prioritize those things that the American people really care about, and want something done about. Today, we have the means to identify those priorities. Don't waste too much time on wedge issues, like abortion, health care, or gay marriage. Perhaps such issues should be studied--and you can articulate a personal position, but be honest in making it clear that it will not be a priority. Those issues are too contentious and complex, that by their very nature, consensus and compromise will be very elusive--at least in the short term. Focus on what we can affect. Commit to less talk, and more action.

3. Once priorities are identified, deomonstrate a true willingness to seek compromise and consensus on the issues that are truly important. If the American people feel strongly about an issue, and want action....it is your job to deliver them a solution.

Specific and personal positions on the issue take a back seat to those three central principals. Politics should be about solving problems; not a personal or political agenda that is driven by special interest groups.

In my view, this approach would take us away from a government and nation run by politcal activists and the special interest groups that both parties cater to, and it would return us back to a nation and government, of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Idealistic, I know. But also pragmatic, practical, and doable....if only Americans would get off their lazy asses and quit buying the into the partisan extremism that both sides are selling....which only leads frustrated voters to focus on 'damage control' by electing the "lesser of two evils."

JMHO

banyon
06-28-2006, 06:17 PM
That's what they have in Europe and it is a disaster. It essentially hands control of the government to bureaucrats. Let me give you an example. Capital punishment is a 50/50 proposition among the electorate in a few countries over there. You'd think, a 50/50 proposition would be hotly debated. Wrong. It's never debated! Why? Because the elites in Europe have decided it's not something that the population should be allowed to vote on.

The harder you make it for private citizens to be heard, the more entrenched the politicians become. Nobody on the outside can reach them.

The founders new what they were doing regarding the First Amendment.

Political money does not enjoy the same status as political speech.

Capital punishment isn't debated because, with the exception of the UK, it is highly unpopular. You don't think our legislators decide what is unimportant now? Look at a list of what issues are most important to Americans and look at what issues generate legislation and debate.

http://pewglobal.org/reports/print.php?ReportID=5

Are you in some sort of denial as to the amount of control that moneyed interests currently have over our elections and government in general? Right now private citizens canot run for public office unless they are extremely independently wealthy or the gain the support of one of the two major parties and agree to do the bidding of their corporate masters.

Mr. Kotter
06-28-2006, 06:22 PM
Political money does not enjoy the same status as political speech...
Not completely, but Buckley vs. Vallejo make it a close call, depending on the particulars....

And, with Alito and Roberts, I wouldn't bank on the SC backing away from the Vallejo decision either....if anything, they are likely to broaden it's implications.

alnorth
06-28-2006, 06:26 PM
1. A Willingness to do what is best for the country--and, in a democracy, that means the majorty rule. (No, that cannot be used to deny minorities of basic fundamental rights, like voting--but not every right is "basic," and in those cases majority opinion should prevail...prostitution and drugs, for example)

2. A commitment to identify and prioritize those things that the American people really care about, and want something done about. Today, we have the means to identify those priorities. Don't waste too much time on wedge issues, like abortion, health care, or gay marriage. Perhaps such issues should be studied--and you can articulate a personal position, but be honest in making it clear that it will not be a priority. Those issues are too contentious and complex, that by their very nature, consensus and compromise will be very elusive--at least in the short term. Focus on what we can affect. Commit to less talk, and more action.

3. Once priorities are identified, deomonstrate a true willingness to seek compromise and consensus on the issues that are truly important. If the American people feel strongly about an issue, and want action....it is your job to deliver them a solution.

Regarding your moderate "party planks", I dont see #1 as really giving you a unique identity. Aside from those who are corrupt (and its not like they advertise this, so they could be corrupt in the moderate party too), I believe that even those with whom I do not agree with on a single issue truely care about what is best for the country, I just dont agree with their approach. I believe if the other side won total power and a mandate they would screw the country up without intending too, all the while being horrified at what is happening and trying unsuccessfully to find out whats wrong. If they proved me wrong and turned the US into a perfect utopia, ok fine. If I'm wrong, I'll admit it, my ego isnt that screwed up.

Plank #2: Hmmm, ok thats fair and it does set you apart right now. Unfortunately for you, the politicians are focusing on those gay marriage types of issues because they drive votes better than the tougher issues like the budget. Hopefully that will change.

Plank #3: There are people like that in every party. This is not something that is universally true, though and shouldnt be a blanket statement without some fine print. Some issues require a solution by a set deadline, like our annual budget.

Other issues however should be fought out to the death by the two (or more) sides no matter how strongly the people wish it was resolved, because in some issues a poor compromise is a hell of a lot worse than doing nothing at all until the people collectively figure out what they want and elect like-minded politicians.

banyon
06-28-2006, 06:40 PM
The True story of Mr. Kotter ROFL

__________________________

Mr. Kotter
06-28-2006, 06:44 PM
The True story of Mr. Kotter ROFL

__________________________You know what? I suspect you intended that to be funny....but, it's pretty much right dead on.

Especially the portrayal of Liberals....:)

banyon
06-28-2006, 06:55 PM
You know what? I suspect you intended that to be funny....but, it's pretty much right dead on.

Especially the portrayal of Liberals....:)

Nah, I didn't intend it to be funny...














It is funny. :LOL:

FringeNC
06-28-2006, 07:48 PM
Political money does not enjoy the same status as political speech.


The evidence is clear that campaign finance limitations have had the opposite of their touted effects.

And I would be surprised if McCain - Feingold is not overturned at some point by this Roberts court.

And there is no way in hell there will ever be European style campaign financing here. The Vermont law was struck down 6-3.

banyon
06-28-2006, 07:54 PM
The evidence is clear that campaign finance limitations have had the opposite of their touted effects.


The limits on hard money haven't worked so that means that any reforms will be unsuccessful? :spock:

Sorry, bub. You are comparing apples and oranges.