Saturday, August 30, 2008

Two-Party Rule: Only One Better than China?

Countries like North Korea, former USSR, China and Syria are single-party states. No one is allowed to venture from the established party line or the will of the state, which are really one and the same. No political dissent is tolerated. Countries like Jamaica and the United States are two-party states. Ostensibly, this system offers voters a "choice" between often diametrically opposed viewpoints. One often hears the two-party system touted as the best possible system out there, the veritable salvation of democracy, no less. Of course, only Republicans and Democrats say this—and why not? They are the biggest beneficiaries of the two-party status quo! These two acrimonious associations have their nests nicely feathered, thank you. Don't mess with what isn't broken, they say.
But it is broken. Indeed, the similarities between one-party and two-party rule are chilling. In the one-party state, if the people are hungry and restless, it's a simple matter to increase the bacon, toilet paper and gasoline rations. Let the poor buggers have heat for an extra hour each night. If an upstart political party starts to make trouble in Syria or China, it is a simple matter to send jackbooted thugs to bust up the party printing press and place party leaders under arrest under trumped up charges. Everything is better. Real reform. The state triumphs again!
I submit that two-party rule is only one better than one-party rule. Both systems operate in similar ways—with leaders of the "approved" party or parties promising (or threatening) whatever it takes to keep the people placated (or neutralized) and themselves in power. Admittedly, America's two-party system is much to be preferred over the iron fisted authoritarianism of China and North Korea—but it is not as much better. The two-party system purports to offer diverse "choices" to the people. But are the differences real or are they just political constructs floated to attract votes with no substance behind them? Are we just being placated? Just neutralized? In the current political climate of the U.S., I fear this is all too often the case.
In the U.S., the strong-arm tactics of China and North Korea would never be tolerated, so the Republicrats ensure their shared hold on power in other ways—by colluding to pass unconstitutional laws making it next to impossible for third parties to get on the ballot. They get their pointy heads together in legislatures all over the land and set arbitrary limits on who can participate in debates. Often, they will drag third parties into court to get them thrown off the ballot or otherwise waste precious resources. Someone will say this is very different from what China and Syria do. Perhaps so, but a suppressed party is no less suppressed just because it is accomplished without violence.
No matter how badly things go, a single-party system never actually has to reform. (There is no competition) Sadly, neither does a two-party system. (There is only one competitor) When one of the two parties is thrown from power, it need only wait long enough for the people to grow tired of the second party. Rather than offer the voters true reform, in the two-party paradigm, the opposition party simply focuses on tearing down the party in power by any means necessary, so that the voters will grow tired of it. The very ideas the voters had previously rejected are repackaged and touted as "change" and "solutions" to the damage done by the party in power. With no other option available, the voters reelect the very party they had voted out just a few years (or even months) earlier. There is no reform. No change. Nothing new. A vicious cycle is repeated one more time. The state triumphs yet again!
Even allowing that a two-party system is the best choice, as some do, who is to say that the two parties must always be the Republican and Democratic parties? Perhaps another two would serve our nation better. I think this is quite plausible, but we will never know until the two-party system hegemony is ended. The "co-totalitarianism" of the Republicrats must be broken, and the only way that will happen is for the American voter to say "enough!" and demand that more choices and more voices be given a place at the political table. The people must stop allowing the "approved" parties to bully third parties into extinction. My sincere hope is that the American people will wake up to the damage being done to our republic and its Constitution by the much-vaunted two-party system. If the 2008 Presidential race doesn't wake a few of them up, I don't know what will.
I would argue that one party system is even more honest and better for the people and state, then two party system (like in USA).
When there is only one party rule, there is no one to blame, except that one party. That is why USSR collapsed, because there were no one else to blame when communist party failed to deliver for the people. On the other hand USA two party political system doesn't have such problems. Democrats can always blame Republicans, and Republicans can always blame Democrats. This political strategy of shifting blame is serving well both parties for many years. For US to claim to be democratic country and have two party political system is just sounds absurd and factually untrue.
Look how many parties has UK, Italy, Germany, France etc, even Russia has more parties in they parliament (Duma), then USA.

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