Thursday, June 29, 2006

Why the two party system is deeply flawed

Rev. Darth and I just had a discussion about who we might vote for in the 2008 presidential election. I don't believe Barack Obama is electable right now. He said he wasn't going to run, anyway. I would vote for Russ Feingold. I don't care for any of the other candidates. No Kerry or Gore or Clinton. This post is not about presidential candidates, I only mention the candidates because I told Rev. Darth that the two party system is bogus. I don't have to vote for the Democrats. I don't know if I trust them any more than the Republicans. Even though I voted for Ralph Nader on multiple occasions, I never ascribed Nader's idea that the differences between the two major parties are negligible. They hold vastly different ideas. The issue for me is that I don't trust them to uphold ideals for a democratic society.

Why?

Take the recent Supreme Court decision to uphold gerrymandering in Texas. Republicans and Democrats have done this for decades not for the sake of democratic ideals, but for the sake of maintaining their own power--and the Supreme Court just gave this kind of act a rubber stamp. Republicans and Democrats have meager accountability in the system we have. This is CRAP! If you have an excuse for why gerrymandering is a good thing, I would love to hear from you.

Let's compare the US Congress district maps of Texas and Iowa.




















The Texas Legislature created their redistricting project. At least the Supreme Court shot down that wacky district you see in southwest Texas. This map represents why the Democrats held hostage the Texas Legislature a few years ago by escaping to Oklahoma. I can understand why no one really responded to their cries of "foul!" I imagine that the Democrats did their own gerrymandering when Ann Richards and her folks were leading Texas several years ago. Gerrymandering is not new, and it shouldn't be supported by the Supreme Court, of all places.

For all the Iowa jokes floating around Minnesota and South Dakota, I admire them for drawing sane (and democratic) district boundaries. Their accountability structures are sound, and the results were determined through an independent commission apart from party leadership. This structure of liberty and democracy is not enough to make me move to Iowa, but it is good to know that democracy is possible.

A congregation member whom I had pinned as a Republican (my mistake, my sin--I would hate to be put in a box as well) told me over lunch that he wasn't a Republican. He loves America, he just doesn't trust government. I'm not sure I agree with him about government trust, but I can understand the sentiment--I don't trust the two party system.

Elihu

1 comment:

Sig Hansen said...

A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.
Thomas Jefferson