A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Are Political Independents the Future of American Politics?

Let's hope so.
by John Avlon at The Daily Beast:
In the final stretch of this play-to-the-base presidential election, it is strange to say that the 40 percent of Americans who identify as independent are currently close to an afterthought. With so few undecided voters left, even most independents have chosen sides by now.
But some day this election is going to end, and if the next president and the next Congress hope to break through the hyperpartisan stalemate, they are going to have to find ways to appeal to the largest and fastest-growing segment of the American electorate.
...the current congressional division and dysfunction is the result of an incentive structure run amok. Procedural rules and election laws have been rigged to reward hyperpartisanship, thereby trapping otherwise well-intentioned people in a system that rewards intransigence, treating members of the other party as the enemy.
The entire post can be read here.


Robert Cornwall said...

Ultimately the question is this -- is the idea of an Independent a governing philosophy under the current Constitutional System. People seem to want alternatives, but the only real way for this to happen is to turn the country into a parliamentary system. That might be a good idea, but right now you have to have 50+% of the House and 60 votes in the Senate to pass legislation. How will Independents function under such a system, especially if people seek to be truly Independent?

Anonymous said...

Independents are not an organized political entity but simply a demographic that does not identify with a party. Independent voter enthusiasm runs much lower than it does for those who identify as Republicans or Democrats. This means that independents are the least likely to vote and even less likely to write checks, hold fundraisers, organize get out the vote drives and so on. Independent participation in electing and governing is passive. Our primary system leaves independent voters out completely in states with closed primaries. Some campaigning is done to entice them one way or the other but once elected our office holders have to govern within the two party system we have. Are these independents really independent? Probably not. When presented with questions or issues most of them identify with one party or the other. Try reading:
The Myth of the Independent Voter
Bruce E. Keith, David B. Magleby