Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chris Matthews on Public Disatisfaction with Both Parties

From an NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll out this week:

46% Say they would like to see a third Party candidate (a solid number if you look at it in a 3 way contest with the two legacy Parties). And it seems to fall in line with a similar poll from 2007. 57% believe both parties are to blame for partisanship (I somewhat disagree).

Another example of why we need political alternatives. Unfortunately the current system will never allow any real choice when it comes to voting.


Liberal Arts Dude said...


The statistic you cite along with an earlier statistic I blogged about of 40 plus percent of American voters are now registered and self-identify as Independent just brings home the point that people are clamoring for political alternatives in the US. I read somewhere that if you consider these stats and compare them to Congressional representation, that effectively 40 plus percent of the electorate are not being represented in government where the two major parties hold a monopoly in power.

The hard part is, as you say, enacting the necessary reforms to level the political playing field to third parties and independents. There are great organizations and activists working on these issues on a state-by-state level such as FairVote and Free and Equal Elections but they mostly operate under the radar of public consciousness.

I read that before the early 20th century there were a lot of third parties and insurgent movements within the two major parties which existed back then. After the 1930s the two major parties systematically enacted self-serving laws and regulations which effectively blocked or raised the hurdles for ballot access and political organizing outside of the purview of the two major parties.

I think part of changing our current system is for people to realize and know this history of the US (which they are not going to learn in school) and to realize (a) it didn't use to be this way and (b) it doesn't have to be this way.

Donald Borsch Jr. said...

Chris Matthews must have had one of his flunkies research blog sites to get this info. Many of us have been preaching this message since Bush II. Nice to see you focus on something important, Chris, instead of tingles up your leg.

I won't beat this dead horse, but heck yes, enough of the Democrats and the Republicans using America as their personal pissing ground and dismissing us as mindless and simpleton mongrels.

Long Live the Republic.

d.eris said...

The funny thing about this segment is that Matthews' topic is how pissed off the country is with both Republicans and Democrats and how a large plurality want independent candidates for office, and then he turns to some Republican shill and some Democrat shill and asks them what they think. Comically, the Republican says, "well I wouldn't want to be a Democrat in this climate," and then the Democrat says, "well, I wouldn't want to be a Republican in this climate." To which the only reasonable response is, why would anyone want to be a Republican or Democrat in any climate? And why the hell isn't there an independent advocate involved in the discussion?

As LAD emphasizes, reform is necessary, but reform also needs to take place in the media to change the form and format of the duopolized debate.