For more than a century the American political landscape has been dominated by the Democrats and Republicans. In recent years, frustrated by the imperfections of our two-party system, many have begun pushing for the inclusion of more parties. But I have come to believe that political parties are most of the problem; rather than part of the solution. So, I am going to spend the rest of this post illustrating what a system with no political parties would look like. Then we can debate its pluses and minuses when compared to the party system. And, of course, if you want to add to my list of advantages, feel free. Because I want you to read this I’m not going to cover everything.
If there were no political parties Congressional elections would tend to be much more local, because there would be no national parties to pump millions into local races. This change would go a long way to make running for Congress more about ideas and qualifications and less about wealth.
If there were no political parties the influence of the wealthy over our nation’s politics would be greatly diminished, because they would not be able to buy off entire parties simply by writing a few checks. Instead, they would have to make direct contact with every politician they wished to influence. Obviously, a more daunting proposition.
If there were no political parties Congressional committee assignments would not be handed out based on ridiculous criterion like party loyalty and seniority. The houses of Congress would individually meet and have to vote as whole groups—rather than parties as it is done now—to choose their body’s leadership and give out committee assignments. As an extra benefit this would do away with the designations of majority and minority; thus, creating a much better climate for compromise.
If there were no political parties the American public would need to be more involved in the electoral process. No longer could they simply show up on Election Day and pull a lever for the party they have always supported. There are so many advantages to that outcome that I think my head is about to explode. Just thinking about a society where the media can no longer market its “news” to one side of the isle or the other is enough to make my sore throat feel better.
If there were no political parties the influence of special interests would be greatly reduced. This has much to do with money, but I thought it was deserving of a special mention because of how important it is.
If there were no political parties we would be done with stupid polls that tell us how Republicans and Democrats view different issues. After all, the only thing that matters is how Americans view the issues that are impacting our nation.
In closing, I strongly believe that our system of political parties, more than anything else, is responsible for the corruption that plagues our system and the polarization that makes getting anything done very difficult. If we want to make sure that the politicians start considering what we want we need to eliminate as many of the barriers that exist between us and them as we can. And while eliminating the party system will not solve all of our political problems it’s a good start in that direction.
Are you ready to get rid of political parties? Are you going to do your part and register as an independent?