Increasing Political Partisanship: [Insert Party Name] Is a Threat to Our Nation's Well-Being

"Force"--you keep using that word...

I've been going back and forth about whether to post here or not, but here goes:

One thing I've learned from both debating with a lot of you and then meeting up for some co-op or PVP a few minutes later that for the most part your politics are not your defining characteristic as a human being. I recognize there are exceptions (ie, if you're a member of StormFront or a Molotov-hurling anarchist then yeah maybe you need to rethink your life), but overall we can disagree on stuff like gun control or tax rates or the right minimum wage and still be good people. Unfortunately, that gets forgotten in today's discourse.

EDIT - I recognize it's a hard lesson and one I don't always get right. But I am trying.

The simplest and most direct way to address the issue is mandatory voting. Get that far more numerous middle ground out to vote to put in some Representatives that can act as glue and liasons between the more extreme people.

It's not the easiest way, because it would require a constitutional amendment, but it is the smallest change to make to our system to bring about large changes like that.

Of course, WHILE we are making a constitutional amendment, if we wanted to REALLY fix things up we could introduce a lot more Parliamentary features to our legislature! But just mandatory voting would fix a lot.

Yonder wrote:

The simplest and most direct way to address the issue is mandatory voting. Get that far more numerous middle ground out to vote to put in some Representatives that can act as glue and liasons between the more extreme people.

What would the penalty be for not voting?

OG_slinger wrote:
Yonder wrote:

The simplest and most direct way to address the issue is mandatory voting. Get that far more numerous middle ground out to vote to put in some Representatives that can act as glue and liasons between the more extreme people.

What would the penalty be for not voting?

The GOP.

Atras wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:
Yonder wrote:

The simplest and most direct way to address the issue is mandatory voting. Get that far more numerous middle ground out to vote to put in some Representatives that can act as glue and liasons between the more extreme people.

What would the penalty be for not voting?

The GOP.

Hah!

In Australia it's $20 for first time offenders, and $50 after that. I'm guessing something similarly small is all you need to get people off their butts. You could move voting to the weekend at the same time (the entire weekend) if you wanted to, but I think that filing Absentee ballots is easy enough that that's arguably not necessary.

If you want to get more involved in weekend voting push, then I suggest http://www.whytuesday.org/.

Bloo Driver wrote:

This article (and, consequently, any discussion about it) really seems to ride the "everything is equal" fallacy pretty hard.

While the polarization itself is a serious problem that leads to the actual governing of the country grinding to a halt, it's not as if all alternatives from all sides on all issues are of equal worth. You can say "well X party is wrong about Y" because you're just a blind ideologue, and you can also say it because you're informed of real and objective facts. "X party is wrong about Y" is not, itself, an inherently wrong-headed statement. One of the problems of polarization is the growing attitude that any form of opposition in any case is always of equal worth to the idea/thought being opposed.

I understand what you are saying but solving problems politically either comes from having a large majority (not the case nationally now), or finding a way to compromise between positions. It is not allways (rarely?) about who is right and wrong, unfortunately.

This is bad news in the sense that compromise is exceedingly hard and even means different things to different groups.

IMAGE(http://www.people-press.org/files/2014/06/PP-2014-06-12-polarization-4-01.png)

Honestly, the best thing either party could do is to crush the other signifigantly and consistently both in congressional and presidental elections, and then perhaps the majority party could coop and adapt popular or good ideas that originate in the opposition without too much ideological baggage.

The current state of things resembles the Cold War type zero sum game too much. Any gain for them is a loss for us so we must oppose them with everything we have over every inch of territory.

Australia is not currently enjoying the benefits of a rational and selfless government. A quick google search for Tony Abbot should put that one to rest.

kazooka wrote:

Australia is not currently enjoying the benefits of a rational and selfless government. A quick google search for Tony Abbot should put that one to rest.

kazooka wrote:

Australia is not currently enjoying the benefits of a rational and selfless government. A quick google search for Tony Abbot should put that one to rest.

Mandatory voting doesn't magically give you a great government, just a more representative one. That will tend towards better outcomes, but you can't really point to a couple politicians you don't like and say "see, mandatory voting doesn't work". While more voters in the US would lead to a more liberal turnout, because as I understand it conservatives are slightly more likely to vote, that doesn't mean that that is necessarily the case in Australia. Also, keep in mind that the biggest advantage with mandatory voting should mean a more cooperative, productive government. That is the strongest affect, and it should hold regardless of whether a left-leaning or right-leaning government is elected.

Also, like any change to a national government, mandatory voting works slowly. It would take several election cycles for existing politicians to fully adjust to new political realities, or new politicians to realize they are now viable and run. This is a method that should reduce and reverse long term trends of sever partisanship, not an Easy Button.

The election of Tony Abbott was arguably rational since the incumbent Labor party was riddled with union corruption and spent more time on factional infighting than governing. It was much more a case of them losing the election than Abbott winning it.

Sonicator wrote:

The election of Tony Abbott was arguably rational since the incumbent Labor party was riddled with union corruption and spent more time on factional infighting than governing. It was much more a case of them losing the election than Abbott winning it.

Well that's pretty much the whole problem isn't it?
When presented with multiple objectively lousy options, the majority leans towards what they see as the least lousy option. You still end up with a lousy option.

The only solution I see is either 0% voter turnout, or a 100% protest vote. But nobody does this because they are scared the other side won't do the same.

Mandatory voting would also force the candidates and elected officials to take more broadly-favorable positions. Now, candidates can get away with, and even benefit, by taking positions that appeal mostly to older voters, since they're the ones most likely to actually vote. If the younger ones were compelled to vote too, candidates would ideally have to take that into consideration.

The problem is that being compelled to vote and being compelled to be an educated voter are two different things.

Chaz wrote:

Mandatory voting would also force the candidates and elected officials to take more broadly-favorable positions. Now, candidates can get away with, and even benefit, by taking positions that appeal mostly to older voters, since they're the ones most likely to actually vote. If the younger ones were compelled to vote too, candidates would ideally have to take that into consideration.

The problem is that being compelled to vote and being compelled to be an educated voter are two different things.

I don't think that really holds in the (effectively) two-party, finance-driven election system the US and some other countries have rigged up. Even if every single person came out to vote, most would still be performing the same risk analysis I mentioned and the result wouldn't really change. It's still fear-based voting, I guess you say... having to be only slightly less awful than the other side doesn't promote quality governance. Without multiple candidates to stir the pot, and with the unbalanced exposure we see for those that do exist, there's little chance to change that.

imbiginjapan wrote:
Chaz wrote:

Mandatory voting would also force the candidates and elected officials to take more broadly-favorable positions. Now, candidates can get away with, and even benefit, by taking positions that appeal mostly to older voters, since they're the ones most likely to actually vote. If the younger ones were compelled to vote too, candidates would ideally have to take that into consideration.

The problem is that being compelled to vote and being compelled to be an educated voter are two different things.

I don't think that really holds in the (effectively) two-party, finance-driven election system the US and some other countries have rigged up. Even if every single person came out to vote, most would still be performing the same risk analysis I mentioned and the result wouldn't really change. It's still fear-based voting, I guess you say... having to be only slightly less awful than the other side doesn't promote quality governance. Without multiple candidates to stir the pot, and with the unbalanced exposure we see for those that do exist, there's little chance to change that.

You'd still have a two party system, our political system ensures that (at least in the long term, there can be short term upsets as the parties transition or whatnot) but those two parties are optimally served by a "race to the middle" with mandatory voting, which is not the case at all when the extreme ends of the parties are more likely to vote in our current system.

This seems like an appropriate place...

They call it "rolling coal" or "hybrid repellent." It is what it sounds like: "pollution porn for dudes with pickup trucks," a setup that costs hundreds or thousands of bucks and gives liberal-hatin' drivers a way to protest Obama by puking clouds of exhaust smoke on little lefties in their lefty cars.

This is so f*cking dumb, it makes me wonder if these people would kill themselves out of spite if Obama started an anti-suicide campaign. Jesus.

Follow up to that from the EPA:
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewir...

Alien Love Gardener wrote:

it makes me wonder if these people would kill themselves out of spite if Obama started an anti-suicide campaign. Jesus.

Am I a bad person if that idea intrigues me? Unfortunately they'd probably just try to drive other people to suicide in protest.

Alien Love Gardener wrote:

This seems like an appropriate place...

They call it "rolling coal" or "hybrid repellent." It is what it sounds like: "pollution porn for dudes with pickup trucks," a setup that costs hundreds or thousands of bucks and gives liberal-hatin' drivers a way to protest Obama by puking clouds of exhaust smoke on little lefties in their lefty cars.

This is so f*cking dumb, it makes me wonder if these people would kill themselves out of spite if Obama started an anti-suicide campaign. Jesus.

It's also incredibly dangerous and I'm at the point where, knowing that members of this community know it can cause accidents, feel that they should be charged for vehicular assault and/or murder in accidents they have caused, even if their vehicle doesn't end up being damaged at all.

Greg wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:

I'd be curious to see what absolute numbers are, since the conservative numbers tend to be tied to declining demographics..

The fantasy that Republicans are going to die out is highly amusing. There will always be a loyal opposition.

But the form and direction of that opposition may shift and evolve. I'd say that the left is less unified, but the way the right seems to stay unified these days strikes me as increasingly improbable.

imbiginjapan wrote:
Chaz wrote:

Mandatory voting would also force the candidates and elected officials to take more broadly-favorable positions. Now, candidates can get away with, and even benefit, by taking positions that appeal mostly to older voters, since they're the ones most likely to actually vote. If the younger ones were compelled to vote too, candidates would ideally have to take that into consideration.

The problem is that being compelled to vote and being compelled to be an educated voter are two different things.

I don't think that really holds in the (effectively) two-party, finance-driven election system the US and some other countries have rigged up. Even if every single person came out to vote, most would still be performing the same risk analysis I mentioned and the result wouldn't really change. It's still fear-based voting, I guess you say... having to be only slightly less awful than the other side doesn't promote quality governance. Without multiple candidates to stir the pot, and with the unbalanced exposure we see for those that do exist, there's little chance to change that.

The recent strategies of "rallying the base" and "wedge issues" work because they get people to actually vote. Yes, they do that through extremism and pulling the "fear, uncertainty and doubt" triggers, but the strategies exist because both parties realize that there are many more people who tend to agree with them than there are people who actually end up voting for them. Those are people who generally aren't excited enough about voting to make it a priority, so these strategies exist to get them more excited, and have the ancillary (but ultimately more problematic in the long term) effect of creating the topic of this thread.

Greg wrote:

The fantasy that Republicans are going to die out is highly amusing. There will always be a loyal opposition.

We haven't had a loyal opposition for the last six years...

How is this a thing?

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2014/07/rolling_coal_conservatives_who_show_their_annoyance_with_liberals_obama.html

This is straight up assault.

EDIT: Okay. I see I'm not the only person who thought of this thread. But I'm going to leave this here. What is going on? I want the west coast to secede so badly. This alone literally (and I mean literally) makes me want to change my political affiliation from Independent to Democratic.

The EPA has said it violates the Clean Air Act, so get those videos boys and girls...

I am really afraid of my reaction were I to encounter this in our hybrid SUV.

Robear wrote:

The EPA has said it violates the Clean Air Act, so get those videos boys and girls...

I am really afraid of my reaction were I to encounter this in our hybrid SUV.

The reason I learned about Colbert talked about it. Otherwise I might have missed it. One of the videos he had was of idiots blowing particulates at cyclists. I think if I saw that I might not be able to overcome the urge to slam my bike into the side of their truck. The reality is that it just makes me want to get a GoPro (which I've already entertained, having been hit once and always being worried about being hit) and have a lawyer on speed dial.

Pew Research just updated their survey on political partisanship for 2016.

The TL:DR is that Democrats hate, fear, and feel frustrated by Republicans and Republicans hate, fear, and feel frustrated by Democrats more now than any point over the last 25 years.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/V8lthTc.png)

And it's so bad that we're getting to the point that nearly half of both parties actually think the other party isn't just wrong about policies and their approach to governing, but that they actually represent a "threat to the nation's well-being."

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/UNtCOWU.png)

Both parties have firmly established partisan stereotypes viewing members of their own party well and members of the other party negatively. And the more negatively they view the other party, the more politically active they are.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/w9EHc9e.png)

Why people identify with a particular political party has some interesting answers. Nearly 2/3rds of Americans say they identify with a particular political party not because that party's policies are good for the country, but because they think the other party's policies are bad for the country.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/Sm0fBGN.png)

Those views are echoed by so-called independents: they lean towards one party of the other primarily because they hate the policies of the other party.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/B0kVKts.png)

And when it comes to political labels more people strongly reject the other party’s label than enthusiastically embrace their own.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/a4o0Si4.png)

Interestingly, you can see the recent turmoil within the Republican Party in those numbers. While 37% of Democrats say the Democratic Party represents their interests very well, only about half as many Republicans (19%) say the same about their party.

Irony to that, even as I hope for a more civilized Democracy, the Republican Party still gives me fear and makes me think they're a threat to our country as they continue to push a socially conservative agenda that suggests people who are the wrong skin color, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation shouldn't be treated as full people.

Demosthenes wrote:

Irony to that, even as I hope for a more civilized Democracy, the Republican Party still gives me fear and makes me think they're a threat to our country as they continue to push a socially conservative agenda that suggests people who are the wrong skin color, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation shouldn't be treated as full people.

You forgot wrong religion...

From where I'm sitting, both parties seem like pretty dire threats.

In both cases, they're about the good of the elites, the parties, and the politicians, not the good of the country as a whole.

They're both giant machines to protect established interests and to get re-elected. Actually solving problems isn't even on either of their radars.

edit: that said, it seems to me that the Republicans are more destructive than the Democrats. They're both terrible, but the Republicans are outright trying to destroy the government they're supposedly a part of.