Democrats are winning, the system is just screwing them

So the righties around here, at least, can stop waving Republican dominance in front of our faces as though it actually means that most Americans agree with the current Republicans in power. They don’t.

This is going to go down like a lead zepplin…

I honestly have a problem sympathizing with Democrats on this because they have participated with Republicans for years in all but shutting down any hope of a national third party candidacy. The hoops of fire through which a Libertarian candidate must jump through are oppressively onerous. Perhaps this alleged system bias is an unintended (and ironic) consequence of attempting to engineer a system that excludes others. Perhaps what went around is coming around.

Lib, please explain how Libertarians must jump through hoops that other third party hopefulls do not have to jump through.

I’ve never understood why all those Democratic northerners turn into Republican southerners when they move from one state to another.

Of course, we could take Texas and relocate it next to Vermont…

I know it’s a pretty long read, but frankly there are so many hoops that it’s a long answer. The ballot access laws alone are formidable.

Wait a minute. I read that wrong. I wasn’t saying that the LP had to jump through more hoops than other third parties. All third parties, including the LP, have to jump through hoops that Democrats and Republicans do not. Hence, the theme of my post: D & R parties conspiring to exclude others.

My beloved Comrade Natasha:

It ain’t that bad. It is written that whatsoever shall go around, therefore shall it come around. The wind has shifted. We told them the truth, we were ignored, and now the lesson comes home. I take no joy in that, but will have neither qualm nor compunction about exploiting that fact for every drop of political advantage. We are, after all, fighting for truth and justice, no?

The day will come, if we sit here long enough, when we will listen to our political opponents gnashing thier teeth and rending their garments about the brutal oppression they suffer at our hands. I plan to be magnanimous and sympathetic, because no one knows how to twist a knife better than I.

Peace, and venceremos!


On the one hand, I agree with you entirely about how awful it has been of the Democrats to shut down third parties, and I can understand your lack of sympathy.

On the other hand, two wrongs don’t make a right: injustice is injustice, and it needs to be resolved.

I’m no friend of the US Libertarian party, but I would strenuously advocate any system that allows them proportional representation, just like I would strenuously advocate any system that allows proportional representation to the Greens, the New Party, and, what the hell, the Patriot Party.


I’m having a hard time understanding what the author of that article is getting at.
Smaller (in population) rural states tend to go Republican. So the “system” is unfair to Democrats, rather than Democrats are failing to appeal to rural voters.

Democratic voters tend to be “packed in” to urban areas, so there is a tendency for Democratic strength to be limited to relatively few Congressional districts. This constitutes an unfair Republican advantage, rather than a Democratic failure to successfully court suburban and rural voters.

Then there’s this:

“The current 100 senators have been elected over the past three election cycles, dating back to the year 2000. According to Professor Matthew Shugart from University of California-San Diego, in those elections, over 200 million votes were cast in races choosing each of the fifty states’ two senators. The Republicans won 46.8% of the votes in these elections – not even close to a majority. The Democrats won 48.4% of the votes, more than the Republicans – yet the GOP currently holds a lopsided 55 to 44 majority.”

So this is held to be an example of the unfairness of the system, when based on the limited information provided, it might easily be a reflection of the GOP winning a number of close races and the Democrats racking up big wins in a smaller number of races.

The Democrats are urged to undertake “electoral reform”, which I gather the author thinks should be proportional representation. It sounds like he’s given up on the idea of developing positions with greater appeal and selling them to the voters.

It’s a recipe for failure.

You’re right, of course. The ethical issue is plain. It’s just a matter of trust. Helping the Democrats out of this plight (not that they need third party help) might be like helping a disabled tiger to recover from a wound. When he’s no longer injured, he is an able-bodied tiger again.

Like Jackmanii, I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around how this is an “injustice.”

The system of representation we have predates both parties, and it was done for very specific reasons: namely that the smaller states feared becoming vassals of the larger states. You may feel that that was ill-concieved, but without that compromise there would be no USA. Sure, Delaware is statistically overrepresented; but that was part of the deal that got them to sign the constitution in the first place.

For big-state people to come along and say “hey, this system we’ve had for 200 years suddenly isn’t fair” strikes me as a bit absurd. That’s the system we’ve got. If you want to change it, you’re gonna have to convince the Delaweenians why they should change their minds.

Also, it used to be the other way around. Democrats were rural and Southern. The South was long a stalwart of the Democratic Party, while Republicans represented the interests of industry and commerce — more urban concerns.

That’s because the author is whining rather than actually making a coherent argument. Keep in mind that the audience is readers of “Mother Jones”. If you can’t win the game, complain about the rules.

Not that the Republicans wouldn’t being saying the exact same thing if the tables were turned. They’d just be publishing it in a different magazine.

Not if. When.

At the rate they’re screwing up, it could be soon.

It’s hard to govern well, what with power corrupting and all that.


(I must take a moment to commend John-Boy on the remarkable progress he has made over the last months…)

The unfairness of the system is self-evident, or practically so. The current system, for historical reasons that no longer apply, leverages the voting power of people in smaller states. A person in a large urban state literally has a vote that is worth less.

I understand perfectly well why pubbies would not care to grok this at present. Doesn’t change whether it’s fair or not.

Please explain this in terms that would be persuasive to a resident of Wyoming.

This cuts both ways, a vote in Texas is worth less than a vote in Vermont.

Remember, the Senate which is less representative than the House, has been more liberal in recent years. If it were only up to the House, we’d probably have SS reform, Bolton, Estrada, etc. confirmed, a new round of tax cuts by now.

Final point: this whining is such a turnoff to moderates. Electoral politics is a tough sport. If you can’t take it when you lose, try something easier like pro football, or wrestling or med school.