Eliminate Political Parties in RI

We’ve finally gotten there, it’s time to fully eliminate political parties in RI. I’ve long advocated for this as the whole party system is extremely antiquated anyway. The only real purpose they served was in a time when it was very hard to disseminate information to everyone, where farmers could be miles separated from their nearest neighbors. This wasn’t exactly a time when a candidate could “walk the district.” Instead, it would be easier for a candidate to toe the party line and then people could simply vote along party lines when they didn’t understand the individual candidates’ stances or were just unaware of them. This sort of thing is also what brings us straight ticket voting. Today, these are more for the uneducated or lazy voter. It’s for someone who doesn’t want to take the time to get to know the candidates and their stances on the issues.
But with that aside, one of the bills that Andrew mentions below will also deal such a blow to the political party system that they may as well be eliminated completely.

H7089: Allowing voters to choose their political party on the day of the primary, instead of having to be registered 90-days beforehand.

I often hear the exasperation in Dan Yorke’s voice when he continually tries to educate his listeners on what political parties are and their primary means. Political parties are intended to be semi-private organizations who choose a candidate to rally around and to support for a given office. If you’re not a member of this organization, not only should you not be allowed to help decide who its standard-bearer will be but even moreso, why should you care? I’m not a member of the YMCA but I don’t get to vote for their leadership. I’m not a member of AARP, so I don’t get a vote in their leadership elections either. Nor do I even care. If I’m not a member of the RI Democratic or RI Republican or RI Moderate party, why should I get a vote to elect their candidates either? Why should I care who their candidate is, I’ll get to vote in the general election anyway.
Currently in RI, if you’re a registered voter but carry the “Unaffiliated” designation, you can decide on primary day which party’s ballot you get to cast a vote on. That in itself is ludicrous, as I’ve written about before. Affiliated yourself with a party and vote accordingly. If you don’t want to affiliate, show up in November for the general election. Simple.
But what House Bill 7089 wants to do is not just blur this line for the Unaffiliated voters, it will do the same for people who are affiliated! If I’m a registered Democrat, why should I get the choice on the day of the primary to vote in the Republican election and vice versa? (Or the Moderate Party, not forgetting you guys, Ken) If this is what we’re going to do then what’s the point of political parties at all? The whole point is to let the organization choose their candidate to send to the general election. If we’re going to eliminate that, then let’s just eliminate the parties entirely and make everyone run on their own stances. Heck, all we ever hear is “He’s a RINO” and “She’s a DINO”, so why not? They’re all useless labels anyway and this bill will just remove the last vestiges of what the parties can do. I say, wipe ’em out.

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Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
9 years ago

My only comment is that we have done rather well with the two party system, I fear this might result in a multiplicity of parties.

Patrick
9 years ago

Warrington, with your “done well”, I can’t tell if that’s sarcasm.
Maybe it would result in a multiplicity of parties, but even that would be better than the system we have now. My first choice is zero parties, my second choice would be to have about 10 strong parties, all across the spectrum, so the DINOs and RINOs end up having a real party of their own, where their view points mostly fit. However, no one is going to fit perfectly with any party, so why have them? Eliminate it completely. The party system has created such a toxic environment in this country, they’re dragging it down with them. Eliminate them and let good people run on their own merits.

Russ
Russ
9 years ago

“This sort of thing is also what brings us straight ticket voting. Today, these are more for the uneducated or lazy voter.”
So these voters who get themselves to the polling location and then often wait in line are too lazy and stupid to know which lever to pull once they get there? What an elitist and condescending statement.
Vote Republican, dumbasses. Not hard to see why that message doesn’t resonate with the electorate.

Russ
Russ
9 years ago

btw, not sure if you saw this take in the NY Times (immediately came to mind reading this)…
“We Need a Second Party”
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/12/opinion/sunday/friedman-we-need-a-second-party.html

You know how in Scrabble sometimes you look at your seven letters and you’ve got only vowels that spell nothing? What do you do? You go back to the pile. You throw your letters back and hope to pick up better ones to work with. That’s what Republican primary voters seem to be doing. They just keep going back to the pile but still coming up with only vowels that spell nothing.
There’s a reason for that: Their pile is out of date. The party has let itself become the captive of conflicting ideological bases: anti-abortion advocates, anti-immigration activists, social conservatives worried about the sanctity of marriage, libertarians who want to shrink government, and anti-tax advocates who want to drown government in a bathtub.
Sorry, but you can’t address the great challenges America faces today with that incoherent mix of hardened positions. I’ve argued that maybe we need a third party to break open our political system. But that’s a long shot. What we definitely and urgently need is a second party — a coherent Republican opposition that is offering constructive conservative proposals on the key issues and is ready for strategic compromises to advance its interests and those of the country.

Patrick
9 years ago

“So these voters who get themselves to the polling location and then often wait in line are too lazy and stupid to know which lever to pull once they get there?”
If all they do is connect that one line for a straight ticket, then yes.
“Vote Republican, dumbasses.”
Who said that? I think anyone who connects the Republican line is either lazy or uneducated as well. What’s so hard about connecting the lines of each candidate you want to cast a vote for?

Dan
Dan
9 years ago

Russ is right that RI voters are not lazy. They know exactly what they are doing. Statistically, most of them are public employees, married to public employees, politicians, married to politicians, Brown/RISD socialists, or recipients of very generous state assistance at this late point in the endgame. The self-sufficient and merit workers fled the state a long time ago. Everyone knows that the RI Democratic Party is the one handing out the goodie bags, and economics teaches us that people do respond to incentivies.

Russ
Russ
9 years ago

“What’s so hard about connecting the lines of each candidate you want to cast a vote for?”
Ha! Spoken like someone who’s never worked at a polling location. Sometimes seems like every other voter has under or over voted his/her ballot. From a data quality/usability standpoint, I think there’s a fairly compelling case to be made.

Patrick
9 years ago

“Sometimes seems like every other voter has under or over voted his/her ballot.”
Thank you for helping to speak to my comment about the civic education of our electorate.

Russ
Russ
9 years ago

“Thank you for helping to speak to my comment about the civic education of our electorate.”
It must be hard to being so much smarter than the po’ folk. Well, at least you’re honest about your disdain for the lower classes. That’s something I suppose.
In reality, a mismarked ballot could happen to anyone. The optical scanner is a bit unforgiving, especially so for folks in the older generation or those with disabilities (the stupid ones in your parlance).

Tommy Cranston
Tommy Cranston
9 years ago

“Statistically, most of them are public employees, married to public employees, politicians, married to politicians, Brown/RISD socialists, or recipients of very generous state assistance at this late point in the endgame.”
Not most but a good 40%. The rest are made up of the brainwashed that believe the lie that the party that raises taxes on working people to unsustainable levels; the party of the most corrupt millionaire families in the state-Licht, Caprio, Jerzyk, Sundlun, Roberts, Whitehouse, Lynch (Pawtucket), Lynch (Warwick), Kennedy and so many others is “da party of da workin people”.

Max D
Max D
9 years ago

“There’s a reason for that: Their pile is out of date. The party has let itself become the captive of conflicting ideological bases: anti-abortion advocates, anti-immigration activists, social conservatives worried about the sanctity of marriage, libertarians who want to shrink government, and anti-tax advocates who want to drown government in a bathtub.”
Russ,
Thanks again for educating me with a totally unbiased article from an entirely non-partisan rag (pause while I puke). You should probably stick with your friends over on RIF that are sympathetic to your pathetic idealism. Oh that’s right, even they didn’t back you when you tried to justify throwing condoms at Catholic school children. Sorry about that.
PS: Just so we’re clear, the ‘thank you’ was sarcasm.

Monique
Monique(@monique-chartier)
Editor
9 years ago

“da party of da workin people”
Can’t hear that often enough …

Russ
Russ
9 years ago

“Thanks again for educating me with a totally unbiased article [sic] from an entirely non-partisan rag…”
So don’t read it. No skin off my nose. Clearly there’s nothing you can learn from the New York Times, although you might want to look into the difference between an article and an op-ed.

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