Politics

From Adam Katz

Jump to: navigation, search
2-bill-blue3.jpg

It is my firm belief that the first amendment to the United States Constitution is a part of the most important freedom: Every person should have the right to self-expression (or non-expression, ie privacy) to any extent so long as it does not hinder another's right to the same. I'll write more about this later.

I am against our current military action in Iraq and Obama's proposed similar plan for Afghanistan. In typical American arrogance, we took a hard "do as we say not as we do" stance and are refusing to back down from it, even when the inspections were turning more useful. We keep changing our reason for going in there; first Sadam harbored terrorists, then he was developing nuclear weapons, then he had chemical weapons. What's going to happen when we fail to find his well-hidden weapons (it is speculated he put them in Syria)? What will happen when the United States, who has been ignoring any authority of the International Court, conquers Iraq and uses our own military tribunals to convict the generals (I doubt we'll catch the big cheese himself) in the face of the rest of the UN? A quote from the New York Times (Their Day In Court, 3/30/3): "the Bush administration ... has rejected the International Criminal Court and extricated itself from international agreements."

Regarding George W. Bush and his administration: People say we need to support our president. I disagree; I didn't vote for him, and don't even fully endorse any legitimacy to his having been elected to that seat (though I didn't argue to put Gore in power, as what was done was done, for better or worse). To quote a more respectable president, To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. (Theodore Roosevelt, 1918).

Unlike the Colorado Libertarian Adam Katz (who got a whopping 0% vote for congress in 2002), I am not Libertarian. I am a progressive "constitution voter" and I am registered without a party and I often vote in Democrat primaries.

Two party systems are bad

The two-party system we have in America is monopolistic. The shared power between the Republicans and the Democrats is so immense that solid third-party candidates are at a loss when attempting to compete in advertising and debates. The media often ignores them as insignificant.

For the 2003 Massachusetts Gubernatorial debates, there were candidates from the Republican, Democrat, Green, and Libertarian parties, as well as one independent. Clearly, this was too much for the format. Rather than alter the format, the next race will likely have two candidates. Do we have boxing tournaments by putting every contender in the ring at the same time? My proposed format would have one debate with every candidate after matching every pair in separate debates. Another idea could be to have them come in small installments, like the Clinton/Dole dialogs at the end of (? was it 60 Minutes?) in early 2003 (late 2002?).

The current voting system in place, plurality (candidate with the most votes wins, even if not supported by a majority), is biased towards the two party system; with only two candidates, plurality works perfectly. Add a third candidate and a victor could win with 34% approval even if the remaining 66% would rather have either other candidate. There are alternative systems, such as Instant Runoff, Borda Count, Condorcet Voting, and more. You can read about them and how they compare with each other and plurality at voting analysis.