Americans Elect is vying to be the new third party in American politics. It doesn’t yet have a candidate because any registered voter can sign up and participate in the process of choosing a nominee. All you need to do is be a registered voter. After the nominee is selected they must choose a running mate from a different party. Sounds like a great plan! But it is far from perfect.
Third parties have been around since at least 1832. They seem to spring up when Americans get tired of have two choices and so they “demand” new ideas. Politicians are happy to provide them, in the never ending search for power each possesses.
There have been very successful third parties throughout our countries history. The Progressive Party, headed by famous politician Theodore Roosevelt, gained popularity in 1912 when they endorsed woman’s suffrage on a national level. They were also on the cutting edge with racial equality. Roosevelt was seen publicly dining with blacks. The Reform Party, started by Ross Perot, fought for a balanced budget, against NAFTA and term limits for representatives and senators.
The last third party to get any electoral votes was the American Independent party in 1968, whose candidate George Wallace won 46 electoral votes. Due to recent law changes that reward all electoral voted to the states popular vote winner, the chances of a third party winning any electoral votes is extremely thin. With the two party system, run by the Democrats and Republicans, in power for so long that is no surprise. I think the one thing they can agree on is that they want the system to stay this way.
Up until 1988 the presidential debates were sponsored and set up by the League of Women Voters. In 1988 the LWV released this statement;
The League of Women Voters is withdrawing sponsorship of the presidential debates…because the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter. It has become clear to us that the candidates’ organizations aim to add debates to their list of campaign-trail charades devoid of substance, spontaneity and answers to tough questions. The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public.
There is the major hurdle for the third party. These two parties have had a stranglehold on power for so long that in order for it to be taken away, it is going to have to be ripped.
What the third party also risks is handing the election to a certain candidate because they in effect split a vote. If the third party leans right center, they will take votes away from a Republican nominee. If they lean left center, they steal votes from a Democrat nominee. It happened with Perot in 1992, and gave the presidency to Bill Clinton.
So as much as everyone clamors for a third political party we need to realize what we get in return could be a president that is not popular, and at what cost?
Photo by Quartermaster
Ten days before Christmas, the German Interior Ministry acquitted itself of an embarrassing duty. It published a list of all former members of the German government with a Nazi past.
The Left Party’s parliamentary group had forced the government to come clean about Germany’s past by submitting a parliamentary inquiry. Bundestag document 17/8134 officially announced, for the first time, something which had been treated as a taboo in the halls of government for decades: A total of 25 cabinet ministers, one president and one chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany — as postwar Germany is officially known — had been members of Nazi organizations.
Read the rest of the article at From Dictatorship to Democracy: The Role Ex-Nazis Played in Early West Germany – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News – International.
Story by By Ralf Beste, Georg Bönisch, Thomas Darnstaedt, Jan Friedmann, Michael Fröhlingsdorf and Klaus Wiegrefe – Spiegel Online
Spain’s transition in the Seventies from dictatorship to democratic monarchy, though perilous, was extremely well-managed and has so far proved durable. One of the most impressive things about it was a general refusal to dwell on the past.
The country’s first experience of parliamentary democracy had begun in 1931 – 150 years after the US Constitution and a century after our Reform Act – but, thanks to a mixture of internal division and violent extremism on both sides and a military rebellion supported by landowners and the Church, it was short-lived. Civil war was followed by General Franco’s regime, which lasted until his death in 1975.
Read the rest of the review at The Spanish Holocaust by Paul Preston: review – Telegraph.
Review by Jeremy Treglown – Telegraph
The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth-Century Spain by Paul Preston
The question refers to the current dispute between President Barack Obama and conservative Republicans lawmakers over the debt ceiling and the August 2 deadline when the US could default in a significant percentage of its payments.
Nothing is ever new, it is just history repeating itself”—at least in finance, says the article. In his “A History of the Federal Reserve”, Allan Meltzer describes what happened during the Eisenhower administration when the Treasury ran out of debt authorization and the US Congress did not raise the debt ceiling. This was in 1953.
Historical clothing design of the day is from the Air Force – Roundels series, the roundels used for the Air Force of the Republic of China from 1916 to 1921 used the colors from the Five Races Under One Union. Each day a new design is chosen and an article is posted to highlight the historical significance of the design.
Five races under one union (traditional Chinese: 五族共和; pinyin: wǔzú gōnghé, literally “five races (ethnic groups) living together in mutual harmony”) was one of the major principles upon which the Republic of China was originally founded. This principle emphasized the harmony of the five major ethnic groups in China as represented by the colored stripes of the Five-Colored Flag of the Republic: the Han (red); the Manchus (yellow); the Mongols (blue); the Muslims, known at the time as the “Hui” (white); and the Tibetans (black).
The term “Muslim” in this context (including the term 回, huí, in Chinese) primarily referred to the Muslim Turkic peoples in Western China, since the term “Muslim Territory” (“Huijiang”) was an older name for Xinjiang during the Qing Dynasty. The meaning of the term “Hui people” gradually shifted to its current sense—a group distinguished from the Han Chinese by little other than their Muslim faith—during the period of roughly 1911–49 in the Republic of China.
The “five ethnic groups under one union” flag was no longer used after control of the ROC government was wrested from the Beijing-based Beiyang government by the Nanjing-based Kuomintang (KMT) government after the Northern Expedition.
variation of this flag was adopted by Yuan Shikai’s empire and the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo (Flag of Manchukuo). In Manchukuo, similar slogan (五族協和) was used, but the five races are changed into Japanese (red), Han Chinese (blue), Mongols (white), Koreans (black) and Manchus (yellow).
Read More about the Republic of China on Wikipedia.com