Discuss the impact of minor parties on US politics (45) (System Against…
Discuss the impact of minor parties on US politics (45)
Adopt a 'parasitic' approach
Tea Party/Freedom Caucus
Freedom Caucus: 2017, AHCA Act could not pass because members of FC continouslt voted against it in the House - criticised by Trump for failure to repeal Obamacare - shows how small group can imfluence entire bill, esp. one the president was determined to pass
IMPACT: Extreme right wing faction controls the entire narrative, blocks huge amounts fo GOP agenda, makes entire party look inefficient and presents party as extremist and fascist
Resignation of House Speaker Boehner: Was said to have been down to continued disagreements with extreme conservative members, called them 'anarchists', called member Jim Jordan a 'legislative terrorist'
Independent for 40 years, refused to become Democrat, BUT ran as Democrat candidate in 2016, said "in terms of media coverage, you have to run within Dems"
HOWEVER: The fact that he ran as a Dem proves that the parasitic approach does not work on an individual basis, and to be elected into high office like president, you NEED to be D/R
System Against Them
State Laws on Ballots
Policy on Matching Funds
2016 Presidential Election: Trump 1773 mins, Clinton 1020 mins vs. Jill Stein 3 SECONDS!
Lack of media coverage means no name recognition - candidate cannot be taken seriously, platform cannot be shared and so supporters cannot be gained
Independent for 40 years, refused to become Democrat, BUT ran as Democrat candidate in 2016, said "in terms of media coverage, you have to run within Dems" - needed funds!
1996: Perot, winning 19% popular vote in previous election, was excluded from televised debates by Clinton and Dole = platform could not be shared (and was already co-opted)
IMPACT: The fact that Perot won 19 suggests media exposure has huge significance!
Comission on Presidential Debates: Need 15% national vote!
(Prtesidential Elections) In most states, 50%+ of votes = all the delegates!
1992 Ross Perot: 19% popular vote! BUT not a single delegate due to FPTP - national exit poll, 45% said they didn't vote for him because they didn't think he could win, did not want to waste vote
What do I think?:
The system is against them, and so they cannot be of any real significance
Can be said US is a '50 party state' eg segregationists south, liberals north etc., BUT still fall under traditional Republican/Democrat ideologies
Barely any third parties in public office
D/R have huge resources = even if a third party had the potential to succeed, D/R can adopt/discredit this position
BUT 2016: lots of Sanders supported spoil ballot, write in or even vote for Trump (estimated 12% YouGov!) Shows how strong 'third party' candidate can undermine efforts of major parties with enough support
No room for third parties to compete - political identification is not generally Repub or Dem
1992: Ross Perot
, campaign was built on attacking the deficit - won 19% popular vote BUT 1996: Democrats and Republicans had 'stolen' this idea, and so Perot had unique to campaign on ie. all his votes would fall to the two main parties since he had nothing different to offer
By 1996, Perot had matching funds etc. - could have been successful, BUT ideas co-opted AND Clinton and Dole excluded him from debates
ALSO: Southern Strat!
Johnson, Civil Rights Act: "I think we just passed the South to the Republicans."
1964: Goldwater's success in South and 1968: Wallace's success in the South = 1972: Nixon takes South over subtle dog whistle politics, emphasis on states rights
Lack of media exposure etc = no one is aware of platform = IMPACT: No sponsors!
Policy on matching funds
eg. Gary Johnson only had $12 million in 2016, compared to Trump's $750 million and Clinton's $1.2 billion! = No chance to fund advertisements, cycle of isolation = no votes
Splitting the Vote:
Presidential elections are tight, almost impossible for a third party to win - since 1853 all presidents have been D or R! Regularly win with 95%+ of the vote
1964 George Wallace: Sought to prevent either party from winning a majority in the EC, was unsuccessful BUT had Hu,phre carried Ohio, Illinois and California (states he was only 3% behind in), Wallace would have succeeded
Theodore Roosevelt: Elected in 1904, led the Progressive movement. 1908: Taft wins, but more conservative = Roosevelt seeks 1912 Republican nomination, fails, forms Progressive 'Bull-Moose Party' but splits vote, Dems win
2000 Ralph Nader - election between Bush and Gore came down to Florida as decider, Bush won by 537 votes! If Nader base had voted for gore (who was already an environemtnalist), the Democrats would have won the preisidency