Thursday, January 06, 2005
Today we are taking a walking tour around Chiang Mai. We need to move since we've been lazy lately and the cooking class we took yesterday left us bloated and 15lbs heavier. There are wall remnants arond the old city and it's about a 3.5 mile walk. We're about half way thru. But I made us stop at the cheapest internet site we've found yet (here) b/c of the conversation we've been having and the ideas/questions that have been coming up. Careful, it's politically based. Let's go
Last night we got into a pretty extensive conversation with a couple from Holland. They threw out a couple of questions to us, that not only were unanswerable (for us), but really made us think. And worry a bit, I guess. What were they?
1. For a country as large and all powerful and great as the US, how come the only 2 viable candidates were agreeably undesireable and less than satisfactory. How come worthy people could not be found.
2. How come you only have 2 parties?
It is very very sad that from the pool of resources we have, that decent candidates have been lacking in the last couple (or more?) presidential elections. We are the world leader, yet we can't find anybody good. That is sad, and a bit scary.
We have 2 parties. Many (most?) people decry our lack of multiple parties (some say we really only have 1....). Yes, there are a couple others out there, but they have little to no effect most of the time. Holland is one of those countries that elects many parties into power at the same time-their power is proportional to the percentage of the vote they receive (I believe). What does this mean to me? All people of all beliefs (more or less) in the country are represented in their govt.
If we did the same, then we would be on our way to forming a true multi-party system. ALL parties would have a voice. What else would this mean? In elections, people could actually vote for the candidate/party they want (Green, Libertarian, Dem, Repub, etc) instead of for someone to defeat the candidate/party they like the least. I wonder what the voting demographics would look like were that the case? How many more votes would go to the smaller parties instead of the 2 (1) big ones? How long would they be relegated to obscurity if their voting base were allowed to increase by eliminating the feelings of futility we now feel? Maybe then we'd actually form a multi-party system?
Radical idea? I don't think so. Should our govt, that is supposed to represent the American public actually represent the very broad spectrum of people that live in the US ?
Is this possible? Sure. Hard? Definitely. The hardest part, maybe, would be getting the Dems and Repubs in charge to actually listen to the majority of the population (i.e.-not the 1-5% [i forget the #s] with the majority of the money in our country) and make these changes. Which would in effect reduce their power. Can we get them to agree to this? I don't know. If most of the country calls for it, and it still doesn't happen, what does that say about our govt?
Neither R nor I claim to be all-knowing (or all that knowing) about politics and how it all works. But after talking with people with such varying backgrounds and ideals, we are left feeling like our govt is a bit lacking and could/should be improved for our own benefit.
My thoughts and ideas are by no means fully developed or thought out. This is a new line of thinking, and actually has me ramping up to get involved again instead of constantly shirking away from political talk.
Let the comments commence. Whaddya think, Big Bill?