[thechat] Hiding from Elections Now

erik mattheis zero at gozz.com
Mon Oct 27 01:27:40 CDT 2008

I was responding to your statement that "since they didn't register
according to the new regulations in McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform,
these groups of a few local mothers making signs in their living rooms were
fined tens of thousands of dollars and ordered to cease their campaign."

The Stossel segment you refer to mentions a small grassroots group being
sued by an unnamed group (probably a group of corporations or landowners)
under Colorado law. Their demise not due to any restrictions in
McCain-Feingold nor any lawsuits by a political party, major or otherwise -
and you explain again that that was your point.

Sorry for my dismissive tone, but I didn't want to go every point by point.
Your questions:

(1) why are primaries necessary,

Well, they're not, as is evidenced by the fact LA has been successfully
electing US Senators without them for some time. As per presidential
primaries, I can say I think they're beneficial - they broaden the range of
electable candidates and for Democrats at least in states holding caucuses,
it allows the Party platform to be directly informed by voters.

(2) do you believe the parties have no influence over who wins the

Sure they do, but Romney and Clinton - the establishment candidates - both
lost this season!

Third party candidates do well here in Minnesota - for the last several
cycles, there's been three top gubernatorial candidates getting within 10%
of the vote from one another. And the same will be true in this year in our
Senate race - in fact Barkley could beat both Franken and Coleman.

Why do you figure a third party can do well in MN but few other places? In
other words, you're claiming the national system is rigged to favor Dems
aqnd Repubs - if this is true, how does one explain Minnesota? My
explanation is that Minnesotan voters have an independent veign in them and
talk of barriers to third party candidates is much over-hyped.

Any comment on my assertion that when you have winner-take-all elections as
opposed to proportional representation, its the method of voting itself that
tends to favor two dominant parties?

- Erik

On Mon, Oct 27, 2008 at 12:38 AM, Matt Warden <mwarden at gmail.com> wrote:

> It wasn't a candidate. As I said, it was a campaign against an issue
> on the ballot. Anyway, here is one:
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Pu6cT6ICQQ
> I think you missed the point, anyway. Complicated legislation supports
> well-established organizations like your Democratic party who have
> lawyers and experience, and it makes it more difficult for new ideas
> and grassroots movements to enter into the scene. I did not suggest
> there was a conspiracy. I only stated that intentionally or not, that
> is the result.

Erik Mattheis

Politics, hydroponics, poison frogs and elephant rampages
612 377 21272

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