The EU

Google says the EU requires a notice of cookie use (by Google) and says they have posted a notice. I don't see it. If cookies bother you, go elsewhere. If the EU bothers you, emigrate. If you live outside the EU, don't go there.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

When Do We Need a Political Party?

From time to time Kad Barma talks about the problem with political parties, and there are a lot of problems.  Our first President, George Washington, was against them.  But, as things have evolved, so have political parties.

Thus, I pose a question.  Given what it takes to win an election, both in terms of money and manpower, at what point does it go from a thousand candidates sailing their own course to those thousand forming up in convoys to achieve better results?

The chart below is very notional.  The line marked "A" is what I see as some sort of minimal number.  Even someone running for State Rep in Lowell, with no opponent (Say, David Nangle) has himself or herself plus someone who is the Commonwealth mandated Campaign Treasurer.  The "B" line represents a more generous staff.

So, what do you think?


Regards  —  Cliff

PS:  I used the "Compose" option to do this post, since I can't load images via "Edit HTML".  I am waiting on Google to fix this problem.


The New Englander said...

Interesting chart...needs a catchy name now or an apocryphal story about the cocktail napkin or envelope it was drawn on, and it may well become future fodder for Poli Sci 101.

I had never been involved in a political campaign in any personal way until this year.

The single biggest thing I learned?


Likability or "charisma" is fine and dandy to a point..but gets rolled up into that pesky "necessary but not sufficient" category.

At some point, people are going to form coalitions...they're going to organize on a level that's going to let them get to know like-minded people, experience working with them, and then try the whole thing again another couple years down the road.

I still like the idea of the chart, and I still think there is a level at which an Indy could really "do it" esp. in a small New England state (heck, let's look at people like Angus King, Lowell Weicker, etc). Someone with enough money or fame (Ventura, Perot) could take it even further on a bigger scale.

But at the end of the day, that darned organization thing gets in the way. No matter how great your resume, how compelling your bio, how charismatic your campaigning, how spellbinding your speeches, etc. YOU'LL NEVER GET TO PERSONALLY KNOW [insert # of people needed to win major election on the larger races on your chart].

For any de-personalized race, if your goal is to be elected, party affiliation seems like the way to go.

Craig H said...

The need in terms of money and manpower to win an election has nothing necessarily to do with party politics, other than to observe that party political machines manufacture both in return for loyalty to said party political machine. There is absolutely nothing stopping an unaligned candidate from having the biggest campaign staff in a race, other than the sheep-like tendency of American voters to throw their support blindly to the party-affiliated candidates.

George absolutely had it right--allegiance MUST BE to country above party. However, it's fair to say that today's party politicos fail to respect that fact, and the unwitting dupes who support them are aiding and abetting the crime.

To me, one of the necessary steps is to make the party/money transactions transparent so we can more clearly see how legislators' votes are being bought and paid for. Much of Barney Frank's financial backing comes from Wall Street. It makes his malfeasance on their behalf much easier to understand. I don't think it takes a "Republican" to unseat him, and I don't believe his constituents are well-served by his being replaced by one. But such are the only choices. THAT is a problem.

The New Englander said...

"There is absolutely nothing stopping an unaligned candidate from having the biggest campaign staff in a race."

Agreed..which is why I'm still chomping at the bit to see a viable 3rd-party candidate "go big" in a serious way. I'll admit it may have to be someone already very wealthy or famous, but what I would love to see is an a) serious and b) centrist 3rd-party candidate with real mass appeal.

Unfortunately, a lot of people still associate 3rd parties as being fringe elements because a lot of their candidates...are.

Craig H said...

To The New Englander's point that organizations are the key, I will continue to complain that politically active people fail to understand that organization CAN BE dynamic and unaffiliated with party, and, further, OUGHT TO BE to ensure honesty and clean government. Take any primary campaign for a party nomination--all such organizations are at a level separate and apart from party. Why is it so hard to see that it's the organization, not the party, that leads to potential success?

The New Englander said...

Kad -- fair point assuming someone (or some group) can put together enough money and/or recognition to rival a candidate from one of the existing major parties.

I was just reading a piece about Paul Tsongas that talked about his efforts to try to get a serious national centrist 3rd-party's a shame that he didn't have more time to get it done, because I think there are a LOT of voters out there who would like to cut most of the uber-partisans off at the legs.

My hope is that a lot of the current barriers are reduced as the Internet continues to democratize information flow -- people will be able to sell their ideas and their stories DIRECTLY to voters.