Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Atrios has a post about the rumblings which I, too, have heard on the wide Internets, about some progressives and liberals deciding not to vote at all in the coming mid-term elections, as a way to show their unhappiness with the Democratic Party and its current policies.
This topic always develops into a fervent debate: Should one hold one's nose (the nose of the same one!) and vote for some horrible candidate, so as to keep an even more horrible one (a different one!) out of office, or should one (the one with the nose) stay-at-home, to try to regain some power within the Democratic Party by perhaps keeping them from staying in power.
Philosophical reasons for both stances abound. But the real reason for the stupid question to exist in the first place is the two-party system. There is no way to register one's discontent with the Democrats without also helping the Republicans and vice versa.
A multi-party system gets around this by offering more alternatives, some with platforms much closer to that of the party one wishes to discipline. That, in turn, lets the protest go through without necessarily supporting one's (the one with the nose) political enemies.