Sunday, May 07, 2006

Parties act like cults; independent voter registration has doubled since 1996 -- any connection? (Ya think...?)

Get in lockstep or be gone

Bill Thompson May 6, 2006 ....It's fair to argue party leaders, whether in Washington, Tallahassee or in Ocala, are simply enforcing discipline. Step out of line and expect them to roll out the guillotine. It's also valid to say politicians who disagree with party platforms are free to find another party.
But if in our political evolution we've reached a point where party is paramount and disputing leaders is subversive - you're no longer "us," so you must be "them" - parties will cease to be parties. They are cults.
Lee was quoted in the Tallahassee Democrat as saying it was "dangerous" for Democrats to build "a coalition with some Republicans on issues that were important to the administration.".... The number of minor party members and independent voters in Florida now totals more than 2 million, more than doubling their ranks from 1996 to 2004. Their ratio of the voting population has climbed from 13 percent to 21 percent.
Core party principles are beneficial and help promote and distinguish governing philosophies. But our style of government is about compromise. Once the party hierarchy expects the rank and file to be mindless automatons who reflexively disdain the other side to serve ideology over constituents, we become subjects and not citizens....

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