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anam's avatar

What do you think of the quote "If this were Europe, the Republican party would be 5 different parties"?

Asked by anam (147points) May 25th, 2012

This is from The West Wing (Season 7, The Al Smith Dinner), said by Alan Alda’s character, Republican nominee for President Arnold Vinick.

What do you make of it—which system do you think works best? And what would you think if this happened in the U.S. and parties sort of subdivided?

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14 Answers

righty's avatar

But it’s not Europe. That’s why i don’t think much about it.

ragingloli's avatar

Maybe. And most of them probably would not even make the 5% hurdle in Germany, so extreme are they.

fremen_warrior's avatar

How about a one party system like in China? Sure, they tend not to care TOO much about human rights, but by golly look at their GDP! ;-) I’d say pluralism supplements democracy… i.e. the more the merrier

tups's avatar

It’s probably true and the same thing with the Democrats. We’ve got many different parties here and every vote actually counts for something.

PhiNotPi's avatar

From my point of view, the parties have almost already subdivided. Earlier in the election process, 90% of the attack ads were sponsored by and targeted towards people in the Republican party. All it takes is a name change..

Splitting parties provides more competition between candidates. If you split the parties, then people will choose the party with the candidate that they actually like, and not vote for a candidate because of his party.

But of course this is all speculation. One possibility is that the multi-party system will simply collapse back down to a two-party system.

Trillian's avatar

This, and this is what I think. And you can’t say it’s only the Republicans.

anam's avatar

@Trillian, I’m not saying it’s only the Republicans, that’s just the quote.

josie's avatar

See @righty
The point is it is not Europe. Thank goodness for that.

jerv's avatar

I say it’s quite true, and any Conservative that has enough compassion to be considered “human” and/or enough intelligence to qualify as “sentient” should be thankful. Any argument to the contrary is an argument that all Conservatives are delusional, insane, illogical, inept religious fanatics.

I think that if the parties subdivided, we would have a far better chance at avoiding a revolution (or possibly even a civil war), and that politicians would be a bit more careful about doing the will of the people since a multi-party system would make it far more difficult for the inept to get re-elected than under our current system.

bkcunningham's avatar

@anam, I think the quote is, “If this were Europe the Republican party would be three parties.”
– Vinick, on the difficulties of keeping all his party onside

I think it means it would be left, right and center.

whitenoise's avatar

I mostly agree to that statement. And i also think none of them would be on the left side of the political spectrum.

cazzie's avatar

America’s two party system is interesting and I never thought about it until I moved away and started voting in elections in other countries. While I lived in New Zealand, they had two main parties, National and Labour. but then they overhauled their electoral system without much fuss. It was really quite something to watch. The new system actually encouraged new parties to emerge and soon there was quite a number of them. There were Maori seats that had always been there to represent the indigenous population, Green Party, New Labour, Christian Democrats and so on… Governments then have to form coalitions between themselves and other parties and agree on how to vote and debate on certain issues where those two parties are different.

I remember watching in horror as a small party suddenly held the balance of power in the government in 1996. You can see what happens by following the Wiki articles here:,_1996 It was pretty dramatic, but the elections happen every 3 years and the party power isn’t as entrenched as it is in the US.

I think it suits the corporations to only have to deal with two parties in the US so that they can continue to run the country.

Keep_on_running's avatar

Yep, the concentration of crazy beliefs should be spread around because that’s what a real democracy is!

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