Gary Smith wrote:

> I think the problem in a one party system is shown historically. The
> South became polarized to the Democratic party in the 1850s, with other
> parties being totally squeezed out (Republicans, Whigs, Know-Nothings,
> etc)

Well, actually the Know-Nothings became known as Southern Baptists, but that's
another story.... ;-)

> . This one party system then allowed a gradual radicalization of the
> one system.  Without balance, they ended up driving a wedge between
> themselves and the Union (I recognize the Union wasn't perfect, either.
> However one didn't see secession efforts by disgruntled states in the
> north).
>
> We see this in France's Revolution, also. They started with a wide
> variety of parties, from kingmen to jacobins (and a few parties even more
> radical than they). But the right wing was eliminated over a couple
> years, after which the centrists (Garondians) were wiped out, leaving
> only the one side to run amok.
>

And you probably know the term "radical" did not have the same meaning then as
now. It comes from Latin "radix," meaning "root," and meant those who tried to get
at the root of a problem.

>
> The Democrats are in trouble, because many of them have become
> socialists. Utah doesn't need a socialist party. It does need a two party
> system, which means either they need to revive and recover the Democratic
> party, or they need to quickly get behind a second party. A one party
> system gives too much power to a small cadre of politicians. This opens
> the door to abuse of power.
>
> It is okay if one party is conservative and the other is
> moderate/centrist.
>

Or even better yet, two "open tent" parties which are indistinguishable
ideologically. We really do live in a post-ideology world, and ideology-based
politics will not succeed. People need to learn the hard lesson that politics is
about how to broker power. And politicians are like underwear: they need to be
changed periodically.

--
Marc A. Schindler
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland

“Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick
himself up and continue on” – Winston Churchill

Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the author
solely; its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the author’s employer,
nor those of any organization with which the author may be associated.

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