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What a difference a third party can make

Check out what is happening in the U.K. as different from the U.S. -

How can Labour Party stalwarts that are opposed to the war make their voices heard in a two-party system where the Conservative Party is maybe even more hawkish than Tony Blair, the Labour Prime Minister?

Easy, if there is a third party!

Look for a BIG STORY if Tony Blair falls and the Brits PULL OUT OF IRAQ!

Three stories from The Independent, as of today (or tomorrow on UK time) -- "26 April 2005"
From The Independent (U.K.) on-line edition --

"Majority want troops home by end of the year" (by Andrew Grice)

"Most people want British troops withdrawn from Iraq by the end of this year, according to a poll by NOP for The Independent.

"By a margin of 3-1, voters want British forces to come home by the time their United Nations mandate expires in December. Sixty per cent of people, and 58 per cent of Labour supporters, want to see the troops withdrawn by then, and only 19 per cent disagree."


"Election 2005 -- Labour MP defects to Lib Dems over Iraq" (by Colin Brown, Deputy Political Editor)

"A prominent Labour politician will announce today that he is defecting to the Liberal Democrats in protest at Tony Blair's 'lies' over Iraq.

"The defection of Brian Sedgemore, who is standing down after 27 years as a Labour MP, threatens to upset Mr Blair's apparently unstoppable campaign for a historic third term.

"Declaring that 'enough is enough', Mr Sedgemore also reveals that a small group of unnamed fellow MPs who are standing down are secretly planning to leave the Labour Party in protest at Mr Blair's leadership after the election.

"His decision to defect will intensify the escalating row over the legality of the war which was yesterday thrust to the centre of the election campaign."


The KEY to what is happening is shown by a poll, on the same page as the two stories, as follows --

Latest poll

Labour: 40%
Con: 30%
Lib/Dem: 21%
Others: 9%

INTERESTING -- what a difference a third party can make in a two-party system!
numbers numbers 25.Apr.2005 23:03

what do they mean?

How to read this poll:

If Labour can't get 50%+ of the seats, it will have to establish a coalition with another party in order to appoint a "government," which is what in America we call an Administration. What we call "the government" is usually called "the State" in other countries.

(I remember this ambiguity in terminology being exploited for propagandistic purposes in my high-school history class, when the yahoo teaching it claimed systems other than ours were unstable because "governments fell" all the time.)

It will be enlightening to see whether the "New Labour" movement -- equivalent to the DLC here -- is more interested in a coalition with the Liberal Democrats or the Tories. Conceivably the LibDems and the Tories could coalition with each other and freeze Labour out. I don't know enough about contemporary British politics to know whether that would be absurd.

Unfortunately 26.Apr.2005 12:38

Wild Green

Unfortunately, the Labour Party (sic) and the conservatives are likely to form the new government.

Here are some interesting party politics around the world:

The right (coalition of far right and center right) is losing power while the centre-left (coalition of center <i.e. left of the U.S.'s Democratic Party> and left parties) is gaining.

Nearly a million* people marched in Mexico city to support Mexico City mayor Andrés Manuel López Obrador who is facing an ugly campaign to keep him off the presidenial ballot. He has consistantly maintained an overwhelming majority support in Mexico in the polls. He's no radical, but more of a centre-leftist along the lines of Hugo Chávez.

The Decima Research poll, conducted Thursday to Sunday, indicates the Conservatives (right-wing) were still out in front, favoured by 32 per cent of respondents compared with 27 per cent for the Liberals (centre-right, ala the U.S.'s Democratic Party). The NDP (centre-left: Social Democrats and Democratic Socialists) was at 21 per cent and the Bloc Quebecois was at 15 per cent nationally, or 58 per cent in Quebec. That gives the center-right 59% and the opposition 36%.

An Ipsos Reid poll conducted over the weekend put decided voter support at 34 per cent for the Conservatives, 31 per cent for the Liberals, 18 for the New Democratic Party and five per cent for the Green party.

Furthermore, the Liberals (centre-right) are set to talk with the NDP (centre-left) to form a an informal centre coalition government.

*The Guardian as well as many French papers reported 750,000+. Most U.S. papers downplayed the numbers, the NY Times reported "10's of thousands", the Washington Post reported "thousands". The BBC stated hundreds of thousands, then reported, "Organisers said 1.2 million people were present, though officials put the number at 120,000." Several San Diego papers reported nearly a million.

Democrat rank-and-file support third party 26.Apr.2005 21:58

Progressive Democrat

A recent poll (April 26) at a liberal-to-moderate Democratic web site (DailyKos.com) asked: "Would a third party be good for the two-party system in the U.S.?"

The result indicates that Democrats enthusiastically endorse the prospect of a third party in the U.S.A. --

1) The parliamentary system is different, but a third party could sometimes make a positive contribution to the U.S. politic 5 votes - 20 %

2) Because of our presidential system and the separation of powers, a third party is generally dysfunctional in the U.S. politic 4 votes - 16 %

3) Maybe if we could use the electoral college as a non-partisan talent search committee, the U.S. system could evolve beyond a two-party system 1 vote - 4 %

4) If we had a parliamentary system, we would just subsitute a similar set of problems for what we already have 1 vote - 4 %

5) Choice is good for democracy -- YES to more than just two parties! 5 votes - 20 %

6) The two-party system is what we have always had and always will have, for the foreseeable future 0 votes - 0 %

7) Two-party systems are not the way to go -- proportional representation! 8 votes -- 33 %


absurd 27.Apr.2005 02:16


(besides PD's ridiculous poll of 25 DailyKosers)

would be to believe Brit troops will withdraw from the coalition of idiots
regardless who gets elected to parliament