Slightly OT: Pete Ashdown for Utah Senator in 2006

Michael Torrie torriem at chem.byu.edu
Mon Jul 11 19:08:54 MDT 2005


On Mon, 2005-07-11 at 16:03 -0600, Merrill Oveson wrote:
> Many political science professors at leading universities such as BYU
> will tell you that there is no difference between Republicans and
> Democrats - and that this was intended by the framers of the
> constitution i.e. a two party system caused the electoral college. 
> This ensures that in order to get elected you must represent everyone,
> not just one demographic, such as labor, whites, catholics, etc. 
> Certainly, a republican candidate in Utah looks and acts much
> differently from a republican candidate from Massachusetts - yet they
> represent the same party.  Aside note, most Americans prefer a
> balanced government, i.e. if the President is Republican then Congress
> is controlled by the Democrats and vice versa.  I believe the State of
> Utah would be better served by more balance.  Remember in a democracy
> arguement is good.  No arguement often means someone's point of view,
> interests or even  rights are being ignored or worse trampled.

While all of this about balance and the difference between the democrats
and republicans is true, I feel that because they are the same, neither
party can represent my political views.  So while you can say that they
represent the majority of the country (ie middle of the road), can we
prove that?  It's like telling someone you can choose any food you want
provided it's broccoli or cauliflower.  I think that if you took the
statistical average across the entire US of the political spectrum, the
average would be, shock, dead-center.  So you'd think that's where the
two parties are centered on.  However you'd be dead-wrong.  Just head
over to http://www.politicalcompass.org and take their test.  After you
find out where you fall in the spectrum, look at where the Democrats and
Republicans fall.  It may surprise you.  I turned out almost exactly
dead center, tending a little bit towards libertarianism.  Bush and
Kerry came out pretty much extreme right-wing, tending towards, yes,
facism, as well as free-market neo-liberalism(yes they are compatible
with each other).

I'd be curious to see where fellow pluggers fall on the scale as
presented by this very interesting web site.  I'm also curious to see
how mainstream LDS thought influences this.  I have a theory that LDS
religion and culture actually tends to make one very liberal in
political views rather than conservative as you'd think, mainly because
the intense LDS belief in freedom places most mormons more in the
libertarian area than, say, facism.

People commented during the election that the almost 50-50 split between
the parties indicated the marked divisions in American society.  I don't
think so.  I think it indicates that both parties are so similar that no
one can tell them apart, so voting comes out statistically split, since
it really doesn't matter which one you vote for.

Anyway, shedding the old, limited view of a simple left-right spectrum
in favor of a more multi-dimensional one is very enlightening.

Michael



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Michael Torrie <torriem at chem.byu.edu>



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