Sunday, December 21, 2008

Is Bipartisanship Good for Democracy?

Is Bipartisanship Good for Democracy?
By Jerome Grossman

In the aftermath of the harsh and bruising 2008 election, there are calls for "bipartisanship". Literally the word means, "Having members from, or representing two parties". However, current political usage implies an era of good feeling during which opposing parties cooperate for the common good.

Is such a coalition approach to government healthy for democracy? Will the submerging of differences lead to the greatest good for the greatest number? Does it bring us closer to one-party rule?

If the Democratic and Republican parties were to place top value on agreement, that would be a recipe for maintaining the status quo, for the easiest course would be to accept current conditions. Change would be difficult. But our democratic system calls for political competition in the same way that our free market capitalist system requires that choices be available to the consumer. There should be more than one product available and then let the market decide.

In politics, different constituencies have different needs and objectives. The function of the parties is to represent them. The four pillars of the Democratic Party are organized labor, African-Americans, women and ethnic minorities. The four pillars of the Republican Party are the religious right, the anti-abortionists, white men, and higher income people. The parties have an obligation to represent and work for the interests of their pillars, otherwise they will have no function and eventually, no pillars.

In our free market system, the rest of the country acts as the consumer, making the decision according to the way they see their own interests affected. Compromise among the competitors is not excluded but ought to be a last resort so as not to blur differences. As the French have told us in another connection, “Vive Le Difference.”

Bipartisanship may have a reassuring and pleasant ring but it is more likely to limit than to enhance democracy. Our goal should be civility and respect for the opposition, but above all, authentic competition.


an average patriot said...

You always make me think! Under normal conditions you need a healthy dose of Partisanship to get anything accomplished for your interest!
However not after the GWB Politics of divide and conquer using my way or the highway techniques taught by Rove's 3D Politics ( divisive, deceptive, deceitful, Politics).

This to further the rights new societal and world (dis)order bipartisan is now an absolute necessity to recover our America and our Constitution decimated under Bush along with world peace!

However it will take absolute unity now just to attempt recovery but I in no way see it happening! Obama will foster unity but the right as a whole will not cooperate!

The right has not given up their destructive agenda! It is merely on hiatus as they are endeavoring to dirty, gum up, and derail, Obama and all his efforts to fix Bush's mess!

I can only hope the country has woken up to the lying underhanded tactics of GWB, those tried by McCain, and those currently being employed by the likes of Coulter, Limbaugh, and Hannity!
We are in serious trouble because of the sole decider and his Partisan Politics. It will only be repaired by total bipartisanship as we must go from one extreme to the other.
I just do not see it happening due to the extreme nonnegotiable interest differences as our America is not the concern partisanship is as the country continues to sink!

Yiayia said...

While I agree with the comments of 'an average patriot', more ominous is that the real obstructionists and villians are not in the limelight. We, the average public, did not hear of Rove until many years after the greatest damage was caused by him, nor the many powerful figures who lurked in the background. Cheney never looked for the spotlight...

The Liberal Democratic Party of the United States said...

Considering that the Republiklan party leaders appear a group of social criminals, you don't have the police cooperating with social criminals. You arrest them and stop their reactionary 19th century Southern plantation agenda.

If you want to deal a political death blow to the Republiklan party go to

"The Republiklan party appears weak and vulnerable at the cash registers of those companies that give them money."


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