[idiotic ramblings snipped]
: I'm sure we don't agree on a lot, MDG.
I dunno about that, Stuart. You are a pro-gun, God-fearing capitalist, conservative and I'm a gun-control, vegan atheist who's either for socialism or anarchism (in time I'll sort it out).
I'd like to say, however, that when level heads discourse, the validity of any idea will present itself without the advocate resorting to inflamatory rhetoric, name calling, sweeping generalizations, or mischaracterizations.
Okay, we agree on that, though at some fundamental level BOTH viewpoints will be valid, in which case it will come down to one's own philosophy on how the world should work. As for name-calling, etc., I was born a hothead, but I'm mellowing with time; however, you can't fight your genes 24/7, so I'm apologizing upfront for any vitriol I may spew later.
: To answer only one issue; I think (only in the presidential election) a vote outside the parties is a vote for the opposite ideal. Given the electoral college, it is quite impossible for a third party to win the office. If you were to tally the votes cast in previous elections of every single independent, reform party, green party candidate,and lump them all together, you'd barely have enough to win even one of the smallest states in the electoral college. Even Ross Perot, who made the best showing in recent history with 19.7 million votes failed to get a single state. At face value this might seem unfair but I think all it really does is guarantee a two party system. That, in turn, does quite a bit to create a functional mandate for the newly elected official.
: This link is a pretty good agument for our electoral college.
I sometimes think a parliamentary system would be fairer. Why not allow room for all viewpoints to be expressed in government in proportion to their popular support? That way, alliances can be formed and legislation crafted which might differ from the increasingly one-party corporate worldview taking hold in the U.S. government (where the two main parties do seem to differ is on social issues, e.g. abortion and gay rights, which is why I still favor the Democrats over the Republicans (you probably favor the Republicans, you reactionary bluenose). *sorry*
By the way, whilst in another country I spent some quality time in a real live opium den. Calgon, take me away!
: Stuart Gort