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|User Info||OpEd: It's Dying (Calen Fretts); entered at 2012-01-21 14:56:52|
Registered: 2008-10-18 Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Better than three parties, how about none as in Canada's Northwest Territories.
Unlike provincial governments and the Yukon, the government of the Northwest Territories does not have political parties, except for the period between 1898 and 1905. It is a consensus government called the Legislative Assembly. This group is composed of one member elected from each of the nineteen constituencies. After each general election, the new parliament elects the premier and the speaker by secret ballot. Seven MLAs are also chosen as cabinet ministers, with the remainder forming the opposition.
Canada has three major parties plus the greens. As well, despite having campaign financing laws that limit individual campaign donations to $1,100 and that forbids donations from corporations and unions, we still have managed to elect a party dead set on advancing the corporate (oil) agenda. And, although running under the banner of conservatives, one who managed to turn a modest surplus into a record deficit.
The problem is that political parties provide a point of leverage for interest groups. All that is necessary is to get (or buy) enough members sympathetic to your cause in all parties and elections become almost a mere formality. That, I believe, is the situation in the US with the Republicans and Democrats. They are both controlled by the banks and corporations although the individual corporations may differ. Outlawing political parties would solve that problem.