Friday, December 16, 2005

American Politics: The Democratic Party

I don't usually talk about American politics, except to leave comments on the blogs of those who do (among them The Green Knight, Shakespeare's Sister, and The Dark Wraith).

That having been said, I have been reading on these blogs and many others the annoyance that the American Left has with the Democratic Party, who seem unable to offer a unified front against the juggernaut of the GOP (Grand Old Party a.k.a. Republicans).

I was listening to CBC radio talking about the Canadian elections. One of their guests was Stephen Clarkson, whose book "The Big Red Machine - How the Liberal Party Dominates Canadian Politics" has just come out. In it (and in fact, on the dust cover) he quotes Sir Wilfred Laurier, Canadian Prime Minister from 1896 to 1911:

"It is not enough to have good principles; we must have organization also. Principles without organization may lose, but organization without principles may often win."

I believe that the weakness in the Democratic Party of the United States is that it need to first, define itself, then get itself organized. What are the principles of the Democratic Party? Each time we think they are one thing, a Democratic congressman or senator comes along and votes the other way. The Democratic Party needs to put together a solid statement of principles and have all of their members adhere to them. It needs to be a contract between the party and its representatives saying "This is how this party stands on these issues, and this is how we, as its representatives, will vote on these issues."

Now, obviously, this does not work on all issues, and it does not have to. It does need to work for the key issues of the day: the war in Iraq, abortion, The economy, health care, the environment. By developing a specific, consistent statement of principles, the Democratic Party can show Americans where it stands on the issues, and that it stands firm. By enforcing that stand among its representatives (i.e. through removal from committees or other means, or at worse, through expulsion from the party) it can present a unified front against the Republicans.

Remember, a good number of people who voted for George Bush did so not because they believed in his policies, but because they thought the Republican stood for something. Wouldn't it be good to get them voting for a party that actually does stand for something?

1 comment:

mrkdvsn said...

I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.
American patriotism

Free Blog Counter