Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Evolution of Political Parties

Today's Reading is about how Israel is dissolving Parliament early, and has set early elections next year. These decisions appear to be based on yesterday's news that Ariel Sharon is leaving the Likud party over disagreements with its far-right members.

Hmmm... leaving a party because it's going too right wing, who does that remind me of?

Seriously, though - even though the article says that new parties don't usually have a history of success in Israel, it also says that polls are favorable:
Opinion polls showed the biggest gamble of Sharon's long political career could pay off, giving his new -- and so far unnamed -- party 30-33 seats in the 120-member parliament, enough to virtually assure him a third term.
I don't think that the US really can have a viable third party yet. What makes it possible in Israel and not here? Is it the popularity of Sharon? Is it the fact that Israel is a much younger country, and they've never been limited to a 2-party system, so that the concept of a new party isn't as shocking to people? Either way, when I think about all the talk of partisan politics today, I find myself wishing we could think more like Israel. With a system that had more than 2 parties supported by reasonable numbers of people, maybe less name-calling would ensue.

The more I write on this subject, the more I'm beginning to think that I'm fooling myself. Oh, well. It was a nice idea.

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