Patrick May on Tue, 22 Feb 2000 22:34:53 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Re: binary political landscape

> The "binary political landscape" vanished from the west
> over 30 years ago.

I have to disagree with this...

The binary political landscape still exists throughout mainstream
politics in the United States.  Almost all elected officials are
affiliated as either Republican or Democrat.

Now, I don't believe that the primary voting habits of Americans are
binary.  People organize themselves (and vote) by community.  That's why
politicians spend so much time traveling around the country.

But the mainstream institutions(see note below) of politics -- parties,
debates, etc. are organized around Republican / Democrat lines.  When
there is a third party (such as the Reform Party), it is absorbed into
the 2 major parties (Republican John McCain and Democrat Bill Bradley
are both courting the 'independent' vote that voted for Ross Perot and
the Reform Party).  When the third party is a radical organization (such
as the Industrial Workers of the World,, it is destroyed
through every method possible.

On the other hand, it does appear that in Europe, the dual party system
has dissolved.  I don't see that happening in the US, due to the way
outside (non-corporate) political organizations -- the Granger movement,
labor unions (esp. the IWW), the Communist Party, the civil rights
movement -- have been broken apart through absorbtion and / or active

Note: To this list I would add television and radio stations,
newspapers, and magazines.  Most non-independent (again, speaking of
corporate affiliation) media outlets endorse one of the 2 major parties.

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