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The current partisanship of the 2 party political system in the states & increasingly in Western Europe is holding feminism back and even pushing us backwards. One major reason a lot of left-leaning liberals do not even entertain the possibility that gender identity, porn, prostitution, surrogacy etc are bad for women and bad for society is because they are endorsed by liberal left institutions, and politics has become so black-and-white that swathes of the public think if you even question one issue supported by the ‘liberal’ side, then you might as well become a bible-thumping anti-abortion white supremacist. This binaric (cis??? lol) form of politics is also harmful because it is robbing people of the ability to think critically and in a nuanced manner about the corporate co-opting of leftism and the astroturfing that has given us the $ gender industrial complex $ , the $ sex industry $ etc.

I know this question is very ambitious and probably too vague but I’m interested to hear from the smart women on here I’m so grateful to share a online space with. Any ideas how we go about tackling 2 party politics in the age of such divisiveness and create more space to articulate different perspectives?

The current partisanship of the 2 party political system in the states & increasingly in Western Europe is holding feminism back and even pushing us backwards. One major reason a lot of left-leaning liberals do not even entertain the possibility that gender identity, porn, prostitution, surrogacy etc are bad for women and bad for society is because they are endorsed by liberal left institutions, and politics has become so black-and-white that swathes of the public think if you even question one issue supported by the ‘liberal’ side, then you might as well become a bible-thumping anti-abortion white supremacist. This binaric (cis??? lol) form of politics is also harmful because it is robbing people of the ability to think critically and in a nuanced manner about the corporate co-opting of leftism and the astroturfing that has given us the $ gender industrial complex $ , the $ sex industry $ etc. I know this question is very ambitious and probably too vague but I’m interested to hear from the smart women on here I’m so grateful to share a online space with. Any ideas how we go about tackling 2 party politics in the age of such divisiveness and create more space to articulate different perspectives?

15 comments

[–] Ghostofbelaabzug 16 points (+17|-1)

New York City just instituted ranked-choice voting, and it's gaining traction in other places. I think this is a great first step to moving beyond the two party system.

Ideally ranked choice voting leads to a candidate who has the support of the majority of people instead of a polarizing candidate who won their party's primary by courting the exteme base. Ranked choice voting gives people more freedom to actually choose the best candidate instead of choosing he lesser of two evils, which it feels like we've all been doing lately.

[–] yarnfiend13 8 points (+8|-0)

boosting this. ranked choice voting gives non-extremists a shot.

[–] ActualWendy 5 points (+5|-0)

When I saw this question I was going to post this too. It’s not complicated as the big parties say it is.

[–] hesco 3 points (+3|-0)

True. Political organizing is not rocket science; just alot of hard work.

[–] Foxen 1 points (+1|-0) Edited

Ranked choice PLUS having party primary votes occur on the same day everywhere in the US. The media machine and the DNC working together have stifled any shot at fair primaries on the Dem side.

ETA: I was personally more affected by crap choices on the D side of the aisle, but I imagine R voters would also benefit from changes to their primaries

[–] WatcherattheGates 11 points (+12|-1)

You are absolutely right, but in the US there is no good way given the $$$ involved in getting a candidate elected. You'd have better luck voting as a bloc, so that both parties would have to woo folks holding your views. But getting a bloc together in this day and age seems hard to do. Organizations could do a "report card" on candidates regarding their views on gender ideology and other issues, and hope the parties care enough about the report card to respond by tweaking their platforms. I feel discouraged. Only if women betrayed the Democrats at the polls would they care, but Republicans are not the party of choice for most women. I think about this a lot, but there is very little to be hopeful about.

[–] cardea_j 6 points (+6|-0)

Good point about the $$$ - I missed that in my post. I suppose getting reforms passed on that would be another way of coming at the issue of creating new parties sideways ... but that's a pretty big hurdle.

[–] cardea_j 7 points (+8|-1)

The only idea I've heard that's made sense to me is to promote ranked choice voting. It's coming at the issue sideways - but basically it's impossible to start a new political part in the US (not too sure about elsewhere, but making an assumption) with our current voting process imo. I think it'd give the possibility of voting with less of a black-and-white view of the people running if you can rank your choices. People might feel more free to cross political lines without feeling like they're "giving power to them" if their ranked choice in a more moderate. Politicians may feel more free to step out of group talking points if being more moderate or diverse (from the mainstream party) in their platform sees more traction. And finally, we could start working in smaller parties which, I feel, would have more of a chance in ranked-choice voting. It would be a way to build "brand recognition" for new parties in small increments in ways that aren't working currently with non-mainstream parties. Let me know if you think otherwise though! I'm also very curious about this topic. Excellent question!

[–] hesco 6 points (+6|-0) Edited

@PattyBouvier

Thank you for your vitally important question. Pretty certain I don't count as one of the 'smart women' in this space, but it is my privilege to work with a number of such women elsewhere who are engaging on exactly this question.

We are carrying on a campaign right now in a struggle against gender ideologues in the Green Party, which you might find of interest. Please check out:

The Emergency Committee to Save the Green Party

Dialogue not Expulsion Caucus

and we expect to launch a new initiative next week which will be of even greater interest to you. Watch the GenderCritical channel on this site for an announcement, once we are ready. We have already adopted a founding statement and a mission statement. We fully intent to provide a political home for politically homeless feminists women and pro-feminists men who have seen nothing but scorn for our concerns from every quarter.

That launch will wait until after the conclusion of this vote on this proposal which seems likely to result by Monday morning in the revocation of the Georgia Green Party (my own political home) as a member of the Green Party of the United States.

As someone who has engaged in this work (of building independent electoral power) for better than thirty years, allow me to get specific about some of the general items mentioned already in the thread.

With respect to money in politics, I urge you engage with MoveToAmend. M2A is pursuing a workable strategy towards the right set of goals which will comprehensively address the fundamental issues we face with respect to the corporate control of public policy making. Passage of the We The People Amendment (HJR 48), would be a significant step forward to unwind the damage done in the Courts in Santa Clara County vs Union Pacific Railroad (corporate personhood) (1886) and on through the cases litigating the Federal Elections Campaign Act, including Buckley vs Valeo (money is speech) (1976) and Citizens United vs Federal Elections Division (restricting Congressional authority to regulate campaign finance in federal elections) (2010) and in many preceding and intervening related cases.

There are other approaches out there, competing efforts to amend the constitution, and of course the Democrats are pushing HR1 in Congress, but all of those merely hack at the branches and ignore the roots; or in the case of HR-1, constitute a partisan power grab by the democrats who have already demonstrated that they are not our friends. Only the MoveToAmend We the People Amendment is prepared to address these issues at their roots, restoring the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection clause in service of human, not corporate persons, and permitting the regulation of private money in public elections. Overturning those adverse rulings by the Courts opens the doors for Publicly / Democratically Funded Election campaigns.

With respect to other election reforms:

Yes, ranked choice ballots are important, but RCV speaks to how a ballot is cast. Its necessary, but far from sufficient; as it is perfectly possible to tabulate RCV ballots for the advantage of incumbents rather than to express the will of the voters. Better to focus on how those ballots are counted, and for that I recommend multi-seat districts elected with ranked choice ballots tabulated using single transferable voting methods. There are multiple means for computing winning thresholds and some variations on how the rounds are tabulated and excess votes and exhausted ballots are transferred based on voter intent which I will leave to political scientists more knowledgeable on these subjects than am I. I will tell you that when, twenty-two years ago, as the founding Secretary of the Georgia Green Party, and later, fifteen years ago, as a member of the bylaws committee for the Green Party of the United States, I was responsible for researching, formulating and recommending election rules for each organization, we chose in each instance a droop threshold and depended for our model rules on Fair Vote.

We also must ditch the computer-mediated elections and restore universal use of paper ballots hand tabulated by committees cooperating towards that end by political adversaries.

We must tear down the barriers to the ballot for new parties and independent candidates (an area where I can celebrate a handful of extremely significant victories, particularly Georgia Green Party vs Kemp, a case which cites six times my own affidavit in the matter, documenting years of work challenging the barriers in Georgia).

Only by populating election boards with more than two parties will we be able to do something meaningful about the voter purges.

We need reforms in the redistricting process, mostly to require multi-member districts which empower voters to choose their elected representatives before elected officials choose their preffered voters.

I welcome direct communication to explore these questions further, and am hopeful that our announcement next week, in sha Allah, will provide provide many women here a vehicle for pursuing this conversation. If you are eager to get going now, please consider joining the Dialogue Not Expulsion Caucus, which has served as a place where we are incubating the new initiative.

[–] Ghostofbelaabzug 3 points (+3|-0) Edited

Better to focus on how those ballots are counted, and for that I recommend multi-seat districts elected with ranked choice ballots tabulated using single transferable voting methods. There are multiple means for computing winning thresholds and some variations on how the rounds are tabulated and excess votes and exhausted ballots are transferred based on voter intent

Could you explain this further? I have to admit I don't understand what you're saying here.

We also must ditch the computer-mediated elections and restore universal use of paper ballots hand tabulated by committees cooperating towards that end by political adversaries.

Wouldn't this be prohibitively expensive? For example, New York City. Say 3 million votes are cast. You would need at least a few hundred people working to count them if you want the results in a reasonable time. Even paying minimum wage, that's millions of dollars. Not to mention finding a trustworthy group of people able to work just a few weeks a year. NYC could afford this, but what about other counties?

We must tear down the barriers to the ballot for new parties and independent candidates (an area where I can celebrate a handful of extremely significant victories, particularly Georgia Green Party vs Kemp, a case which cites six times my own affidavit in the matter, documenting years of work challenging the barriers in Georgia). Only by populating election boards with more than two parties will we be able to do something meaningful about the voter purges.

I agree with all this. It's a self-perpetuating problem. The people in charge are invested in keeping themselves in power.

[–] hesco 4 points (+4|-0) Edited

@Ghostofbelaabzug:

This is how we explained proportional representation to the members of the Georgia General Assembly during the 2001 special session when they were drawing district maps.

Actual democracies all over the world manage to hand-tabulate paper ballots and often times using systems of proportional representation. I worked a campaign in Canada, which by organizing reasonably sized precincts (polling stations), managed to report results by midnight after the close of the polls. In the absence of paper ballots the integrity of the election and its results is left in doubt -- too many ways they can be manipulated to reflect a computer crackers intent rather than that of the voter. Its been years since I was intimately involved in this issue, but I suspect that Bev Harris' site, Black Box Voting still remains true to its mission. And if you want to know more on the issue, let me know and I can connect you to our state party's 2020 nominee for the U.S. Senate, whom I rely on these days to keep me in the loop on important developments.

Okay, I understand now. I'm in favor of proportional representation and I do believe it's the way to fight the two-party system.

As for the paper ballots, I am not sure they are feasible in America. The population of the entirety of Canada is one-tenth that of America. I don't know if paper ballots could scale to the level necessary in America.

[–] NewMa 4 points (+4|-0)

Get rid of "first past the post" single member district plurality voting.

Which federally means constitutional convention.

[–] pennygadget 3 points (+3|-0)

I'm pessimistic about toppling the 2 party system. If the shit show that was the Clinton/Trump election didn't open the door for a viable 3rd party to step in, I don't know what will! The only 3rd party with a snowball's chance is the Libertarians. And they're too busy fixating on legalized drugs & prostitutes to get anything done.

I'd love to be proven wrong. Because at this point our only option might be to wash our hands of the Democrats and try electing moderate Republicans until the left stops throwing women under the bus and taking our votes for granted