Oct 18, 2010

Frum Forum Talks Third Party Strategy

Two articles at the Frum Forum today consider the possibilities of third party politics.  The first, "Third Party: It's Alive":
Republican political strategist Mark McKinnon – veteran of McCain and Bush presidential campaigns – acknowledged in an exclusive FrumForum interview with editor David Frum that a third-party presidential effort for 2012 was not far off, and hinted at his involvement in one.

In the podcast interview, McKinnon, who was discussing his recent Daily Beast column “A Centrist Manifesto”, lamented that “there’s nobody that gets rewarded for bipartisan behavior, [and] in fact they get punished.” To that end, he said, “there is a very real possibility for a legitimate third party effort for 2012 … American voters are so hungry for more voice, and more choice.” While reluctant to discuss the matter much further because announcements are forthcoming, McKinnon did let on that he was at least somewhat involved . . .
The second is entitled, "How a third party could work":
Toward the end of our podcast interview, Republican ad genius Mark McKinnon drops a tantalizing hint. He suggests that this cycle, Third Party talk may turn out to be more than just talk.  By a funny coincidence, I heard the same thing last week from a senior Republican congressional figure. A couple of weeks previous, a big Democratic donor suggested the same thing over breakfast.  Tom Friedman of the New York Times wrote a column at the beginning of October that reported similar murmurings.
I know of at least two serious groups, one on the East Coast and one on the West Coast, developing “third parties” to challenge our stagnating two-party duopoly that has been presiding over our nation’s steady incremental decline.
Interestingly, the discontent seems even more acute among conservative Democrats than among moderate Republicans. Conservative Democrats wanted a return to the Clinton approach: business-friendly government and balanced budgets. They are aghast at what they got instead. Moderate Republicans like McKinnon, by contrast, seem less offended by their party’s policies than by its extremist spokespersons and divisive political methods.
It’s easy to imagine these two groups getting together. But to become a national force, they need something more than disgust at “politics as usual” . . .


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. It is very interesting.

Anonymous said...

This mid-term election will be a bell-weather.

If the tea partiers pull some upsets (especially if the GOP takes the senate), you'll see unification in the GOP that will carry them into 2012. A loss for either Crist or Kirk will cement the belief that centrist GOP'ers can't win.

But if the dems keep the senate and exit polling shows that the GOP would have taken it with Castle, Spector, Crist, Murkowski, Grayson, Simmons, etc on the ballot instead of their tea party counterparts, there will be a lot of momentum for a "bull moose party" to claim the competent center-right that the GOP has abandoned -- you might even see Lieberman and McCain join in.

Jack said...

One thing that limits the effectiveness of political parties is their lack of accountability to the voter.

Because most states require individual that candidates be nomination by a primary election, politicians are normally organized by money and powerful incumbent politicians (ie DNC, RNC, Hill committees )

One elected politician can't pass a law. One elected politician can't even get a bill out of committee! The voters tend to be much more interested in political platforms. Perhaps we should remind our favorite candidates of our lack of enthusiasm for any candidates that can't find a single other candidate that agrees with them - on even a single (specific) issue!

The Internet allows candidates to jointly sign and cheaply distribute virtual platforms similar to the Republican "Contract with America," or The Democrat's "100 Hours Plan."

IMO: Any party, or caucus of candidates, that makes use of this tactic will increase their clout with the voters.