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Author Topic: Bipartisan Presidential Ticket?  (Read 985 times)

2Lacoste

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Bipartisan Presidential Ticket?
« on: July 25, 2006, 04:51:46 PM »
I just got to wondering -- will there ever be a major bipartisan presidential ticket?  Will we ever see a well-known Republican and Democrat pair up to fight the problems that face America?  Or are we entirely too polarized for that to ever happen? 

While pondering, check out this movement to form a bipartisan ticket in 2008:


www.unity08.com

Who We Are   

Unity08 is a group of citizens deeply concerned that the wheels have come off our political system, that the American Dream is slipping away, and that time is short to get things back on track.

We are of all ages, backgrounds, colors and beliefs and from both parties:

Some of us have been involved in political campaigns at the state and national levels and served in high government positions.
Others of our leadership group have never been active in political life but have been highly successful in the private sector, active in the non-profit world and in other walks of American life.
Still others of our leadership group are students, who are concerned that the agenda of special interests is coming before the national interest.
 View the Unity08 Founders Council.

What We Believe 

Unity08 believes that neither of today’s major parties reflects the aspirations, fears or will of the majority of Americans. Both have polarized and alienated the people. Both are unduly influenced by single-issue groups. Both are excessively dominated by money.

For most of the 20th Century, the contest for the U.S. presidency was waged over those “in the middle.” Recent Presidential elections, however, have not been focused on the middle but on the turnout of each party’s special interest groups – with each party’s “base” representing barely ten percent of the American people.

We believe that, while the leaders of both major parties are well intentioned people, they are trapped in a flawed system – and that the two major parties are today simply neither relevant to the issues and challenges of the 21st Century nor effective in addressing them.

As a result, most Americans have not been enthusiastic about the choices for President in recent elections, the key issues they ran on, or the manner in which the campaigns were conducted.

Therefore Unity08 will act to assure that an alternative ticket is presented to the American voters in 2008.

Our Goals

We have set three specific goals, and are exploring how best to achieve them.

Goal One is the election of a Unity Ticket for President and Vice-President of the United States in 2008 – headed by a woman and/or man from each major party or by an independent who presents a Unity Team from both parties.
Goal Two is for the people themselves to pick that Unity Ticket in the first half of 2008 – via a virtual and secure online convention in which all American voters will be qualified to vote.
Goal Three, our minimum goal, is to effect major change and reform in the 2008 national elections by influencing the major parties to adopt the core features of our national agenda. With a group of voters who comprise at least 20% of the national electorate, we feel confident that our voters will decide the 2008 election.
The new ground broken in meeting our goals will include new choices for voters, new opportunities for candidates, and new uses of modern technology as well. In pursuing our goals, we will both follow the law in every instance and seek the opinion of the Federal Elections Commission to interpret the law where we are breaking new ground. (In fact we are currently seeking an FEC advisory opinion to guide our early decisions.)

We are not looking to build a new and permanent party. That might happen, but our objective is to fix the old parties. A Unity Ticket in office for one term or even taking part in just one election can bring new ideas, new integrity and new leaders to the fore.

We will not waste time assessing blame. Both parties and all of us who have been active in them share responsibility for the current political morass. We hope instead to return the focus of our politics and policy to the common good – those ideas and traditions which unite and empower us as individuals and as a people.

Unity08 on the Issues 

Unity08 divides issues facing the country into two categories: Crucial Issues – on which America’s future safety and welfare depend; and Important Issues – which, while vital to some, will not, in our judgment, determine the fate or future of the United States.

In our opinion, Crucial Issues include: Global terrorism, our national debt, our dependence on foreign oil, the emergence of India and China as strategic competitors and/or allies, nuclear proliferation, global climate change, the corruption of Washington’s lobbying system, the education of our young, the health care of all, and the disappearance of the American Dream for so many of our people.

By contrast, we consider gun control, abortion and gay marriage important issues, worthy of debate and discussion in a free society, but not issues that should dominate or even crowd our national agenda.

In our opinion – since the disintegration of the Soviet Union – our political system seems to have focused more attention on the “important issues” than the “crucial issues.” One result: The political parties have been built to address the interests of their “base” but have failed to address the realities that impact most Americans.

Why Unity08 Will Succeed

Here are four reasons we believe the Unity08 movement will succeed:

The American people know that the current political system is broken and that the time is short to fix it.
A solidly-funded movement of up to 20,000,000 Americans can be built online in order to nominate a Unity Ticket of their choice for 2008.
Seeing the numbers, leaders in both parties will see that a Unity Ticket in 2008 represents the jolt the political system needs to get back on track.
The tens of millions of Americans who have not been voting out of cynicism toward the current system are likely to rally to new leadership with a new approach.
The genius of America is that every generation redefines freedom in its own terms for its own times. Unity08, in a tradition as old as our country itself, is committed to still another rebirth of freedom.


For more information about Unity08, please view the Frequently Asked Questions page and the Governance page.

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SouthSide

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Re: Bipartisan Presidential Ticket?
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2006, 06:55:18 AM »
I don't know about a bipartisan ticket, but I've heard a lot of talk about a third party forming in the next couple years. Probably with McCain as the presidential candidate. If this happened, I think he'd pick either a liberal Republican (like Pataki) as his running mate, or seek a conservative Democrat.

It gets complicated, though. Thanks to the red state-blue state divide, the middle candidate could get the most popular votes and not get a single electoral vote. (The Republican would barely win the red states, and the Democrat would barely win the blue states) Then you'd have a situation where you're electing a President with a very small percentage of popular support.

The Unity08 idea is interesting, but they don't seem to take any positions. In reality, a challenge to the two-party system will likely only emerge with a strong focus on a single issue that has resonance with the American public but is not being focused on by either party. I think your best bet would be a candidate focusing on immigration or health care.
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mivida2k

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Re: Bipartisan Presidential Ticket?
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2006, 09:27:20 AM »
McCain does not have a chance of winning the Republican nomination.  I could see Lieberman crazy self tryin to form a thrid party, but McCain is too loyal to the Republican Party.  His Party can insult him, call him unpatriotic,  undermine him, even make him question whether he was actually a POW and he would still not leave that party.
The president's approval rating has dropped to 33 percent, matching his low in May. His handling of nearly every issue, from the Iraq war to foreign policy, contributed to the president's decline around the nation, even in the Republican-friendly South.

2Lacoste

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Re: Bipartisan Presidential Ticket?
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2006, 09:44:20 AM »
McCain does not have a chance of winning the Republican nomination.  I could see Lieberman crazy self tryin to form a thrid party, but McCain is too loyal to the Republican Party.  His Party can insult him, call him unpatriotic,  undermine him, even make him question whether he was actually a POW and he would still not leave that party.


goldwater-esque.  it's an arizona thing, apparently.
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SouthSide

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Re: Bipartisan Presidential Ticket?
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2006, 09:55:53 AM »
McCain does not have a chance of winning the Republican nomination.  I could see Lieberman crazy self tryin to form a thrid party, but McCain is too loyal to the Republican Party.  His Party can insult him, call him unpatriotic,  undermine him, even make him question whether he was actually a POW and he would still not leave that party.

Hmmm. I don't recall the Republicans doing those things to McCain. I think he would happily leave the party if he thought a third party was a viable way of making it to the White House. He clearly desperately wants to be President. I don't think it's party loyalty that's holding him to the GOP as much as his (probably correct) belief that the two major parties hold the keys to the White House for the foreseeable future.

If he doesn't get the nomination in '06 (I think he's got a shot), then he might consider an independent bid. It will be interesting to watch.
Columbia 2L.

cui bono?

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Re: Bipartisan Presidential Ticket?
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2006, 10:06:11 AM »
McCain does not have a chance of winning the Republican nomination.  I could see Lieberman crazy self tryin to form a thrid party, but McCain is too loyal to the Republican Party.  His Party can insult him, call him unpatriotic,  undermine him, even make him question whether he was actually a POW and he would still not leave that party.

TITCR. 
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality...  I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word - -Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

mivida2k

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Re: Bipartisan Presidential Ticket?
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2006, 10:17:05 AM »
McCain does not have a chance of winning the Republican nomination.  I could see Lieberman crazy self tryin to form a thrid party, but McCain is too loyal to the Republican Party.  His Party can insult him, call him unpatriotic,  undermine him, even make him question whether he was actually a POW and he would still not leave that party.

Hmmm. I don't recall the Republicans doing those things to McCain. I think he would happily leave the party if he thought a third party was a viable way of making it to the White House. He clearly desperately wants to be President. I don't think it's party loyalty that's holding him to the GOP as much as his (probably correct) belief that the two major parties hold the keys to the White House for the foreseeable future.

If he doesn't get the nomination in '06 (I think he's got a shot), then he might consider an independent bid. It will be interesting to watch.

Bush and some members of the Republican Party didn't do what? ::)

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4506988/
http://www.bartcopnation.com/dc/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=8&topic_id=522
The president's approval rating has dropped to 33 percent, matching his low in May. His handling of nearly every issue, from the Iraq war to foreign policy, contributed to the president's decline around the nation, even in the Republican-friendly South.

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Re: Bipartisan Presidential Ticket?
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2006, 10:44:19 AM »
make him question whether he was a pow!  :D they definitely tried to run him out of the party. And all for Bush.

I think Unity 08 has a good platform, but the electoral college is the problem like the previous poster said. I wish that the electoral college were abolished but the smaller states wouldn't go for an amendment of that kind. State like Utah have too much power in terms of the election and its clearly another tool of white supremacy. thats my black power moment for the day. lol.

2Lacoste

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Re: Bipartisan Presidential Ticket?
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2006, 10:47:38 AM »
Stanford professor stumps for electoral alternative
Matthew Yi, Chronicle Sacramento Bureau

Monday, July 24, 2006


(07-24) 04:00 PDT Sacramento -- A Stanford University computer science professor has come up with an idea to circumvent the more than 200-year-old Electoral College system and institute a national popular vote to elect the president of the United States.

The proposal by John Koza, who also invented the scratch-off lottery ticket, is receiving serious consideration by lawmakers in several states. Legislators in California, New York, Colorado, Illinois and Missouri have sponsored bills to enact such a plan.

Koza's scheme calls for an interstate compact that would require states to throw all of their electoral votes behind the winner of the national popular vote, regardless of which candidate wins in each state. The plan doesn't require all 50 states to join, but a combination of states that represent a majority (at least 270) of the electoral votes. If the largest states join in the agreement, only 11 would be needed.

Supporters say the proposal would avoid such controversial results as the 2000 presidential election when Republican George W. Bush was declared the winner despite losing the popular vote to Al Gore, a Democrat. There were three other instances in the history of the United States -- 1824, 1876 and 1888 -- when the winner of the popular vote lost in the Electoral College vote.

Proponents say Koza's proposal is ingenious because it would avoid the immensely difficult task of trying to get rid of the Electoral College system by amending the U.S. Constitution.

Koza, who co-wrote a 620-page book detailing why it's time to change the system and how his plan would work, said his goal for this year was to let his ideas germinate with hopes of catching the attention of some state lawmakers. But the proposal caught on faster than expected.

In Sacramento, a bill by Assemblyman Tom Umberg, D-Santa Ana, has cleared the state Assembly on a largely partisan vote and gained approval in a state Senate policy committee, a positive sign that it may pass the Senate as well. A spokesman for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said the governor has not taken an official position on the bill.

"I think that the Electoral College no longer serves a useful purpose," Umberg said. "I think direct election of the president by the citizens of the U.S. is a better way to go."

Assemblyman Mike Villines, R-Clovis (Fresno County), however, argues that a national popular vote is a bad idea that would force presidential campaigns to focus only on large urban areas such as Los Angeles, New York and Miami.

And that explains why five Republican lawmakers in New York have sponsored a bill in that state, he said.

"I think it really hurts the (election) process and, to me, I think it disenfranchises a lot of voters," he said.

Still, in other states like Colorado and Illinois, Koza's idea have found bipartisan support.

"We were surprised that this would happen so quickly," Koza said.

Critics argue that there is nothing wrong with the current system of U.S. citizens voting for a slate of electors who in turn cast the actual ballot to elect the president.

"I don't see any reason to change the Electoral College system," said John Pitney Jr., professor of American politics at Claremont McKenna College. "After the 2000 elections, there was a dispute of what happened in Florida, but people didn't seem too concerned afterward. Most Americans see the outcome as legitimate."

The Electoral College has been part of the U.S. presidential election process since the very beginning. It was conceived as a compromise between election by the Congress, which the Founding Fathers thought would give lawmakers too much control over the president, and direct election by U.S. citizens.

Each state has one elector for each of its representatives in the U.S. House and Senate. When voters go to the polls, they are in fact picking the electors who actually choose the candidate.

Currently, all but Maine and Nebraska have instituted the winner-take-all system, meaning 48 states -- including California -- award all of their electoral votes to the candidate who has won their state's popular vote. Maine and Nebraska award their electoral votes according to the results in each congressional district. Colorado attempted to go down a similar route in 2004, but voters rejected the idea.

Koza, a registered Democrat who served as an elector in 1992 and 2000, claims the current system also has resulted in presidential campaigns largely ignoring states that heavily favor a particular party or candidate. California, which has strongly supported Democratic candidates in recent presidential elections, has become a state that candidates only visit to conduct fundraisers, he said.

"The main thing wrong with the current system is that two-thirds of the states are left out from the whole system ... because a (presidential) candidate has no reason to campaign in those states where they are way ahead or way behind," said Koza, 63, who lives in Los Altos Hills. "It's not just whose baby gets kissed in which campaign, it means that, for example, California issues such as Pacific Rim issues, high tech, California's agriculture don't get addressed."

Koza said he believes a direct popular vote is the answer.

However, getting rid of the Electoral College by amending the U.S. Constitution would not be an easy task. It requires a two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress as well as acceptance by three-fourths of the states.

So, rather than eliminating the Electoral College system, Koza is proposing to use two provisions in the Constitution to circumvent the system: interstate compacts and the states' power to decide how they award their electoral votes.

While many political scientists say this is a legally viable way to institute a national popular vote without amending the Constitution, finding enough states to jump on board will be difficult.

"In terms of the likelihood of this actually happening, I think it's pretty slim, considering many of the states have vastly different political leanings," said Nancy Martorano, an assistant political science professor at the University of Dayton in Ohio. "I just don't think states like Texas and California will ever enter into any sort of interstate compact."

Perhaps an easier fix would be to change the states' winner-take-all system to awarding electoral votes in proportion to the popular vote, Martorano said.

Despite his day job as a computer scientist, pushing for major initiatives is not new for Koza, who admits he is a longtime Electoral College junkie.

In 1984, he was the brains behind the California state lottery initiative, which voters approved that November. At the time, he was running a company in Atlanta that made lottery tickets for more than a dozen states and wanted to expand his business by introducing lottery initiatives in various states.

Koza said he sees his latest efforts as a longer marathon. He believes it would take at least a few years to get enough states on board.

"Realistically, we would probably need about half of the states," he said. "But we've gotten some good responses so far."

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SouthSide

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Re: Bipartisan Presidential Ticket?
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2006, 12:17:58 PM »
I've read about that proposal before, lacoste, but thanks for reminding me of it. It's a fascinating idea. It's astounding that the legislatures of 11 states could de facto make such a major amendment to the Constitutional method of picking Presidents. I'd love to see the reaction if this proposal got going. It would change everything.

Columbia 2L.