Constitutional Referendum: Scrap the Two-Party System

Looking at other national models, I am becoming convinced that a major stumbling block to progress and reform in America is the Two Party System.  It is much easier for corporations to corrupt our politicians with bribery lobbying money and to blackmail unduly influence them with promises of jobs in private industry. 

A parliamentary system would allow for the creation of multiple political parties, none of which have to gain a majority to form a national government, and which will be forced to strike a healthy balance between coaltion-building, compromise, and responding to constituent issues. 

Imagine a political party…
  1. - whose highest profile politician was openly gay;
  2. - that fights to stop the penetration of GMOs into the food supply;
  3. - that actually implements a progressive tax structure on individuals and businesses;
  4. - that will prefer to RAISE TAXES instead of CUTTING SOCIAL BENEFITS;
  5. - that fights to balance its budget;
  6. - that believes in Nuclear Disarmament;
  7. - that rejects the building of coal and nuclear facilities;
  8. - that SPENDS money to build hydroelectric, geothermal, solar, and wind generation facilities;
  9. - that defends the rights of the family farmer;
  10. - that redirects Union donations to building INFRASTRUCTURE that creates jobs;
  11. - that fights for free college tuition for all residents;
  12. - that believes in tax-payer funded public education for all children;
  13. - that stood AGAINST the Iraq War, the Afghanistan War, and the “War on Terror”;
  14. - that places a Green Economy at the top of its agenda;
  15. - that seeks to open dialogue with all parties in the Middle East, not just the ones NATO deems okay;
  16. - that rejects the placement of nuclear weapons by NATO in its nation’s borders;
  17. - that rejects the privatization of ANY public sector service;
  18. - that rejects the predatory lending of a Central Bank-backed financial services industry;
  19. - that believes in building jobs and a future for the residents of its own nation first, and then extending those benefits through trade and commerce to other nations second;
  20. - that rejects the investment in a military-industrial complex altogether, openly preferring the building of schools, libraries, and critical civilian infrastructure;
  21. - that believes in increasing unemployment benefits and help for the poor, while providing as much assistance as possible to make them employed and lift them out of poverty;
  22. - that supports the use of limited force in Libya to prevent the slaughter of innocent civilians, but opposes the killing of civilians as collateral damage;
  23. - that condemns the drone airstrikes of the United States in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen;
  24. - that supports the creation of a Palestinian State in the West Bank, with full diplomatic recognition for both a free and independent Palestine and a free and secure Israel;
  25. - that fights for the full equality of same-sex marriages in all matters of property, adoption, family law, and estate inheritance ;
  26. - that agrees with the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and the establishment of the International Criminal Court;
  27. - that believes in a Nationalized Health Care, bereft of any Insurance Middleman, that allows complete access for ALL RESIDENTS to ALL HEALTHCARE through a simple tax scheme that ALL parties (business and individual) must pay into on a PROGRESSIVE TAX RATE;
  28. - that accomplishes JOB CREATION at the same time as TAX INCREASES on the wealthiest members of its society and still manages to cut red tape bureacracy that burdens the middle class while still implementing practical and effective REGULATIONS on industry that don’t fall prey to regulatory capture or lobbyist enticements…;
  29. - And that earns the enmity of Right-Wing hate groups for being too inclusive of Muslims;
  30. - that has the country’s first muslim representative, Bashir Ahmad;
  31. - and still maintains its identity as a staunch Nationalist party (that includes ALL faiths, creeds, and ethnicities);
  32. - and best of all… that has had at least 4 years in major national officeholding positions to prove that its candidates don’t just talk the talk, but WALK THE WALK and implement policies that it promises during campaign season.
Can you imagine such a political party?  I can.  It’s called the Scottish National Party with Alex Salmond as the most recent First Minister of Scotland (from 2007 to March 22, 2011) and Alyn Smith as the Scottish representative in the European Parliament at Brussels.  Scotland is entering elections this week for the next Parliamentary Government.  You can hear the Podcasts for the past 4 years where MPs of Labour, Conservative, Green and Liberal Democrat parties in Scotland all had a chance to put questions to First Minister Salmond about events here.
 
This party has accomplished ALMOST ALL of  those things, and more.   The Full Equality for Gay Couples campaign can be futher understood at these links:  Catholic Church clashes with SNP, and  The SNP is the only party in Scotland that support separation from England to therefore legislate on Same-Sex Marriage independent of all objections by Westminster, and the SNP openly criticizes the Westminster government every chance it gets.  (Since laws impacting families and inheritance are governed out of London, Scotland cannot pass laws legalizing it until it achieves independence from England through a Referendum of Separation that the SNP is attempting to push). 
But, before we get too critical of the SNP’s inability to yet declare independence from the “oppressive” climate out of Westminster, lets be very fair here and compare the UK’s laws on LGBT rights vs. the United States (which is to say that for all the tyranny of London, it makes the US look like a medieval backwater).  And more here.
While the Free Church of Scotland still holds some degree of influence and sway over most Scots, it is not a heavy-handed evangelical “Palinite” version of church, but instead it puts a much highet priority on the feeding of the poor and the development of a community for all.  It rejects violence as a national policy, and it rejects the materialism of the American born and bred “Prosperity Gospel.”
 
The stereotypes of the miserly Scottish Scrooge, or the penny-pinching and hard-assed Scotsman is no longer a fair analysis.  The hard work ethic and sense of personal responsibility is still a strong hallmark of modern Scotland, but I would venture to say that the more vicious and selfish strains of that ideology either withered away or left for other shores over the past 3 centuries.  What remains is a peope that is conscientious of their environment and each other.  They protest the human rights abuses of ANY nation (the US, Israel, England, Russia, China, etc), and they reject any notions of Western intellectual superiority or imperial domination of other cultures.  Even today, the Scots are marching in London against the “austerity” measures being imposed from Westminster.  And today, every single Scottish city and municipality has joined in the Earth Hour shutdown – the first and only nation in the world to have 100% voluntary participation for this event.
 
We may live in America, but we can remember that some of our greatest heroes and inspiration in early American history came from Scotland, and we can be renewed and inspired again by their current solutions to the new challenges of our modern world.
 

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