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Platforms: From the Voters Perspective
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Our National Committees: Ever wonder what they do?Short Introduction
Most other nations allow independent member organizations to form political parties. Citizen controlled parties "own" their ballot name. Individual candidates must be approved by the organization before the can run under the political party's name. The political party members, directly or indirectly, can write and approve enforceable political platforms that give political unity to the party. Since one politician cannot pass a law or even get a bill out of a committee, groups of voters will naturally be attracted to a political party that organizes politicians around specific issues that interest them. That is the function of both the political party and the political platform. Other parties will attract other voters with different platforms.
In the US we have National Committees. These National Committees run the Presidential elections. We also have the Hill Committees, which is the common terminology for the committees that work to elect members of their own party to the House and Senate.
There is some confusion about the terminology. Hill Committees can also be called National Committees by Republicans. The Republicans have the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Consequently the words "National Committees" are often used generically for all national campaign committees.
One thing is consistent. These committees are all controlled by powerful incumbent politicians. The DNC, and RNC, and the respective Hill committees, all collect money at the national level. They organize politicians with cold hard cash. I have been told that they do not fund candidates in primary elections. However, they do provide guidelines about certain political issues that might limit financial support, if they happen to win the primary election.
Author Kevin Phillips points out that our glorious committees do more than just provide the convenience of one-stop shopping for donors. Apparently when both the financial donors and our national committees are willing to work together they can create a great deal of “bipartisanship.”
Bipartisanship and our Glorious National Committees
Quotes from Arrogant Capital by Kevin Phillips
1994, Chapter V page 123
Aspects of Republican-Democratic rivalry seems as staged and as phony as American professional wrestling. Since the 1980's bipartisanship in the United States frequently involves suspending electoral combat to orchestrate some outcome with no great public support, but a high priority among key elites.
In foreign policy, these issues have included the Panama Canal treaties and NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico. On the Domestic front, bipartisan commissions or summit meetings have been used to increase Social Security taxes on average Americans while the income tax rates of the rich were coming down and to raise the salaries of members of Congress.
The pay raise deal involved walking on so many political eggshells that both sides negotiated an extraordinary side bargain: that the Democratic and Republican National Committees would refuse to fund any congressional candidate who broke the bipartisan agreement and made the pay raise an issue!
Some Purely Subjective Observations
1 The DNC or RNC can provide a significant amount of party unity by controlling who gets their money.
2 Any unity they provide would tend to be approved of by the donors.
3 Any time that significant numbers of the political elites of both political parties feel disturbed about voter influence, both the DNC and the RNC stand ready to do all in their power to eliminate that influence.
4 Very little information about the true objectives of either political party is readily available to the average voter. However, since 1994, perhaps due to the advent of Internet and the relatively cheap communication provided by digital networks, some party leaders have organized congressional politicians behind political platforms that can be distributed through the Internet as well as the mainstream media. ref Platforms: From the Voters Perspective
National Committees , Hill committees
Full permission for non-profit distribution
of the Helsinki Accords
Political parties, as they are defined in the traditional sense and in the international sense are effectively outlawed in the United States. In most democratic nations the people have the right to organize their own political parties.
Many nations have signed the Copenhagen Document of the Helsinki Accords into law. The Copenhagen Document of the Helsinki Accords states, in part:
(7.6) - respect the right of individuals and groups to establish, in full freedom, their own political parties or other political organizations and provide such political parties and organizations with the necessary legal guarantees to enable them to compete with each other on a basis of equal treatment before the law and by the authorities;...
SEE: What is a Political Party?
Modern U.S. attempts at realistic political party platforms.
One elected politician can't pass a law. One elected politician can't even get a bill out of a committee! Obviously voters would tend to be much more interested in political platforms.
Politicians can organize themselves, or be organized by money, or be organized along party lines by the party leadership, or any combination of those methods.
Do organized & specific political promises work?
Republican Contract with America
1994 midterm elections
Result Republicans gained control of both Houses of Congress
The Democrat's 100 hours plan
2006 midterm elections
Result Democrats gained control of both Houses of Congress
Republican Pledge to America
2010 midterm elections
Result Republicans gained control of the U.S. House of Representatives