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democracy

KUZMINSKI: Nation’s Two-Party System Guarantees ‘The Iron Law Of Oligarchy’

Column by Adrian Kuzminski, April 20, 2018

Nation’s Two-Party

System Guarantees

‘The Iron Law Of Oligarchy’

ADRIAN KUZMINSKI

Most voters enroll in one or the other major party, though the number of non-party enrollees has grown in recent years. In our area, and nationally, it’s very roughly one third Democrat, one third Republican, and one third non-partisan, or independent (small “i”).
The two-party system goes back to the battles between Alexander
Hamilton’s Federalists and Thomas
Jefferson’s Republicans. The
Jeffersonian Republicans have since morphed into the Democrats,
and the Federalists into the
Republicans.
Unfortunately, these parties have become a big part of what’s wrong, rather than what’s right, with American politics.
The two political parties – they are not mentioned in the Constitution – have a strangle-hold on the electoral process. It’s difficult, though not impossible, to get on the ballot without the approval of one or the other party.
In the current race in the 19th CD, for instance, party enrollees need to collect only 1,250 signatures to get on the primary ballot. But if you run as an independent, you need 3,500 signatures.
Party candidates have other advantages. They can go to their county party committees to pitch for support and recruit volunteers to circulate their petitions. The parties are also a source of money for candidates.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, APRIL 22
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, APRIL 22

Honoring Our Legacy Of Inclusion

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INTERFAITH COMMUNITY GATHERING – 3 p.m. Program titled “With Malice Toward Non: Honoring America’s Legacy of Religious Inclusion.” Affirming America’s principles of democracy, religious freedom, compassion, and unity for people of all faiths. Temple Beth El, 83 Chestnut St., Oneonta. Info, Ken Sider, ksider@hotmail.com or visit www.templebetheloneonta.org/2017/04/with-malice-toward-none/

EARTH FESTIVAL – 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. 13th annual festival featuring interactive exhibits, activities, vendors, and entertainment. Milford Central School, 42 W. Main St, Milford. Info, occainfo.org/calendar/earth-festival-2017/

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, MAR. 21
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, MAR. 21

Village Polls Open Noon-9

14-19eventspageVILLAGE ELECTION – Noon-9 p.m. Cooperstown residents will have the opportunity to vote on which candidates will become a Village Trustees. Cooperstown Fire hall. Info, cooperstownny.org/village-election-to-be-held-march-21-2017-noon-to-9pm-at-cooperstown-fire-hall-click-here-for-details/

COMMON COUNCIL – 7 p.m. Common Council Chambers, City Hall, 258 Main St., Oneonta. Info, City Clerk (607)432-6450

HIGH SCHOOL MID-WINTER CONCERT – 7:30-9 p.m. Auditorium, Cooperstown Central School, 39 Linden Ave., Cooperstown. Info, www.cooperstowncs.org

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