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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Anti-gay and anti-tax

This week we wrote about a mailer we had received from something called Common Sense for Oregon, strongly urging us to sign a petition that would put on the ballot a repeal of the Oregon estate tax -- or the "death tax," as its opponents like to call it.

As it turns out, other readers got the same pitch in the mail, but with a different return address. One of them writes:

For fun, I (a gay partnered, liberal Democrat) am on the Oregon "Family" Council's mailing list. I was surprised to receive, instead of the usual anti-gay political campaign information, the nearly identical anti-"death tax" solicitation as you. There probably isn't much difference between anti-tax conservatives and anti-gay conservatives, but they seem to be careful about branding.

It's an interesting reflection of what's wrong with politics, in Oregon and elsewhere. Having just two major political parties blends economic issues and other social issues in an unhealthy way. If you're "progressive" about abortion and gay marriage, then you have to go for "urban renewal" with it. If you oppose gay marriage, then you're supposed to hate wealth taxation, too.

We'd be better off with 10 parties, with various mixes and matches of positions on various issues. In the corporate realm, investors have said quite clearly that they don't want conglomerates -- they want the managers of a firm to stick to the knitting and let the investors assemble their own portfolios. It would be great if voters made the same statement about their politicians.

Comments (12)

As much as I'd like to see viable third parties in the US, it's just not going to happen without significant changes to our electoral system. The "first past the post" voting system doesn't allow third parties to win seats in our legislative bodies and the presidential system further encourages a two-party system.

The two major parties aren't going to give up their positions of dominance without a fight and, if the city charter votes are any indication, the citizenry doesn't seem to be interested in changing our political systems no matter how dysfunctional they may be.

I am jealous of corporations that have perpetual life and never have to pay a death tax. I demand equal protection and a judicial award of perpetual life.

Corporations and their shareholders are taxed when the corporation liquidates.

If it works in Portland, ME, maybe it'll work here.

I agree that the current highly polarized situation is awful and someone please clarify if I'm off the mark, but if there were lots of parties wouldn't we be at risk of an extremist minority winning an election simply because they happened to come out with the highest vote count?

Perhaps, like the EU we've simply become too fractured for any significant number of voters to ever agree on anything.

I agree Mr. Grumpy. If there are too many folks running for office in various stages of the middle, the worst choice could win by the old divide and conquer method.

We may be ready for the move to one good third party though. No easy change as PP points out.

The voters are between a rock and a hard spot sure, but the candidates are in a difficult place too. I mean, if you don't sign on for the whole party agenda then you won't get party support. Without that, it's a tough road.

"...the worst choice could win by the old divide and conquer method."

Aren't you talking about Bill Clinton?

Of course, Mr Big Ears (no, not Barack, Ross) or Herbert-Walker might not have been any better.

Gibby and Grumpy- Instant runoff voting is designed to eliminate those kinds of negative consequences. See my link above.

Based on Jack's post, there's material for a third party that is socially progressive and economically conservative. Is there a fourth party that is economically progressive but socially conservative?

Given that both the Republicans and the Democrats seem hell-bent to cater to the extreme fringes of their constituency, I'm more than ready for a "Centrist Party" whose platform is smack down the middle. Cater to the middle 50%, not the 25% extreme at either end of the party spectrum.

Kai and Erik - Completely agreed. Sign me up for the Centrist party.

Kai there was an economically progressive but socially conservative party called the States' Rights Democratic Party (Dixiecrats). Fortunately, it dissolved in 1948. If the Republicans didn't at least pretend to be social conservatives, they wouldn't get many votes. Government spending and entitlements always sound good to the masses of uninformed voters. I mean, what percentage of the population do you think can actually read and understand a balance sheet? The readers of this blog are not the target market for the messages of politicians’ campaigns. If the right didn't pander to Christians, America would've voted itself into communism and bankruptcy by now. It might yet.

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