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Party System

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NEWS
October 23, 2015
I CAN PINPOINT the precise moment when I realized that Hillary Clinton was as toxic as one of those old Superfund waste sites and needed to be eliminated from the political landscape so she'd stop leaching poison into the groundwater: about three-quarters of the way through the Democratic debate. Anderson Cooper (or one of the other indistinguishable CNN moderators) asked her which enemy she was proudest of making. I envisioned Monica Lewinsky, Kathleen Willey, Paula Jones and Gennifer Flowers jumping up and down in their own private living rooms saying, "Pick me, pick me!"
NEWS
April 30, 1992 | BY THEODORE J. LOWI, From the New York Times
Dear H. Ross Perot: You stand on the brink of history, and are about to fall in. The peril lies not with your aims or character but with your innocence of the costs and benefits of your opportunity. I am glad you are considering becoming an independent presidential candidate. But winning the election would be a great misfortune. You would have to govern as you were elected - alone. Without a political party, you would have to govern on the basis of plebiscites - constant appeals to the masses.
NEWS
February 7, 1988 | By David Lieber, Inquirer Staff Writer
"This affair seems like another chapter in the history of the Republican Party's machine dominance in Delaware County politics," said Priscilla Greeley Hopkirk, chairwoman of the Villanova University political science department. Hopkirk, a Nether Providence resident who recently studied the transcripts, said, "This is another illustration of the way the machine operates. " The plan by Republican leaders Nicholas F. Catania and Charles P. Sexton to get a straw candidate to run for controller in the 1981 Democratic primary was a "dirty trick," she said.
NEWS
March 12, 2007
WHERE ARE the Philly Republicans? Crime, corruption, taxes, school violence. Pick your issue. They should be holding protests around the city. Are there any city Republicans willing to stand up and fight and talk about these issues? You're going to be outspent, so you better start early. It might even be fun. It is embarrassing to watch the press talk about the next mayor and not even mention the Republicans, who controlled the city for 67 years before being swept out in a clean-up-the-government campaign called Sweep Them Out. To have a government reform campaign, you first have to speak up!
NEWS
February 27, 1992 | By EDWARD A. SCHWARTZ
The latest scandals surrounding the Philadelphia Housing Authority dramatize the fact that in Philadelphia we have, not one, but two governmental structures. One structure is the outward, ostensible structure that is supposedly involved in governance of the city. The other is the less visible, political party structure, which is set up - well, let's just say for other purposes. At certain times in the past these parallel structures have both had a perceived interest in providing effective government.
NEWS
April 18, 1991 | By Robert Zausner, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
Lt. Gov. Mark Singel said yesterday that he still wanted to run for the U.S. Senate, but not this year if Gov. Casey didn't want him to. He thinks he's the best candidate, he said, but Casey may not pick him to run, but, then again, Casey just might. Singel's multi-directional and somewhat confusing comments came during a hurriedly called news conference in his office. Exactly what they meant was a bit nebulous, but the reason Singel was commenting was clear. He wanted to "elucidate" on statements he made Tuesday in which he was quoted by the Associated Press as saying he might seek the Democratic nomination for a special U.S. Senate election in November even if he did not get Casey's backing.
NEWS
August 29, 1995 | By Andrew M. Greeley
Wouldn't it be nice to have a president who was a leader and not a politician? A person who was affiliated with neither party and was above politics? A person who could bring Americans together and resolve the problems that are tearing the country apart? Such yearnings led almost one-third of Americans to support the Ross Perot candidacy in 1992 (in opinion polls) and have seen almost as many dream of an independent race by Colin Powell in 1996. But the reality is, no, it wouldn't be nice to have such a candidate, much less such a president.
NEWS
June 30, 1988 | By Steve Goldstein, Inquirer Staff Writer
Perhaps they had thought it before. Perhaps they had even said it, to friends, on walks through Gorky Park or along the Moscow River. But certainly they never had said it to an American journalist. "The Communist Party is too powerful," Galina Zakharova, an engineer on her lunch break, said yesterday. "I agree with the idea that power should be taken away from the party. " "Yes, the soviets must be given more power," said Rinat Animayev, 34, a painter doing sidewalk portraits on the Arbat pedestrian mall.
NEWS
March 31, 2003
Remove partisanship from school board races While I wholeheartedly agree with the premise of Bob Martin's March 21 commentary ("School board members should be paid for their hard work"), I think he missed the bigger issue, which is the partisan nature of school board elections in Pennsylvania. Until the politics are removed from this very important role in our community and future, things will not improve, as the party system is a monstrous impediment to recruiting the best people for the job. Ten years ago, when I lived in another school district, a group of us were dissatisfied with our school board and mounted an independent campaign.
NEWS
July 13, 2016
By Rebecca Burgess Writing democracy's obituary has a history about as long as democracy's own life span. The 2016 diagnosis includes some now-familiar maladies: legislative gridlock or stagnation, hyperpartisan divides, and the capture of the halls of government by privileged special interests, whose fistfuls of dollars effectively mute the political voice of the average American. Under such circumstances, the report goes, democracy flatlines. But democracy isn't dead - it's quite alive, and its reactionary kicking against aspects of our modern administrative state explains a great deal about current levels of gridlock and partisanship.
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NEWS
July 13, 2016
By Rebecca Burgess Writing democracy's obituary has a history about as long as democracy's own life span. The 2016 diagnosis includes some now-familiar maladies: legislative gridlock or stagnation, hyperpartisan divides, and the capture of the halls of government by privileged special interests, whose fistfuls of dollars effectively mute the political voice of the average American. Under such circumstances, the report goes, democracy flatlines. But democracy isn't dead - it's quite alive, and its reactionary kicking against aspects of our modern administrative state explains a great deal about current levels of gridlock and partisanship.
NEWS
October 23, 2015
I CAN PINPOINT the precise moment when I realized that Hillary Clinton was as toxic as one of those old Superfund waste sites and needed to be eliminated from the political landscape so she'd stop leaching poison into the groundwater: about three-quarters of the way through the Democratic debate. Anderson Cooper (or one of the other indistinguishable CNN moderators) asked her which enemy she was proudest of making. I envisioned Monica Lewinsky, Kathleen Willey, Paula Jones and Gennifer Flowers jumping up and down in their own private living rooms saying, "Pick me, pick me!"
NEWS
March 25, 2013 | By George Will
Because of the grotesquely swollen place the presidency now occupies in the nation's governance and consciousness, we are never not preoccupied with presidential campaigning. The Constitution's framers would be appalled. The nation reveres the framers, but it long ago abandoned the presidential selection process they considered so important that they made it one of the four national institutions created by the Constitution. Hence the significance of the Republican National Committee's suggested reforms for the 2016 process.
NEWS
January 22, 2012
J.C.A. Stagg is professor of history and editor-in-chief of The Papers of James Madison at the University of Virginia, and author of the forthcoming The War of 1812: Conflict for a Continent from Cambridge University Press On Nov. 22, 1787, James Madison published, in the New York Daily Advertiser, what would become arguably his best-known work - the much celebrated 10th Federalist essay. Among the advantages promised by "a well constructed union," Madison wrote, "none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction.
NEWS
March 12, 2007
WHERE ARE the Philly Republicans? Crime, corruption, taxes, school violence. Pick your issue. They should be holding protests around the city. Are there any city Republicans willing to stand up and fight and talk about these issues? You're going to be outspent, so you better start early. It might even be fun. It is embarrassing to watch the press talk about the next mayor and not even mention the Republicans, who controlled the city for 67 years before being swept out in a clean-up-the-government campaign called Sweep Them Out. To have a government reform campaign, you first have to speak up!
NEWS
March 31, 2003
Remove partisanship from school board races While I wholeheartedly agree with the premise of Bob Martin's March 21 commentary ("School board members should be paid for their hard work"), I think he missed the bigger issue, which is the partisan nature of school board elections in Pennsylvania. Until the politics are removed from this very important role in our community and future, things will not improve, as the party system is a monstrous impediment to recruiting the best people for the job. Ten years ago, when I lived in another school district, a group of us were dissatisfied with our school board and mounted an independent campaign.
NEWS
November 13, 2002 | By Ted Glick
The dominant mass-media institutions that cover New Jersey politics, with very few exceptions, are very practiced in the task of choking off any popular interest in or respect for alternative-party candidacies. Day after day, as election campaigns move toward culmination, the news media repeat the constant siren song that democracy equals two parties only, that anything else is "fringy," "unrealistic," a silly diversion from the main match. This two-sided coverage, especially in reporting on political campaigns in New Jersey this year, sharply limited the value of information that citizens and voters of the state had at their disposal before choosing a candidate in the voting booth.
NEWS
October 28, 1998 | By Denise-Marie Balona, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
The cry for change, which is still barely beyond a yelp, has not been this loud in a long time, but it remains to be seen whether it will be enough to loosen the all-Republican lock on Burlington County government. Next week, three candidates from different parties will take on Republican incumbent Vince Farias of Edgewater Park for a seat on the Board of Chosen Freeholders. With the exception of a Reform Party challenge four years ago, Burlington County freeholder races have been between only Republicans and Democrats - and since 1984, Republicans have won every time.
NEWS
May 17, 1998 | By Russell E. Eshleman Jr., Robert Moran and Ken Dilanian, INQUIRER HARRISBURG BUREAU Inquirer staff writer Nancy Petersen contributed to this article
At a certain angle, Maurice Baskins could see the Capitol dome reflecting in the windshield of the white Ford Tempo as he tucked a $7 parking ticket under the wiper blade. That's how close Baskins was Thursday afternoon to the center of Pennsylvania government and politics, when he was asked about this week's statewide primary election. Baskins, a 33-year-old city parking enforcement officer and registered Democrat, said he always votes. So, who would he vote for on Tuesday to be Gov. Ridge's Democratic challenger?
NEWS
December 28, 1996 | By MATTHEW MILLER
With onetime Clinton guru James Carville now campaigning to tar Whitewater sleuth Kenneth Starr as an evil partisan, and Carville's wife, Bush aide-turned-talk-show-host Mary Matalin, denouncing her husband at every turn, it's time to settle things once and for all: How can these people be married to each other? The conventional wisdom, shared by political junkies and psychiatrists alike, is that you can take Carville and Matalin's politics or their marriage seriously, but not both.
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