2010-06-18 / Letters

New Blood For The Party

Dear Editor,

Proposals to eliminate political party affiliation have been discussed since the US Constitution was written. By the end of George Washington’s administration, we had two political parties. Although the parties have changed over the centuries, the two parties, with an occasional assist from new third parties, have existed throughout our history.

Modern political campaigns in the US or NYC require vast sums of money or a large number of well organized volunteers or both to be successful. Without political parties, or their equivalent, only the wealthiest persons or corporations, could afford to wage a serious campaign.

To give voters a chance to pick the most qualified candidate, legislative districts must be drawn impartially to allow the residents of each community to choose their own representatives, rather than twisted to secure the reelection of favored incumbents. Wide disclosure of all appropriations primarily for the benefit of one group must be the rule. The rules for getting a candidate’s name on the ballot must be clear, able to be understood by most ordinary citizens and enforced by persons who are not directly tied to political machines. Candidates must be chosen by active community members, not by self perpetuating outside organizations.

Legal reforms in themselves will be of little value unless there are a couple of dozen active citizens in each community willing and able to work year around to seek solutions to local problems, hold elected officials responsible and locate and support qualified candidates when the opportunity arises. Without such public involvement, non-partisan elections will produce a new crop of well financed candidates with sophisticated campaigns, but little concern for their constituents.

NORMAN SILVERMAN

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