The Permission Slip From The Sky


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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22 Responses

  1. Avatar Vikram Bath says:

    Over There

    This is Over There!Report

  2. Avatar Will H. says:

    Alberta has long been known for its regional parties, and I think it works well.
    I would like to see something of the sort here.

    I’ve done a lot of reading on the Whigs lately, and it’s easy to see how the modern Republican Party evolved from there (although the present Republican factions are a good piece away from their Whig roots).
    There were basically three factions: The Wilmot Proviso Whigs, the abolitionist Whigs, and the Cotton Whigs; with the Wilmot Whigs winning key leadership posts within the party (led by Roger Thornton, who, it is said, “would bid a friend goodnight, then call him aside to ask him to speak nothing of it.”).

    That said, digital media has changed things substantially from traditional mass media, and the parties, like the rest of our social institutions, are still struggling with this.Report

    • Avatar Brent F says:

      I think two factors work strongly against regional parties in the American federal system.

      1. Independant and strong presidency means a regional party is putting itself out of the running for any control of the executive.

      2. Party control of elected representatives is much weaker in America than most parliamentary systems. If a regional bloc wants to act independantly of the national party (southern Democrats post civil rights act being a famous example) they can do that.

      Canada historically splits of regional parties (usually from the interior West and Quebec) for two reasons
      – the ability to discipline a national faction for insufficient loyalty to their desires.
      – the potential ability to play kingmaker to a minority government can potentially give a powerful regional party real influence over not just legislation but the executive government as well.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        I agree with both of these. It’s also worth noting that #2 is a result of the existence of a relatively open primary system.

        That said, with some relatively small adjustments, I could see *some* variation occurring in non-competitive states like California or Texas, with basically two Democratic Parties or two Republican ones. Basically inside-outside cases like Bernie Sanders and the like, except actually waving different banners.

        However, the adjustments are not in the interest of either party, so I’m not expecting them to come any time soon.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


      I think there is still a lot of regionalism in parties but maybe not as much as they used to be because as you said, mass media and better transportation has flattened the world/United States, regions are not as isolated as they used to be.

      Yet different locations have different problems and issues that they care deeply about. NYC and SF are strongly Democratic but SF probably cares much more about environmentalism than NYC over all. I don’t see mandatory composting or advanced recycling coming to NYC any time soon. SF is still more socially liberal than NYC.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        Regionalism, but the urban-rural split is much more pronounced (and an argument can be made that in the US, which side of that split is dominant has much to do with the regional divisions). I was struck by the map at Obsidian Wings this morning: other than rural Scotland supporting Remain, the urban/rural split looks very much like one might see in the US on a variety of topics.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman says:

          It’s an international phenomenon. David Shor has talked about it quite a bit on Twitter.

          It’s something we forget about when we talk about Trump and the GOP. Realignment if often an international phenomenon.Report

          • Avatar Kim says:

            The European Oscillation is headed over here. but… there’s the thing about the European Oscillation… if we pick Hillary this time, well, the smart odds are that the next Trump will be worse than this one. Neoliberal policies are self-defeating.Report

  3. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    Just FTR, that was totally dashed off and I don’t stand behind it at all. It does still reflect my basic feelings about parties, but the argumentation is basically dormroom BSing, especially the speculation about the origin of political parties.

    But/so I very much appreciate Will giving it the serious thought he did here.Report