Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Thu Mar 28 01:16:21 PST 2002

On Thu, 28 Mar 2002 00:23:53 -0500 Adam Tarr wrote:

> Steve wrote:
>>   ". . . All that kept [Hitler's party] alive was its chance to obtain
>> some measure of success in every election in which it participated. 
>> Otherwise
>> it would probably have disbanded, and Hitler might have resumed the 
>> peaceful
>> profession of painting houses."
>> --Hermens, F. A., _Democracy and Proportional Representation_, 
>> University of
>> Chicago Press, 1940, pgs 23-4.
> If the people want a Hitler, democracy will not (and, unfortunately, 
> should not) save them from themselves.  The question we have to ask 
> ourselves is, do we want to give minor parties a voice and a chance to 
> grow?  Certainly, there is the danger of one of these minor parties 
> being malevolent and ruinous like the Nazi party was.  (Of course some 
> here, we know, consider the current parties in the USA evil anyway).
> In my opinion, this danger is well worth the chance of injecting new 
> direction to public debate.  The actual danger of a Nazi-type party 
> rising to power in the USA is extremely small.  In Weimar Germany, there 
> were many, many factors (rampant unemployment, the specter of Communism, 
> deep anti-semitism, the newness of democracy, the stigma of war guilt on 
> the current government, et cetera et cetera) that do not apply to the 
> United States or any other established democracy.  A few similar factors 
> could probably be catalyzed by a US party in the right place at the 
> right time, but not all of them.
> I think the small risk of some bad apples getting a larger voice is a 
> very small price to pay for the benefit of many more voices being heard 
> in the public debate.
> -Adam
Deciding where World War I came from is a bit like trying to read the leaves 

in a cup full of tea.

Predicting that Germany might resist the torture imposed by the Allies 
afterward is easier.  That an election system influenced exactly who got 
elected is obvious, but what does it really matter?  That someone prepared 
to lead resistance came to power likely was affected little by the 
election system in use.  We can guess that someone else would have been 
less destructive, but i claim you cannot be sure.
  davek at clarityconnect.com    http://www.clarityconnect.com/webpages3/davek
   Dave Ketchum    108 Halstead Ave, Owego, NY  13827-1708    607-687-5026
              Do to no one what you would not want done to you.
                    If you want peace, work for justice.

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