redneckgaijin is trying to collect political-opinion information here. If you choose to participate, please send him a link to your post.PART A: A series of third party questions.
1. Do you have a political party affiliation? If so, what? No; I am currently enrolled as an independent.
2. Would you ever consider voting for a third party (NOT independent) candidate? Consider, certainly. I've yet to be presented with a third-party candidate that I felt worth voting for in the booth, however.
3. Would you ever consider joining a third party? If so, which? I will certainly consider it. I doubt that I ever will, though.
4. What is your opinion, as a whole, of the Libertarian Party? My understanding of the Libertarian Party is that they're a bunch of naive, economically illiterate loons. Well-meaning loons, perhaps, but loons nonetheless.
5. What is your opinion, as a whole, of the Green Party? Of the three third parties in this survey, the Greens are the closest to something I could support. But that's not really saying very much, considering how low regard I have for the current Libertarian and Constitution Parties. Skimming the Green Party platform (http://www.gp.org/platform/2004/), I see some good ideas but way too many half-baked ones.
6. What is your opinion, as a whole, of the Constitution Party? The what party?
(Google, Google, Google.)
Yuck., I tried reading their platform (http://www.constitutionparty.com/party_platform.php). I got as far as the "let's take the Panama Canal back", and gave up; life's too short to read that sort of dreck. My opinion of the Constitution Party is that they're a bunch of Christian-Dominionist nativist whackjobs. Frankly, they make the Libertarian Party look sane, and that takes some doing.
7. Do you think a third party can ever achieve parity with the Democratic or Republican Parties in the United States? Yes; it's happened before in US history and I expect it will happen again. I don't expect it to happen anytime soon, however; the two main parties generally do a good job of absorbing politically viable ideas. (If the Republicans continue to veer towards Christian Dominionism, they might open up enough space for a new conservative party. But don't count on it.)
PART II: Questions about controversial political opinions
8. Do you believe, for whatever reason, that the federal income tax is illegal? Nope. Unlike some of the nuts out there, I can read the Sixteenth Amendment.
9. Do you believe in a plan to create a North American Union? I don't think there is one, and I doubt greatly that it would gain any level of political traction in my lifetime.
10. Do you believe that George W. Bush and the federal government created the September 11, 2001 attacks in order to gain power? Not only no but hell, no. I do believe that the current Administration has used the attacks to justify expanding their powers.
11. Do you believe, regardless of their moral justification, that the states forming the Confederacy had an inalienable legal right to secede in 1861? No.
12. In your opinion, does global warming or climate change exist? If yes, is it caused by natural effects or man-made conditions? Yes, it exists, and it does so in significant part due to human action (through net increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas levels).
PART III: Questions about the five most urgent political issues in Americans' minds.
13. What is your position on the war in Iraq? We shouldn't have invaded in the first place - the overt reasons (WMD, al-Qaeda links) have been demonstrated to be nonsense, and the after-the-fact justification (spreading democracy) has been quite thoroughly botched by incompetence and/or unwillingness to face the real costs.
That being said, the least-bad strategy going forward that I can think of would involve allowing a Yugoslavia-style de-facto partitioning into Sunni Arab, Shia Arab, and Kurdish regions. There would have to be significant international (non-US) presence in the Arab regions (to keep the Sunnis and the Shia from killing each other, and to keep the Shia Persian Iranians from meddling too obviously). There would probably need to be a significant US presence in the Kurdish region to keep the Kurds from spreading Kurdistan into Turkey, Iran, and Syria.
14. What do you think should be done to reform immigration policy? There should be sufficient visas available to permit those who want to work here to do so. Unfortunately, that'll never happen as long as "immigration" is used as a code word for nativist racists, who don't mind white folks immigrating but want to get rid of all those brown-skinned types.
15. What do you think needs to change about America's healthcare system? The current system, based primarily on employers, is hopelessly broken. Any replacement system needs to be universal, affordable and straightforward. A Federally run single payer system (with competing private providers) would meet the universal, affordable and straightforward criteria, but so could a well-designed private system.
16. In what way do you think our tax system should be reformed, cut, or expanded? Significant pollution and carbon taxes are probably the most effective means I can think of to improve the environment and ameliorate global warming. These should be made revenue-neutral by reducing income taxes (starting by reducing the bottom rates and increasing the EIC).
17. Have the actions of the federal government over the past six years served to protect or destroy freedom? On balance, they've tended to significantly reduce freedom.
PART IV: Questions about impeachment.
18. Should George W. Bush be impeached, and why? Yes, for obstructing justice, running roughshod over the Constitution, running the military into the ground, ruining our reputation overseas, as well as for general incompetence far above and beyond the call of duty.
19. Should Richard "Dick" Cheney be impeached, and why? Yes; for the same reasons as his nominal superior.
20. Will the Democratic-controlled Congress impeach either Bush or Cheney? Why? Not likely. The Clinton impeachment showed that a purely partisan impeachment doesn't work. Nixon would have been impeached, and likely removed from office, had he not resigned. However, there was strong bipartisan support for his impeachment; plus it happened relatively early in his second term. As yet, there isn't a strong consensus in either party in favor of impeaching either Bush or Cheney, and by the time any such consensus develops, they'll have at most a year and a half left in office.
PART V: Final Question
21. What one thing annoys you the most about the United States' current political system? The combination of excessively long Presidential campaigns and exceeding-well-entrenched Congressional incumbents.