March 13, 2010

The Aligning of Opinions

It is fascinating to me how different electoral systems lead to very different alignments of the populace. America's two-party system, and people's attachment to one party or the other, are almost certainly a result of our First Past the Post electoral system.

What I want to focus on today, however, is not our system of voting, but the actual alignment of the political parties. It seems to me that our two-party system creates an environment where it is almost a certainty that each party will take opposite stands on any controversial issue. This creates some fascinating results. On many issues it seems like the parties betray their fundamental principles simply in order to oppose the other party.

For example, I am really intrigued by the anti-immigration stance of the Republican Party. It seems that a party whose ideals include reduction in government powers, equality of opportunity, and Christianity would be vigorously pro-immigration, and happy to help extend the blessings of America to as many people as possible.

Am I missing something? Why do you think that anti-immigration has become associated with the Republican party?