Political party is a way where people of the same interest or ideas are joined together to expressed their ideas. Conflicts between humans in terms of their views and opinions about certain topics and issues are normal. Thus, it is where they balance each opinion and come up with the decision everyone agreed upon after the discussion. However, this may sometimes not work perfectly enough for the public and is signaled through the formation of the third parties like in United States. This means that the two major parties have become unresponsive to the needs of the public (Wahler 1996).
Today, the two major political parties of the United States are Democratic Party which evolved in 1782 from Thomas Jefferson party, and Republican Party established in 1850s by Abraham Lincoln and others who opposed the expansion of slavery (Consulate General of the United States).
There are already a number of minor or third parties in United States that have evolved through time. Green Party, Constitution Party, Independence Party, New Party, Reform Party and Labor Party are just to name some (Gunzburger 2007).
The movie The Party’s Over is a documentary about the 2000 U.S. Presidential Election which follows the actor Philip Seymour Hoffman as he took an inside look at the 2000 Democratic and Republican Convention for Al Gore and George Bush.
The movie draws attention for the problems of our government system especially during the 2000 United States election. Hoffman gathered views and personal opinions from a very wide range of people in society. His interviewees are ranged from musicians like Ben Harper, to Bill Maher a political comedian, to Democrat representatives like Harol Ford Jr., to rally organizers, to a homeless woman (Lebowski 2007).
Bill Maher said that American politics is run by “a system of open bribery” and the public’s voices are not heard by the government which led to a largely apathetic voting public. Tim Robbins expanded the idea by saying that it is not mere apathy which stops many people from voting, the people are protesting against the government that’s why they do not vote (Lebowski 2007).
Democrat representative Harold Ford Jr. said that the fact is that our government is a service. And no matter how frequently poor the service is, you have no choice but to “avail” it. It’s like you have to pay taxes even if the government is too bad for you, or else you will be jailed and tried (Lebowski 2007).
On the other hand, Noam Chomsky explained that the theory is that people’s role in democracy is not just as participants but as spectators as well. She further said that during the election period, we are given two candidates to choose from, a democrat and a republican, who are actually and essentially one in the same. Both of these parties’ candidates have the same goals and want the same outcomes for the government.
But then they tend to disagree with each other violently and publicly. As a result, it doesn’t really matter to us which of the parties we elect. And we are stuck in choosing from Democracy and Republican parties that we barely look at the third parties and independent candidates. We are focused on our differences instead of our similarities (Lebowski 2007).
Minor parties or what we call third parties often call attention to an issue that is of interest to the voters but that has been neglected by government like consumerism and environment as what Ralph Nader focused (Consulate General of the United States).
The movie leaves the audience a fair question of whether the Democratic and Republican parties are different or not. Also, it wonders on how much one’s priority is put and should put over the politics. It also seeks to get and feel the public pulse about the American politics. And since it seeks to reach out the larger audience, it promotes the awareness of people on politics and made them have a discussion about it among themselves (Curry 2003).
Curry, Warren. “The Party’s Over.” 21 October 2003. CinemaSpeak.Com. 3 November 2007 <http://www.cinemaspeak.com/Reviews/tpo.html>.
Gunzburger, Ron. “Directory of U.S. Political Parties.” 2007. Politics1.com. 11 November 2007 < http://politics1.com/parties.htm>.
Lebowski, Jeff. “You have to insist you’re right even if you know you’re wrong.” 4 October 2007. Spout LLC. 11 November 2007.
“U.S. Government.” Consulate General of the United States. 3 November 2007
Wahler, Brenda. “Poli Sci 101: The Role of Parties.” January 1996. Montana State University. 11 November 2007 < http://home.mcn.net/~montanabw/polisci101.html>.