Are political parties obsolete?

Armed and Dangerous

Here are the two facts that have given me seriously to think about this:

1. More than 50% of the Massachusetts electorate is registered independent.

2. In the last week of the campaign, Scott Brown was able to raise over a million dollars by going direct to potential supporters via the Internet.

These data strike at the heart of the two essential functions of the political party: getting out the vote, and raising campaign funds for its candidates.

Moreover, the disintegration is happening in the Republican Party too, with Tea Partiers just as suspicious of their party as netroots are of the Democratic Party.

What the netroots and Tea Partiers have in common, of course, is that they’re both virtual organizations that rely on the Internet.

Clearly, both parties are facing rebellions on their flanks and seem clueless about what to do about it. Further, both are increasingly out of touch with their base.

Maybe the net allows us to, in effect, be our own party.

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