In his paper titled “Those Who Make the Rules, Rule,” Omar H. Ali begins by saying, “Political parties are corrupt, and Americans know it.”
Ali, the director of research for the Committee for a Unified Independent Party, spoke last night about the perils of a two-party system. The event, sponsored by the Yale Political Union, drew a crowd of about 50 students who listened to his presentation and later asked questions and responded to his comments.
Some students hissed in dissent while others slapped their thighs in support of Ali’s opinions.
Ali said his mission is to educate students and encourage Americans to get involved with their government.
“I’m looking for students who are independent-minded and want to build a political presence as Independents in their campuses and communities,” Ali said. “[We need] to democratize our system so that ordinary Americans, not just special interests, be they political parties or corporations, determine public policy, both domestic and foreign.”
Ali spoke against the two-party system, saying that it stifles freedom and is “the most corrosive element of our democracy.”
“The two major parties have taken over our government,” Ali said. “A coup d’etat has taken place.”
Ali said the two parties “have rigged the game.”
Ali used historical examples in support of his case against parties, citing George Washington’s warning against factions.
Ali called for a “fundamental restructuring of politics. — What I’m calling for — and what I think Americans are calling for — is a substantial increase in democracy.”
Ali said he wants more people to participate in the government, regardless of what their current alignment is.
“I think you can remain a Democrat but still work as an Independent,” he said, adding that one way of furthering political progress is to build on the interests of Democrats and Republicans, and joining them on certain issues.
Ali stressed the importance of participation in politics, saying that his goal is to advance democracy and bring Americans together.
Yevgeny Vilensky ’03 said he does not classify himself as an Independent, but added that he does not necessarily favor the two leading political parties.
Vilensky said he attends most YPU functions, regardless of the topic under discussion.
“The YPU is about debate,” Vilensky said. “I often disagree with the resolution and that’s why I go up and give a speech in the negative.”