Pluralist and Multi-Party System Is Not Magic Wand in Viet Nam

Anti-war Americans ask the US Goverment to withdraw army from Iraq at the Ground- Zeron ,New York, on September 10, 2006 (AFP Photo)

Editor’s Note:  At this time, there are some voices from outside asking Viet Nam to adopt a pluralist and multi-party regime. However, there are also many voices to support the Communist Party of Viet Nam and the single party system in Viet Nam. Thomas A. Hutchings, a veteran of the American War in Viet Nam, has sent the Sai Gon Giai Phong Online English Edition an opinion. After analyzing the true of pluralist and multi-party regime in the U.S. he concluded that pluralist and multi-party political system is failing in America, and it is failing in the world and outside attempt to impose U.S. democratic values and calls for adopting a multi-party political system for Viet Nam from outside Viet Nam should be opposed.

The May 5, 2006, Communist Party Viet Nam Newspaper stated its position for a single Communist Party and State, which always consider the interests of the nation their motto of action, have tried to bring everyone an ever better life.  The article defended itself against outside pressures by those with grudges in the United States wanting a pluralist and multi-party regime in Viet Nam. Pluralist and multi-party regime, as CPV states, is not a magic wand.  In fact, it works against the very people they should be representing.

In the United States, the multi-party democratic model has failed the people it was to serve.  Government in the United States was founded on the premise that its validity was at the consent of the governed.  However, history demonstrates a trend showing that the people now serve the will of the government. 

The U.S. government is dominated by two parties; the Democratic Party and the Republican Party.  Both have established political platforms that are diametrically opposed to each other and have created a distinct polarity in America, yet at times they will vote the same for laws that protect corporations and harm the people.  The Republican Party has gone so far as to politically manipulate religious fundamentalists to gain political power. 

The political situation of the multi-party, or pluralist party, has been to the sole benefit of the corporate world.  Corporate entities have erroneously gained person status to achieve constitutional rights reserved for actual biological people.  Both major parties in the United States are funded by the same corporations, and as CPV correctly quoted Tran Chung Ngoc, the United States has become the textbook definition of a plutocracy.

The major two-party system in the United States has served to polarize the people, as evidenced by the two recent presidential elections in 2000 and 2004.  The two-party system has stymied progress in the U.S. Congress where legislation to the benefit of corporate America is passed without any opposition and bills submitted to enhance the rich easily pas while laws to protect the people from corporate predators continually fail.

The corporate-funded treasure chests of political aspirants and elected officials have aided the move away from a democracy to a plutocracy.  Of the 435 members of the US Congress, approximately 123 are millionaires, and in the U.S. Senate one-third are millionaires. 

The two-party political system in America excludes, and even attempts to cast as illegal, the voices of any minority points of view. 

The two-party dominant system has failed The People.  The back-and-forth political fighting has hidden U.S. President Bush’s tactics of usurping and violating Constitutional rights, his assuming more dictatorial powers, and has created a war-crimes motif of engaging in world conflicts.  The U.S.’s starting of the American War in Iraq violated the Constitution of the United States and was the first time an alleged democracy attacked another country without provocation.  The information provided to the people of the U.S. and the world was based on the lies and fabrications created by the Bush administration.  The subsequent use of secret torture prisons, the wholesale loss of Iraqi lives and the charging of American soldiers of murder and rape are a result of that illegal war.  The increase in world terrorism may be linked to the American War in Iraq.

Sadly, the United States has failed to achieve becoming a moral and ethical standard in the world.  The multi-party and pluralist political system is failing in America, and it is failing in the world.  According to the AFP on July 3, 2006, Britons see America as “a vulgar, crime-ridden society obsessed with money and led by an incompetent president.” Seventy-seven percent of Britons also believe that the U.S. is not a beacon of hope for the world.  This is a situation that a dominant two-party system has created.

U.S. funding for social programs for the disabled, the poor and the elderly has been ravaged in order to increase military spending.  The defense budget of the U.S. is more than the defense budgets of other countries around the world.  The current year’s U.S. defense budget is nearly 463 billion USD, which includes developing more nuclear weapons.

Viet Nam is changing and it has a history rich in the struggle for reunification and national independence from foreign domination.  Any outside attempt to impose U.S. democratic values and calls for adopting a multi-party political system for Viet Nam from outside Viet Nam should be opposed and rejected.

As an American expatriate living in Viet Nam, and veteran of the American War in Viet Nam, I have chosen to live in a country at peace.  I have chosen to live in Viet Nam because it has shown courage, fortitude and strength over half a century to achieve freedom.  Viet Nam has the right to maintain its self-determination and remain under a single party rule.  To do otherwise could result in a fractured and divisive country, as history demonstrated before 1975.

The fact that Viet Nam recognizes the negative social phenomena such as corruption cases or undemocratic behaviors in certain areas clearly shows that Party leadership has the courage to examine itself and correct itself to the betterment of Viet Nam. 

Unfortunately, the political system in America lacks the courage to examine itself because to do so would go against the best interests of the wealthy and the corporate owners of America.

Viet Nam should remain loyal to the vision of President Ho Chi Minh.  As he said,

Unity is an extremely precious tradition of our Party and people. All comrades, from the Central Committee down to the cell, must preserve the unity and oneness of mind in the Party like the apple of their eye.

Within the Party, to establish broad democracy and to practise self-criticism and criticism regularly and seriously is the best way to consolidate and develop solidarity and unity.

That unity can never be achieved under a multi-party or pluralist political system.  I commend the leaders of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam for the courage in continuing to do their best in maintaining the vision of President Ho Chi Minh.

Thomas A. Hutchings

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