Nigel Farage returns as leader of UKIP – Telegraph Blogs
In NY the Conservative Party is a small organization, no relation to the UK Tories, who are careful not to act as splitters or enable a leftist to sneak in because of a divided opposition. Generally speaking third parties can produce the most unfortunate and unintended results. That certainly seemed to happen in the UK during the last election.
They work best when they can serve as an ideological watchdog over a larger party. They can also serve a valuable role in mobilizing grass roots support. That keeps the larger party and the politicians focused on local concerns. The death of parliamentary or congressional democracy begins when the parties become centralized organizations with all decision making and candidate selection becoming dictated out of a center with highly paid consultants and lobbyists working together in an echo chamber.
The American Tea Party movement, it is not a political party, serves well the function of keeping politics small d democratic on the Right. On the Left the American Democrats despite their heritage of strong local party organizations are largely controlled by top down bureaucracies like unions and patronage machines.
I wish Mr Farage well and hope that his efforts will help guide the UK Conservatives to listen more carefully to the voters. It is important that Eurosceptic message of UKIP be understood as compatible to the message of personal liberty and rrespect for the rule of law championed by the Conservatives. This must be contrasted with the position of the BNP, who are best treated as a narrow socialist faction in the Labour turf wars.