The Parties are dead, What next?

Another great commentary by Walter Russel Mead at ViaMeadia. Parties are becoming more like handles, like conservative, progressive, rather than controlling organizations. A big downside is the rise of populism/direct democracy which i believe to be seriously flawed, we need political damping rods and consensus builders and laws that form a coherent (and simple) system not an ad hoc set of isolated statements of one time (often getting badly aged after a very short time) principle.