Breaking the Two-Party System in America
Republicans and Democrats dominate politics in the US, yet neither of them may be the best option for the American people.
The United States is divided between two major parties: the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. While some voters back the Libertarian and Green Parties, these political parties don’t see nearly the amount of support as the dominant two and have never won a general election. Americans don’t want to waste their vote on a third party that will not win, yet they are dissatisfied with what the Republicans and Democrats have to offer.
Many states have electoral maps that are disproportional and have brought on several cases of gerrymandering — meaning one political group has attempted to change a voting district to alter results in its favor.
Considering the heated controversy and swelling frustration in US politics, it may be time for Americans to reconsider their electoral system.
Under the plurality system, the 330 million people living in the United States are represented by either conservative or liberal views, depending on which way the ballot swings every four years. Instead of furthering the polarized divide between these two platforms, one might consider turning to something that offers a more proportional representation of the people.
Israel, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Germany and New Zealand all use variations of a party list system. This is where proportional representation is emphasized by casting votes for different political parties and electing multiple candidates. The system provides a broader opportunity for voters to find a candidate that appeals to them, and it has showed higher levels of voter turnout.
The alternative vote system is another popular method used by countries such as Australia and Ireland. It involves ranking candidates in order of preference in hopes of eliminating the chance for votes to be wasted — as is often the case within the plurality system.
Finding a more proportional system may enhance the representation of the people, strengthen the worth of each individual vote, and inevitably lead to greater voter turnout. Breaking the two-party hold may be the answer to rebinding a nation that has become divided amid political turmoil.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.