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Breaking The Two-Party Monopoly (1993)

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The author asserts that the problem with American government is not the party but is instead the system of voting that creates the parties. The author begins by first stating the main problem with the two party system mainly the lack of choice it provides for the public. The author then compares our system with its plurality rules with the European parliamentary system of proportional representation. The author also explains that in some areas one party dominates elections in that area so the public has no way of really affecting government policy because they are only presented with one choice. The author points to the old solid south, which was solidly controlled by democrats, as an example. The author believes our two party system forces voters to be pick the lesser of two evils. He supports this claim by pointing to the fact that the two parties can only ever present two sides of an issue and this leaves the rest of the possible choices out of the picture.

The author also addresses the fact that the government doesn't represent the ideas of all the people who voted. This occurs because the plurality rules in our system only allow the candidate with the most votes to win and this creates a situation similar to the 1987 British elections where a party may get 23% of the vote but get lees than 4% of the seats because the party won a plurality in very few regions. The author also says the current system heavily undermines third parties because it creates a cyclic effect with negative effects on the ability of the third parties to be politically viable internationally. The cyclic effect on the third parties starts with their low chance of being elected so they don't attract good politicians or good contributions because businesses feel it's a waste of money and good politicians are attracted to the two main parties there they're more likely to win. The third party also doesn't attract voters because of the aforementioned problems.

The authors concludes by saying the problem with plurality is that it stops third parties and other less popular groups from being heard but this can be solved by the idea of proportional representation. Through proportional representation the percentages of votes the parties



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