The Failure of our Two-Party Election System
Our two-party system of politics is failing due to Polarization. Historically, political parties in the U.S. held some common ground. During the earliest years of our country, for example, we had the Federalist Party, founded by Alexander Hamilton with the help of urban bankers and businessmen, and the Democrat-Republican Party, organized by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in 1791, which its members referred to simply as the Republican Party.
Both supported an American Revolution, but the difference is the Federalists desired a strong central government, with state’s rights all but completely disappearing, while the Democrat-Republican Party did not. Some Federalists did not even want governors to continue, and without opposition, the thirteen original colonies would have become little more than thirteen counties of the State.
FYI, the term “state” is synonymous with “country,” and some of the thirteen original colonies had established themselves as independent states i.e. countries, including the negotiation of treaties with other nations as well as between one another. Thus, the United States was, in its infancy, much like the EU is today – a collection of independent and sovereign nations, or “states,” who had agreed to give up some of their autonomy and authority for the purpose of facilitating both commerce and a common defense, while retaining most of their autonomy and authority to run their own affairs within their own borders.
Over time, these two parties and morphed, changed names, and have died and been reborn under new names. Today, their closest relatives are the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, with the Democrats more closely aligned with the old Federalist Party and the Republicans more closely aligned with the old Democrat-Republican party.
The problem with our two-party system is that it’s been flawed from start, and the root cause and reason has to do with the way we vote.
The Flaw: Our +Only Voting System
With getting into the nuances of the Electoral College, we have a +Only Voting System here in the United States of American. In fact, this is standard throughout the world, though only by knuckle-dragging default, and not by intelligent design. Basically speaking, no matter how many options are available, each voter can only cast one vote, and then, only for one option.
The problem occurs when you have three strong candidates but two of those candidates hold similar views. Those holding similar views will split the vote and lose the election, even if they would have been able to win had there been no similar candidate.
Let’s put this into more mathematical terms, with three candidates, A and B (both conservatives) and C (a liberal). Let’s also assume the voters as a whole prefer voting conservative, say 60%.
Since most of the voters prefer a conservative candidate to a liberal candidate, the conservative candidate should win, right? Nope. The conservative candidates will split the vote, each getting 30%, while the liberal candidate will receive a winning 40%.
Another problem occurs when you have two strong candidates splitting the vote (A and B) and a splinter candidate (C) who pulls more votes from one candidate than the other. If A & B would have split the vote 50-50 before the arrival of C, but C pulls just 1% of the vote from A but 2% from B, then A will win with 49% of the votes, B looses with 48% of the votes, and C (who never stood a chance in the first place) also looses with a meager 3% of the vote.
Rationally, if both B & C’s goals were united to defeat candidate A, then C should have withdrawn from the race. Not all candidates are rational, however, and people like Ross Perot and his supporters idiotically and quite foolishly helped hand the election to the Democrats. The same thing may very well happen if Ron Paul decides to run as a write-in or independent. I can’t even admire his drive because he’s losing sight of the forest through the trees. If the mission is to defeat Obama, the only rational choice is to drop out of the race completely and allow the far more likely candidate, Mitt Romney, full access to those conservative votes.
That’s part of the problem. The other part involves one of polarization, the likelihood that the beliefs of a two-party system will tend to diverge over time, not only as a whole, but on each and every point. The main cause is lack of political diversity, which encourages party politics i.e. voting the party line instead of the conscious of the elected representative. Those who don’t consistently vote the party line are viewed as weak by the party and are usually replaced with a more polarized candidate.
The end result is that a single-vote system encourages polarization, which in turn leads to the rise of two predominant and highly polarized parties who’re incapable of working together rationally to accomplish much of anything.
The Fix: A +/- Voting System
A +/- voting system largely negates polarization, thereby removing the drive towards a two-party system. Put simply, each voter is allowed to cast a single vote for each and every mutually-exclusive option, but that vote can be either a + vote or a – vote. If the individual mis-votes, their vote doesn’t count, but modern voting kiosks, but in general elections as well as Congress, would enforce these rules in order to count the maximum number of votes.
Let’s see how this works in one of our previous examples, with the popular vote split evenly between two conservatives but with the liberal pulling in strongly with 40% of the vote. In a perfectly polarized world, the conservatives would each get 30%+ votes and 40% – votes, while the liberal receive 40%+ votes and 60%- votes. Thus, each conservative would wind up with -10%, but the liberal would wind up with -20%. The conservatives would tie and perform a runoff election.
Now let’s see how this would work in the case of a weak third candidate pulling more votes from one candidate than the other. Originally, it was:
If A & B would have split the vote 50-50 before the arrival of C, but C pulls just 1% of the vote from A but 2% from B, then A will win with 49% of the votes, B looses with 48% of the votes, and C (who never stood a chance in the first place) also looses with a meager 3% of the vote.
Now, however, we have A and B both receiving 50%+ votes and 50%- votes, while C receives 3%+ votes (1% from A, 2% from B), but a whopping 49%- votes from the A folks and 48%- from the B folks. In short, the C candidate, who never stood a chance to begin with, never stands a chance.
But that’s in a “perfectly polarized” world, and with the +/- voting system, most people will not give a + vote to their best candidate and a – vote to everyone else. Instead, they’ll give a + vote to every candidate they feel is qualified for the position, and a – vote only to those candidates who they feel are unqualified.
This system is used with great success in the business world, and it works like this: Let’s say a company has a limited amount of resources, and is faced with seven different mutually-exclusive investment opportunities, each of which has both tangible (financial) and intangible qualities associated with it. Proposals are drafted for each of the opportunities and are reviewed by the board of directors. They vote on these projects using the +/- system, and the results are rank-ordered. The limited funds are then given to the projects by rank order. If any project needs more funds than remain, they go down the list to see if another, smaller project is available. At no time, however, are funds given to projects with a net negative vote, because those projects are almost always those which will either result in a net financial or intangible loss i.e. bad for the company regardless of how much cash is lying around.
Interesting enough, this approach has vast implications for how Congress is run, as well. Projects are voted on based on their own merits, and they’re funded only insofar as their merits and the availability of funding dictates. Even if one to a few state’s representatives attempt to game the system on any particularly issue, the members from the other 49 states will largely avoid any such gaming as they have no fight in the matter. They will not avoid the matter, however, and will vote according to what’s best for the country as a whole.
In summary, our two-party system is broken because the way we vote is broken. Fix the way we vote, both in general elections, as well as in Congress, and we’ll have fixed, if not eliminated, the two-party system, but we’ll also have fixed Congress, the budget, and many other ails in our country.
Join the discussion of this article here, on RYOC Forums!
The culmination of the International Conference for Free Speech and Human Rights on 9 July 2012 was the reading and signing of the Brussels Declaration. The Declaration set up a global strategic line of action against the worldwide Islamic enforcement program for Shariah Law.
In the video below, Alain Wagner (France) (00:35) introduces the document, after which Ned May (USA) (05:17) reads the text of the resolution and then Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff (Austria) (09:06) reads the eight requirements demanded of our governments.
The signing of this document marked the beginning of the Brussels Process, an ongoing initiative which aims to protect free speech and individual liberty from being undermined by proponents of Shariah Law.
Discuss it here.
Bottom line: Whether we like it or not, we cannot keep our heads in the sand any longer. They are coming. They hate. They want to destroy us and rule the world under Shariah law.
We cannot let that happen.
Actually, Obama has accelerated the build-up of his non-sworn group of civilians who, by means of various loopholes, now have the power and authority to detain you indefinitely.
By “non-sworn” I mean they have no sworn loyalty to America, as do all military personnel and all local, county, state, and federal law enforcement officers. We’ve all sworn an oath to our Constitution, the foundation upon which all other laws in our country stem.
They haven’t. The forces Obama is amassing have not sworn such an oath. They are loyal only to their paycheck and to an employment document they sign which says they’ll follow Obama’s orders. They don’t serve the American people.
The sworn oath is the BACKBONE of integrity in our country. As per our Constitution, ALL officers and officials throughout our government are required to swear (or affirm) their oaths of office before assuming that office. It’s designed to prevent tyranny, the consolidation of power which leads to dictatorships. Our tricameral balance of powers in our government is a highly desired, stabilizing effect.
Obama’s subversion of the sworn oath by means of the build-up of a non-sworn group of people with nearly unlimited powers of arrest, violating your Constitutional rights by means of the NDAA wormhole, are nothing more than a clear and un-Constitutional grab at tyrannical power, quite possibly to undermine the upcoming election and quell all objections to it, by deceit, force, and detention, possibly under the guise of race riots.
To that end, Obama has made numerous comments about the suspension or circumvention of our Constitution, the foundation of law to which we’re sworn. He has talked at length about the suspension of both our First and Second Amendment rights, the First to prevent us from writing about it, and the Second so we’d be unable to defend our rights if they’re challenged.
Fortunately, some 50 Million of Americans have taken the oath to support and defend our Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. If you’re a member of the U.S. Military, government, or law enforcement at any level, among several other professions, you may have taken an oath of office.
If we all adhere to our oaths of office, our country will be ok. We absolutely must, however, be willing to make some hard, law-abiding choices. We must do our duty, even when the chips are down.
It’s what we do, people. We’re Americans. Take the high road.
Please join the discussion of this article on RYOC Forums, here.
Mitt Romney is a leader with the skills, the background and the character that our country needs at a crucial time in its history. Following four years of failed leadership, the hopes of our country, which have inspired the world, are growing dim; and they need someone to revive them. Governor Romney is the man for this moment; and he and I share one commitment: we will restore the dreams and greatness of this country.
For the last 14 years, I have proudly represented Wisconsin in Congress. There, I have focused on solving the problems that confront our country, and turning ideas into action; and action into solutions.
I am committed, in mind and heart, to putting that experience to work in a Romney Administration. This is a crucial moment in the life of our nation; and it is absolutely vital that we select the right man to lead America back to prosperity and greatness.
That man is standing next to me. His name is Mitt Romney. And he will be the next president of the United States.
Let me say a word about the man Mitt Romney will replace. No one disputes President Obama inherited a difficult situation. And, in his first 2 years, with his party in complete control of Washington, he passed nearly every item on his agenda. But that didn’t make things better.
In fact, we find ourselves in a nation facing debt, doubt and despair.
This is the worst economic recovery in 70 years.
Unemployment has been above 8 percent for more than three years, the longest run since the Great Depression. Families are hurting.
We have the largest deficits and the biggest federal government since WW II.
Nearly 1 out of 6 Americans are in poverty–the worst rate in a generation. Moms and dads are struggling to make ends meet.
Household incomes have dropped by more than $4,000 over the past four years.
Whatever the explanations, whatever the excuses, this is a record of failure.
I represent a part of America that includes inner cities, rural areas, suburbs and factory towns. Over the years I have seen and heard from a lot from families, from those running small businesses, and from people who are in need. But what I have heard lately troubles me the most. There is something different in their voice and in their words. What I hear from them are diminished dreams, lowered expectations, uncertain futures.
I hear some people say that this is just “the new normal.” High unemployment, declining incomes and crushing debt is not a new normal. It’s the result of misguided policies. And next January, our economy will begin a comeback with the Romney Plan for a Stronger Middle Class that will lead to more jobs and more take home pay for working Americans.
I believe my record of getting things done in Congress will be a very helpful complement to Governor Romney’s executive and private sector success outside Washington. I have worked closely with Republicans as well as Democrats to advance an agenda of economic growth, fiscal discipline, and job creation.
I’m proud to stand with a man who understands what it takes to foster job creation in our economy, someone who knows from experience, that if you have a small business—you did build that.
At Bain Capital, he launched new businesses and he turned around failing ones – companies like Staples, Bright Horizons and Sports Authority, just to name a few. Mitt Romney created jobs and showed he knows how a free economy works.
At the Olympics, he took a failing enterprise and made it the pride of our entire nation.
As governor of Massachusetts, he worked with Democrats and Republicans to balance budgets with no tax increases, lower unemployment, increase income and improve people’s lives.
In all of these things, Mitt Romney has shown himself to be a man of achievement, excellence and integrity.
We Americans look at one another’s success with pride, not resentment, because we know, as more Americans work hard, take risks, and succeed, more people will prosper, our communities will benefit, and individual lives will be improved and uplifted.
The commitment Mitt Romney and I make to you is this:
We won’t duck the tough issues…we will lead!
We won’t blame others…we will take responsibility!
We won’t replace our founding principles…we will reapply them!
We will honor you, our fellow citizens, by giving you the right and opportunity to make the choice:
What kind of country do we want to have?
What kind of people do we want to be?
We can turn this thing around. Real solutions can be delivered. But, it will take leadership. And the courage to tell you the truth.
Mitt Romney is this kind of leader. I’m excited for what lies ahead and I’m thrilled to be a part of America’s Comeback Team. And together, we will unite America and get this done.
Join the discussion of his nomination on RYOC Forums!
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This event is really astonishing, not because of its audacity, but because of its legality. Yes, it’s legal.
Essentially, a judge was violating his oath of office by abusing his authority to suppress evidence and violate requisite rules of procedure. In so doing he was trying to stack the deck against an individual for whom he, for whatever reason, thought should be hammered by “the system.”
Instead, he was hammered by the other half, those people who found his actions to be treasonous, and who acted on their authority under common law to arrest the judge and have him booked him on charges. Interestingly enough, local law enforcement also refused to do their sworn duty by refusing to arrest the judge themselves. In response, the people did their duty.
This has interesting implications with respect to the situation over here in America. Many people Obama’s actions as treasonous, and have called for his impeachment because of his treason. Yet Congress so far has refused to impeach Obama, a lack of action which has many people scratching their heads as to why. Is it because Congress thinks it’ll go nowhere? Are they afraid of causing civil unrest if they take action? Does the Obama administration and his non-elected czars have strongholds over key members of Congress, such that if they act they’ll find themselves in some sort of legal or political cross-hairs?
Regardless of why Congress has refused to act on the rather obvious, if not blatant facts, the people are considering their options, beginning with simply voting out everyone in Congress who has refused to act on behalf of the people, as they were elected to do.
Join the discussion on this event here on RYOC Forums!