The DACA Decision Through a Party-System Lens

Supreme Court of the United States

Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision on DACA is only a temporary reprieve for undocumented DREAMers; there’s little to prevent the Trump administration from trying again with a modified process. Meanwhile, the DACA program is popular with both Democrats and Republicans. In a better functioning system, Congress would have passed a law solving the problem long ago. […]

Debating “Two Cheers for Two Parties”

I recently watched Intelligence Squared’s debate on the two-party system, and I was shocked by the outcome. Before the debate, 35 percent of the audience agreed with the motion, which was “Two Cheers for Two Parties” (by the way, not exactly a paragon of a clearly stated proposition), and 27 percent disagreed. A plurality of […]

My new book! “Beyond Two Parties”

I have recently published a book I’ve been working for more than five years. It’s entitled “Beyond Two Parties: Why America Needs a Multiparty System and How We Can Have It” and is available at Amazon and other online retailers in both paperback and e-book formats. The book explains how a different electoral system would […]

What’s the Best Way to Deal With Gerrymandering?

Many people feel disappointed by the Rucho v. Common Cause decision, handed down last week by the Supreme Court. I don’t blame them. The Supreme Court recognized that partisan gerrymandering is, in their own words, “incompatible with democratic principles”, yet refused to do anything about it, finding it non-justiciable — meaning outside the purview of […]

New Zealand’s Party System History

To take a diagrammatic look at New Zealand’s history of political parties is interesting not only from a historical perspective, but also in order to study the effect of electoral systems on party systems. In 1994, the country voted to change its electoral system from first-past-the-post to German-style mixed-member proportional (MMP), which is much less restrictive […]

The Condorcet-IRV Voting Method

The Condorcet-IRV voting method is a combination of instant-runoff voting (IRV) and the Condorcet winner criterion. In order to explain it, we must first understand these two things. The idea of instant-runoff voting is that in an election between three or more candidates, a mere plurality of the vote should not be enough to decide […]

Evolution of the Two-Party System

The chart below shows the history of American political parties in Congress, from the 1st (1789-91) through the 114th (2015-17). It is only part of the story of parties in the United States, as many have never won any seats at the federal level. These include the modern Libertarian and Green parties as well as the early abolitionist Liberty Party, to name just a few. […]

Skyfall and the Question of Bond’s Survival

Spoiler warning: This article is intended for people who have seen Skyfall. If you haven’t, I recommend you see it before reading further. I noticed something very strange watching Skyfall, the third James Bond film to star Daniel Craig and the first to be helmed by the acclaimed English director Sam Mendes. At the end of a gripping […]