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 […]

The Australian Party System

After charting the history of American parties in Congress, I decided to make a similar chart for Australia’s party history. For each federal election from the first in 1901 to the latest in 2016, the presence of each party is represented by a colored rectangle sized in proportion to its number of seats in the chamber […]

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. […]

Multimember District Representation in the US and in the States

Americans are used to electing our representatives from single-member districts. Since the 1970s, all members of the US House of Representatives have been elected this way. But in many cases prior to that, states elected some or all of their federal representatives from multimember districts, where two or more people represented the same geographical area. In […]