Category: Politics

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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The Speaker Race and the Two-Party System

Let’s play a game of Contrast — between a multi-party system, the kind we could have with a few changes to our election laws (and no need for any amendments to the Constitution), and our existing two-party system. Let’s see…

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