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 lead us from our two-party duopoly to a future of multiparty politics, and why this would be a good move to make. Here is the book description:

The two-party system in the United States is unique among major Western-style democracies in its exclusion of minor parties. It is truly a duopoly, a “cornered market” — odd for a nation that purports to be a land of free enterprise, where the value of competition is well-appreciated. At the federal level, no third party has been elected to a congressional seat since 1948; the last time fewer than 95 percent of seats went to Democrats and Republicans was in 1896. Yet the main parties did change in the 1850s, and at many times during the 19th century, several minor parties were represented in Congress.

In Beyond Two Parties, Dan Eckam explores how our party system has changed over time and how the way we vote determines, to a large extent, its shape and structure. Alternative voting methods, such as ranked-choice voting, exert a strong and, among political scientists, well-understood influence on the number of parties in the system. Using informative charts, tables and diagrams, along with numerous scholarly references, he explains why our party system is so different from other countries’ and how it could be changed by adopting a different voting system — with no constitutional amendments required.

The author makes a strong case for why we should change to a multiparty system — beginning by analyzing the current system’s weaknesses. He explains how a multiparty system would do a better job of representing the people’s interests, and how it would bring benefits ranging from clearer policy positions to improved voter turnout and an end to gerrymandering. Most importantly, by giving voters more choices, such a system would increase competition and thus improve accountability.

Despite the many advantages of a multiparty system, some people still defend the two-party system — including elected leaders who have gained their positions under it. In Beyond Two Parties, Eckam rebuts their arguments and offers strategies voters can use to help bring about reform. In combining well-established science with a compelling argument for improving American democracy, the book offers both an insightful analysis and a useful resource for reformers.

The book is self-published, without much budget for promotion, so if you like it, share it with friends and help spread the word. Together, we can make the two-party duopoly a thing of the past.

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