Are political parties the worst mistake America ever made?

Actually the UK is pretty much a Labour / Conservative duopoly. Smaller parties make minor breakthroughs from time to time, but they seldom last. Geographical ones have lasted the longest.

They realised that it was inevitable and had both demonstrated advantages and pitfalls, which is why they didn’t spill any ink trying to prevent it.

There’s a difference between a system that tends to have two major parties, with others, to a system that has two and only two, which is how the US operates.

After all, when was the last time that a third party in the US had enough support that it could obtain seats in the Cabinet or in the leadership in Congress?

And yet until earlier this year, that was the situation in the UK, where the Deputy PM and several members of the Cabinet were not from either the Conservative or Labour parties, and there was a formal coalition agreement between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.

That is worlds away from the US situation, and yet has occurred under FPTP in the UK.

You should form a political party to oppose political parties.

Seriously - the political system works well with parties, and they are the natural result of any democracy. It’s simply like-minded people getting together to get something.

The SCOTUS has no parties because it isn’t elected.

Imagine an election with five candidates on the ballot. The winner could win with just 20% of the vote. How is that better?

And when the other 80% of the voters realize they were screwed, some of them will get together and form a coalition and only offer one candidate so they can win that 80% of the vote, though not all will join because you’re not going to get that many to agree. The 20% who won will then form a coalition so they don’t lose again, drawing from the rest of those voters who are closer to them politically. Each side will vie for the 50% of the vote needed to win, and because they are doing that, they will force the other side to continue to do that, and voila! Two parties.

If the five prevented any one from ever getting an electoral college majority, this might not be so bad. The President would then be elected by the House of Representatives, preventing the current train wreck of totally divided government. We’d be halfway to parliamentary democracy. Get rid of our wildly gerrymandered Senate (same representation for enormous states and tiny ones), and we’d actually have a sensible form of government.

The problem with someone like Bloomberg running for President is that he’s got no congressional party behind him. So in office he could do nothing. Instead of paying a billion dollars to get himself elected (or, more likely, defeated), he should underwrite a new centrist party.

Right. The US is a duopoly because the parties have so little authority. In a parliamentary system, a prospective candidate who disagrees with party leadership on policy issues has to find (or form) another party. In the US, the parties are coalitions who lack the ability to enforce policy uniformity among its candidates, so there is no reason for even an outlier candidate to move to a separate party.

The let’s fix it :slight_smile:

And on the other hand, an outlier has every reason not to go, because third parties and independents nearly always lose elections.

If that was true then there would only be a few thousand people in this country who had a political party. But the reality is that people can be a part of a political party without running for office themselves.

US mid-terms, two candidates, 40% voter turnout. (36.4% in 2014) 20% of more than enough to win FPTP in any number of districts. How is that any different?

Political Gerrymandering … yes it’s still legal AFAIK

Campaign finance reform … at least require public disclosure

Vote for me … I’d be better than The Donald

Otherwise the political system here in the USA is just fine, been working pretty well these past 225 years.

If I were to nominate the “worst mistake” America ever made, I think I would vote for slavery. But it’s just my Democratic Party overlords telling me to say that.

Because 20% of 40% is even smaller.

There aren’t only two parties. There are only two parties that MATTER.

My point is that there are HoR races where the winner gets less than 20% of the eligible vote. But you knew that.
Unfortunately I don’t have access to a non-subscription site for US election and population data to determine a precise headcount, but it wouldn’t be an unusual event.

The other poster talked about 20% of actual voters, and you keep talking about 20% of eligible voters. You are comparing apples and oranges.

Democracy. The absolute worst form of government that can be, except for all the other types.

Huh? That doesn’t follow.

The point was that the SCOTUS isn’t partisan and that this somehow proves the rest of government shouldn’t be. But the rest of government is elected, while the SCOTUS is not. Hence no parties involved.

This is about parties, not voting participation. Are you arguing that parties cause most voters not to vote?

We already have public disclosure of all donations made to candidates and parties. You can go look them up on