How the US Can End Its Two-Party System

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Why is the Two-Party System Bad?

The two-party system gives Americans poor representation, results in unaccountable politicians, polarizes society along party lines, and is extremely unpopular among the American People.

Poor Representation

Two-party systems, as the name suggests, only represent two political parties — and thus, only two viewpoints. The two major parties tend to be more diverse than they would be under a multi-party system, but primaries usually filter out heterodox candidates.

No Accountability

Duopolies result in unaccountable governments, since it’s hard to primary entrenched, establishment candidates, and the opposition party’s candidate is usually just as corrupt — if not more so.

Polarization

Having only two factions results in an ‘us versus them’ mentality that divides the country along party lines. According to Pew: the center has gotten smaller, Democrats have moved to the left, and Republicans have moved to the right.

Americans Want a Third Party

A 2021 Gallup poll shows that half of Americans are political Independents (neither Democrats nor Republicans), only 48% of Americans view the Democratic Party favorably, and only 37% view the Republican Party favorably.

How Do We Fix It?

Fixing our two-party system won’t be easy; the system is rigged against us, and we’re fighting an uphill battle against two, monolithic behemoths — but we can win, and here’s how:

Third Party Unity

We need a unified, big-tent, third-party movement. This might seem insane, considering how third parties range from far-left to far-right and disagree on pretty much every issue — but we can all agree on one thing: the duopoly has to end.

Run for Office

We need more third party and Independent candidates, and if you have the time and are devoted to the cause: put your name up for consideration! You might have trouble collecting enough signatures to get on the ballot, but it’s worth a try.

Use Another Voting Method

The largest problem with our electoral system is FPTP. A lot of people on the left have recognized this, and proposed ranked-choice voting — but this system wouldn’t help third parties, just eliminate them in the first few rounds and redistribute their votes to DRs.

Ballot Access Reform

The first barrier to an Independent or third party candidate is getting on the ballot. Independent candidates might have to collect a certain number of signatures and third parties might have to win a certain percent of the vote for Governor.

Get Money Out of Politics

American politics are notoriously corrupt, largely due to the fact that the ultra-rich are allowed to pump billions of dollars into their favorite political campaigns — and this hurts third parties, which can’t raise very much money for advertisements, travel, and other expenses.

Media Coverage

Third parties and Independents are usually ignored by the media, which means a lot of people don’t know they exist, don’t know what they believe, or assume they aren’t serious — which people have actually told me.

Sources

Andy Ngo. “How a Portland radical murdered a Trump supporter — and became a hero for Antifa”. New York Post, 30 Jan. 2021, https://nypost.com/2021/01/30/how-a-portland-radical-murdered-a-trump-supporter/. Accessed 9 Jul. 2021.