Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Shouldn't the US have more diverse parties, as they have much more divisive issues they vote on?

1.  There are 3 minor parties in the USA
(a) the Libertarian Party
(b) The Green Party
(c) The Constitution Party
(d) other parties (socialist, communist, etc don't show up on the radar screen)

2.  (a) The US has a "winner-take-all" system. In other words, in a local Congressional or Senate election, if you get the majority vote vote, you get the seat.  So, if the Libertarians got 8%, The Greens got 7%, the Constitution Party got 6%, they don't get a seat in the House of Representatives. You need to win the majority of the votes to get a seat.

(b) In the US  the President, which is elected in a separate election, forms the cabinet.  So, Bill Clinton was the Dem President and formed a Dem. administration (ministers in Europe or secretaries in the US), despite the fact, that the Congress was Rep.

So you had a Dem executive branch - administration, Rep. legislature.

3.  Like many things in life - winner-take-all is good and bad.
(a)  Its good, because it creates a stability.  You don't have to enter into  a coalition with the other parties to form a government.  
(b)) Its bad, because the third parties do not have real voice in the government.  

However, recently, the 3rd parties in close elections have been playing a crucial role.

Presidential Candidate     Vote Total     Pct     Party
George W. Bush (W)     2,912,790     48.850     Rep
Al Gore     2,912,253             48.841     Dem
Ralph Nader     97,421     1.633                     Green
Patrick J. Buchanan     17,412     0.292             Reform
Harry Browne     16,102     0.270               Libertarian

Some argue, and the Greens disagree, that if the Greens voted for Gore, he would have won.   Greens further argue, that Al Gore "sold-out" the progressive politics and therefore, lost.  (Its another topic)

Similary, recently in the state of Washington, if the Libertarians voted for the Rep. candidate, the Dem governor would have lost.

4.  The state of New York has the following parties:
a. Dem
b. Rep
c. Conservative
d.  Liberal
e. Libertarian
f. (maybe others)

by ilg37c on Mon Sep 19th, 2005 at 12:49:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't answer right now, because I have to go to work. But thanks so far. What I need to understand exactly in comparison between the US system and the German one, in how far the proportional representation of our parlamentary system with some winner take all components for the direct mandates (I think) compares to the winner take all (and that not for all 50 states in the same manner in the US) reflects the fairness of the intention to represent the people's will of having one man one vote, equally weighted. I know I still haven't thought this through.
by mimi on Mon Sep 19th, 2005 at 08:39:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series