Originally Posted by bigwalton
I say the only way for anything other than the current system to actually come to be (agreeing with everything said thus far about a real third party) is to go directly to a 4-party system.
Something for the center-left and center-right between the other two. Problem in my mind with third parties is that they tend to be off to a "side" in the current political spectrum, rather than somewhere IN it.
As I see it, the political spectrum is reality and won't change regardless of additional parties, most people's views lie somewhere in that range, so let's simply divide it up a little finer (there's certainly enough of us to go finer than just two divisions, right?).
Basically, if you looked at this election, you could have had something like:
Put those four on a ballot and see what happens.
Many people would say that then we might not have a clear winner and the one with the most votes could have just a bit more than 25% of the total vote (of course the electoral system would have to be reworked too, but who doesn't want that?) but I'd argue that it wouldn't be any worse than now when so many people are unhappy with the options that they simply don't vote anyway or are just voting a straight party ticket... the reality of it all is that there's such small turnouts that I don't think the winner is really supported by much more than 25% of the voters anyway.
We've discussed this here before.
There is nothing in our current laws that mandates that there be 2 parties, and in fact when you go to vote in November there will be many candidates from different parties on the ballot. The "Two party system" is just a side effect of our election process. I think the biggest change that would help give an alternate party a chance would be to change from only requiring a candidate to be elected on a plurality (more votes than any other candidate) of vote to requiring a majority (over half of votes cast) of votes to win. If no candidate gets a majority then a runoff election is held between the 2 top vote getters.