eviljwinter at Edged in Blue has a good post about how the two-party system is bad for political discourse in this country. I can’t argue with that, and I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve posted much the same thing.
Where I have some disagreement with him is his support for the multi-party system. The problem is that eventually the two-party system will effectively be reborn through “coalition building”. eviljwinter is right to say that it’s odd that libertarians and social conservatives should find themselves in the same party, but he neglects to consider how this came about. The libertarians and the social conservatives both consciously chose to join the Republican party, after all. Nobody forced them.
Suppose that all the libertarians went and formed a real, honest-to-God Libertarian party, and not just the shade of one that exists now. Suppose also that the social conservatives went and formed their own party, as well. This sounds very well, but eventually some of the parties would begin to chat with each other. And then they would soon begin to make alliances against other parties. Eventually, it is quite likely that the Social Conservatives and Libertarians would rebuild the old Republican voting coalition under a new name, and then we would be back where we started.
I’m no expert, but I think “coalition government” of this sort is how politics works in Europe. Actually, it’s the way almost all Democracies end up working out of necessity. It is only a curious anomaly that in the United States, these coalitions are but rarely granted the status of “party”, and are instead known as the “right-wing” or “the Reagan Democrats” or whatever.
Still, while I feel that the multi-party system would be of limited help to our political system, it’s still a very good post; and I’m wholeheartedly supportive of attempts to consider such alternatives.