Friday, May 11, 2007

How to Make Third Parties Viable

Fz has a good post up about third parties. I'd like to add that a really good way to increase the power of third parties would be to have all or part of the Congress elected by proportional representation. (See here for a good explanation of PR). This would virtually eliminate the concern about wasted votes that derails third parties today. My favorite version of such a plan, proposed to me by a professor, would retain the current system for the Senate but elect the House of Representatives in a national PR election. The change in the House would allow the rise of third parties, while Senators could continue to represent the interests of the individual states.


Dan said...

Would you want to eliminate separate state delegations in the House? That would require a constitutional amendment, one the states would never pass. Witness the governors of both California and Hawaii vetoing the current efforts to elect the president through a national popular vote.

Splitting it by state would be a lot better than what we have now, but still not ideal, especially in those places where they only have one seat in the House.

DC said...

Hi Dan,

Thanks for the comment. I would indeed like to eliminate separate state delegations to the house. You're right that the odds are slim to none of this ever happening... but a man can dream, can't he?