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American elections ranked worst among Western democracies. Here’s why. [Pippa Norris / TheConversation]

March 24, 2016

Another central issue for my blog – the shortcomings of the national (and state) election system in the U.S. Article by U-of-Sydney prof and Harvard Lecturer. My 2 cents below the link.

link: https://theconversation.com/american-elections-ranked-worst-among-western-democracies-heres-why-56485

[once again, via NC. Getting really lazy.]

The U.S. form of government electoral system is pretty awesome, for something invented 300 years ago. But there are glaring flaws. For one, our winner-take-all-by-district system helps lock in the toxic two-party duopoly pattern, forcing voters to hold their nose and pick the “lesser evil” time after time again, making it impossible for most people to vote for a candidate who actually represents them.

There are well established fixes for this — namely, proportional represensation, and instant runoff voting (preference voting). These are in widespread use worldwide and they do work in broadening the range of options voters have, and making political discourse more meaningful. They don’t cure all the difficulties with making democracy work well, but they are basic tools, and the US’s lack of them is holding us back, as we can see so clearly this year. (If Sanders runs as a third party, imagine what happens…).

 

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