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Duvergers law: the bane of third parties in the United States

Unitedwestand13

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I only recently discovered this term, but I am starting to find it very useful in explaining the problem that third parties have in the United States.

The definition of Duvergers law.

In political science, Duverger's law holds that plurality-rule elections (such as first past the post) structured within single-member districts tend to favor a two-party system and that "the double ballot majority system and proportional representation tend to favor multipartism."[1][2] The discovery of this tendency is attributed to Maurice Duverger, a French sociologist who observed the effect and recorded it in several papers published in the 1950s and 1960s. In the course of further research, other political scientists began calling the effect a "law" or principle.

Duverger's law suggests a nexus or synthesis between a party system and an electoral system: a proportional representation (PR) system creates the electoral conditions necessary to foster party development while a plurality system marginalizes many smaller political parties, resulting in what is known as a two-party system.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duverger's_law

Now some people complain that the democratic and republican parties have a unfair advantage over third parties. My default reaction has been this: our electoral system favors the dominance of two parties.

It is also why I think Jill stein and Gary Johnson will not win this election.
 
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Crovax

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I only recently discovered this term, but I am starting to find it very useful in explaining the problem that third parties have in the United States.

The definition of Duvergers law.



https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duverger's_law

Now some people complain that the democratic and republican parties have a unfair advantage over third parties. My default reaction has been this: our electoral system favors the dominance of two parties.

It is also why I think Jill stein and Gary Johnson will not win this election.

I have been telling people this for years, no one will listen
 

ttwtt78640

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I only recently discovered this term, but I am starting to find it very useful in explaining the problem that third parties have in the United States.

The definition of Duvergers law.



https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duverger's_law

Now some people complain that the democratic and republican parties have a unfair advantage over third parties. My default reaction has been this: our electoral system favors the dominance of two parties.

It is also why I think Jill stein and Gary Johnson will not win this election.

It also heavily favors incumbents and well funded campaigns. While congress critters have a popularity rating just above a road kill sandwich they enjoy over a 90% re-election rate. ;)

Congress has 11% approval ratings but 96% incumbent reelection rate, meme says | PolitiFact
 

eohrnberger

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I have been telling people this for years, no one will listen

Same here, but only recently and only in context of pro-Johnson people.

Suffice it to say that I'm glad that at least Johnson is pulling more from Hillary's voters than trump voters, as I surely believe that a corrupt, amoral and ethically challenged Hillary presidency is the worst possible thing for the nation, and indeed, the world.

Just have to view the results of her judgement and decisions in the Middle East to see what I'm talking about.
 

Carjosse

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It also heavily favors incumbents and well funded campaigns. While congress critters have a popularity rating just above a road kill sandwich they enjoy over a 90% re-election rate. ;)

Congress has 11% approval ratings but 96% incumbent reelection rate, meme says | PolitiFact

It was explained that it is because most people like their own representative because after all they voted for them but hate everyone's else's, therefore they do not realize their representative is part of the problem.
 

ttwtt78640

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It was explained that it is because most people like their own representative because after all they voted for them but hate everyone's else's, therefore they do not realize their representative is part of the problem.

Most people don't vote and could not even name their three congress critters much less how (or if) they voted on a given matter.
 

Unitedwestand13

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Most people don't vote and could not even name their three congress critters much less how (or if) they voted on a given matter.

My current representatives are senator Barbra boxer, senator Dianne Feinstein, and representative mike Honda.
 

FieldTheorist

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I only recently discovered this term, but I am starting to find it very useful in explaining the problem that third parties have in the United States.

The definition of Duvergers law.



https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duverger's_law

Now some people complain that the democratic and republican parties have a unfair advantage over third parties. My default reaction has been this: our electoral system favors the dominance of two parties.

It is also why I think Jill stein and Gary Johnson will not win this election.

It's true that Johnson and Stein will not win the election. There's no chance of it at all --the system is quite openly rigged by corporations and Democrats and Republicans for Democrats and Republicans in order to be for corporations. It's not enough to just point to the electoral college and the winner-take-all system. Those are bad, but they don't totally account for the stability of the two dominant parties for decades, I don't think.

That being said, I really am going to need a vomit bag when I vote for Hillary. If my state looks solidly for or against Hillary, I'll be switching my vote to Stein just for moral reasons. But even then, personally, I think the Green Party is being completely stupid right now; rather than waste money or time on a presidential election, they should be walking into solid Blue and Red states and working on seats in Congress and Senate seats. Get someone in government --like Sanders did-- and let them govern. Let them be a serious political candidate who can accrue power and help others get into political offices all around the US. Help Bernie Sanders with his Our Revolution project, go fight with Wolf-PAC. In short, just do something useful, which isn't running for an office that, frankly, they haven't fully earned. All of the Leftist parties (Green Party, Working Families Party, Socialist Party, PSL, and so on) need to stop fighting for 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 pipe dream of being president. That just isn't how this works, and it doesn't work that way for a good goddamned reason.

You only make progress with solidarity, by organizing, and by making building up victories that make people give you credibility. You can do that while speaking truth to power, while fighting for Leftism and Leftist issues, and so on. But you have to do it, or else the rest is just bloviation. So they need to organize and work together in solidarity. That is how lasting progress is made.
 

Mr Person

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I have been telling people this for years, no one will listen

It's more than the OP. The two parties have restructured virtually every rule concerning elections, from getting on a ballot in the first place (and rules before that) to the very end.
 

Deuce

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It also heavily favors incumbents and well funded campaigns. While congress critters have a popularity rating just above a road kill sandwich they enjoy over a 90% re-election rate. ;)

Congress has 11% approval ratings but 96% incumbent reelection rate, meme says | PolitiFact

That's because there's a missing piece here:
Congress has an approval rating that barely makes it to double digits, but when you ask people about their representative you get a much, much different picture. Most Americans approve of "their guy" but disapprove of Congress as a whole. While the system certainly slants in favor of incumbents and a two-party system... we're as much to blame for incumbency as the system.
 
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