What if We Really Did Have a Multiparty Democracy?

Most democratic countries have a multi-party system. This article asks you to consider what the political system would be like in the U.S. if it, too, had a multi-party system. Consider the questions the author asks towards the end of the article. Would a true multiparty system more accurately reflect the values of American citizens?

So I'm reading through the results of today's local German elections and I'm marveling at the political analysis. Three states – Thuringia, Saarland, and Saxony – held local elections and the result was a mixed bag where near-majority Christian Democrats lost to a plethora of minor parties on the left and right including the Free Democrats (economic conservatives), the Left Party (former Communists from the East, trade unionists in the west, and various assorted left-wing populists), Greens and a smaller set of far-right National Democrats.

And so I got to thinking: what if we had a true multiparty democracy in the United States? I'm not talking about our current system where third parties get about 1% of the vote. I mean a REAL multi-party democracy instead of the two-party system we have. Obviously, this would entail a parliamentary system as well without "winner take all". In other words, this is pure fantasy. But just for fun, what kinds of political parties would we have? Let's imagine 2008 thusly, with various representative figures standing in:

  • Barack Obama: National Democratic Party with 26%
  • John McCain: American Republican Union with 17%
  • Al Gore: Green Party with 10%
  • Roy Moore: Christian America Party with 12%
  • Michael Moore: Leftist Workers Party with 9%
  • Strom Thurmond III: Party of Dixie with 6%
  • Al Sharpton: Black Liberation Party: 2%
  • Christine Todd Whitman: Main Street Union with 11%
  • Neal Boortz: American Individuals' Party with 4%
  • Susan Sarandon: Peace and Love Party with 3%

Think of the coalition-building that would go on! Generally speaking, the parties would list to the left or right. But as we've seen in Germany of late, you can get coalitions of minor parties across the aisle. Imagine the Christian America Party, the Social Left Party, and the Black Liberation Party trying to form a coalition with the National Democrats. Or the Main Street Union joining up with the American Individuals, the Peace and Lovers, and the American Republican Union, which lost its Party of Dixie and Christian America backers angry at McCain's refusal to champion social issues.

The possibilities are endless and fun! Would a true multiparty system more accurately reflect the values of the adherents to the two major coalitions that currently dominate? Would, say, social liberals who currently vote Democratic be less likely to back labor? In other words, would we end up with a more class-based politics? Or would we end up with a LESS class-based politics as cultural issues define the new partisan nexus? And what about foreign policy? Would the left-right divide persist?

What do you think?

Source: Aaron Astor, https://themoderatevoice.com/
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 License.

Last modified: Tuesday, September 29, 2020, 12:39 PM