Time for a New Party?
Mark Tapscott thinks the combination of historically low poll numbers for President Bush and the drop in Congressional job approval to a mere 27% may signal that the public is finally fed up with “business as usual.”
In other words, the moment may be approaching for an independent, trans-partisan political party, a citizens party if you will, to assume the initiative. Or maybe no such movement will appear and instead the current system will simply continue and the nation will continue its current slide towards the entitlement culture’s inevitable economic bankruptcy.
For reasons I’ve enumerated numerous times, including an August 2006 article for TCS Daily, the emergence of a successful third party is incredibly unlikely.
Ultimately, if the public sustains its hostility to specific problems in the system, some candidate or one of the existing parties will exploit that to help get elected. The two parties have demonstrated time and again that they will adapt to the changing demands of the voters.
Whether that’s a good thing is, of course, debatable.
UPDATE: Steven Taylor and Matthew Shugart, both of whom specialize in the politics of voting, have more thoughts on the feasibility of overturning the two party power structure. Neither are sanguine about the odds.
Shugart nonetheless advises charging forward:
I can’t name one case in which major change away from single-seat districts to a more representative and democratic electoral system ever occurred without the rise of new parties first. So, my advice to people who feel it is time for a new party is simple: Find one and participate in and vote for it.
I’ll likely continue to pick the least bad option among the major candidates, though, unless I ever find myself back in a state where the outcome is preordained.