To Hell With Duverger’s Law

Donald Trump is now a former president. He is gone from Washington. He is now in Florida, leaving behind an awesome amount of wreckage. He wrecked a long-standing political party. He leaves a nation in tatters. We will find out in the coming years, how our country has been affected by the actions of President Trump. But how will the party he ran under fare? Will the GOP be reformed? Or will it splinter?

Recently Trump mulled the idea of starting a third party called the Patriot party. Rumor has it he was talked out of this idea. His confidants reminded him it is far better to reign in the hellscape that is now the Republican party where he can go after disloyal politicians. He rules the GOP now. Why give that up?

I never thought that the Patriot party was a real option. We all know that Trump is incredibly lazy. And so I found it hard to believe that he would take the time to start a new party. Also, it’s a lot easier for him to just primary people he doesn’t like in the GOP than trying to start a new party from scratch.

However, the idea of a new party is not a bad one. It’s time to create a new center-right party, one that is actually based on sound beliefs and policies and governing. So instead of hoping that the Orange Cheeto God will leave and form a new party, maybe it makes more sense for the Romneys and Collinses to leave and to start their own party.

But what about Duvengers law? Every time that someone talks about a viable third party in the United States, someone will bring up Duvengers Law. The law is named after a French sociologist Maurice Duvenger who posited the theory that a simple majority or a first past the post system, system such as the United States generally favors only two parties. It’s only democracies that have proportional representation, places like Israel, or Germany, or the Netherlands, that can be multi-party systems.

According to Duvengers Law, trying to create a third party in the United States would be an exercise in futility because the system rejects having more than two parties. It a fascinating argument with just one problem: of all the countries that have a first past the post system, it looks like only the United States is the one nation that follows Duvengers law.

Other countries like Canada and the United Kingdom that also have first past the post systems seem to have successful third parties. The UK has two major parties: the Conservatives and Labour. But there is also a third party that consistently wins seats in parliament, the Liberal Democrats. In Canada, the two big parties are the Conservatives and the Liberals. But right behind these two parties are three other parties that consistently win seats in parliament: the socialist New Democrats, the separatist Bloq Quebecois, and the Green Party.


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