Questioning Simple Plurality
Duverger’s Law, a political theory created in the 1950’s by French political theorist Maurice Duverger, holds that simple plurality electoral systems such as the election system used in the US (first past the post) tend to favor the establishment of two-party power structures in politics while more proportional electoral systems foster better representation through the creation of many parties that create a natural political balance.
Proponents of the simple plurality system as we have in the US maintain that the efforts to attract the swing voter demographic creates stability of ideologies towards a center while suppressing the impact of fringe politics.
However, let’s consider the effect of ideological polarization over a course of many decades. The swing voter demographic becomes less likely to have the same effects on the political stability once envisioned earlier in the two-party system.
Now, let’s introduce the two party membership decline suggested by data along with the polarization effects over decades. The result becomes even farther from the luxury of political stability being stewarded by efforts of the two parties to persuade the votes of the swing voter demographic. What can be theorized as a result is a less representative process, more fringe division, more disenfranchised voters, and less political stability and a lack of natural checks and balances of power.
The Reform Party maintains a belief that the power of choice regarding selection of electoral systems to be used should remain at the most local decision making level as possible and not be preempted by other levels of government.
It is also our argument that a simple plurality electoral system cultivates a greater degree of corruption risk within the governance of the resulting two party system. The swing voter being the arbitrators of reason quickly vanishes under circumstances beyond the system’s control. One entity within a power structure corrupts. Two entities divide and corrupt.
The conventional thinking then within a two party political culture becomes conditioned with dualism where dualism is not always a properly fitting mechanism. Entrance, exit. Black, white. Up, down. Good, evil. Republicans, Democrats. Everything appears to the culture as opposite pairs with no lateral movement between. Yet some will understand that there are spaces of existence between up and down, black and white, left and right, the existence of a whole spectrum of a third dimension.
Nothing, including US politics, is complete without the balance of at least a third dimension. The Reform Party maintains that the freedom of choice regarding election processes, and the facilitating of a third dimension, fosters better representation for electorate subgroups through a balance of political power involving more than just two main political parties.