Thursday, January 26, 2012

Nader Questions the US Two-Party System or Oligopoly?

The FDA is committed to expanding electoral discourse and choice, with the purpose of increasing the voice of the will of the people. In this video, Nader echoes the FDA concern for example that Americans' electoral choice is limited to only two parties. Interestingly, the Conservative government in Canada has been pushing through rhetoric for less Canadian parties and has vilified coalition governments. Self-serving agenda? (In the FDA electoral fairness audit on the US federal electoral system, the FDA shows that the US two-party system is a legislated creation which favors very significantly the Republicans and Democrats over all other parties. The point being that the US two-party system is a human creation, rather than a natural phenomenon.)

FDA Electoral Fairness Report on the US Federal Electoral System


  1. I can think of several advatages of the two party system such as:
    -It simplifies the choices for the people;
    -It creates a focused mandate for the country. With too many voices, it's difficult to get clarity;
    -Faster decision making process with only 2 parties on the equation;
    -Consolidation of leadership to only 2 parties(or in our case in Canada to 3 or 4 parties). This ensures the parties who govern have strong leadership within its party.

    The question becomes how do we make sure that once elected, the governing party do what they're supposed to do or have promised to do? The same advantages I've pointed out can easily turn againts the will of the people. Once the party start to lose sight of the needs of the voters and place their focus on the survival of the party, or focus on amending laws to secure their position, then it is no longer about the voters, but about power. This is where a two party system becomes ineffective.

    At the end of the day, the parties reap what they sow. If the governing party forgets about its voters or alienate the minority, they will feel the impact on the next election. People are smart, and groups like FDA can help defog some of the fog around our current democratic system - one issue at a time.

  2. In the 2011 Canadian federal election, Canada had 19 registered political parties.

    Why limit the people's choice in who should govern?

    What is wrong with coalition governments? They allow for greater voice in government and broader policy.

    Shouldn't a democratic society allow parties have to compete electorally rather than creating two or three party system? Ulimately, the voice of the people should be the only thing that matters. A multi-party system more accurately captures that will than a two-party system.


Thank you for sharing your perspective.