- Jan 29, 2014
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I don't think it will end anywhere that there are just one or two "representatives" for a particular geographic area with first-past-the-post voting. Here In the USA, we have 535 congressional districts, each with exactly one Representative, and 50 states, each with exactly two Senators. This makes it nearly impossible for anyone who isn't running as a candidate from one of the two main parties to get their foot in the door. It also means a goodly portion of of the population in each district -- those who voted for the loser(s) -- have no representation, at least for that term. The UK's House of Commons has the same issue; 650 single-member constituencies.I think Don may very well be correct: the two party political system needs to end.
Places where there are more than two parties tend to have systems where at least some of the representation is "at large"; where candidates and/or parties with as little as a single-digit vote totals still end up as representatives. This means voters don't see it as "throwing away" their vote if they don't vote for one of the top two parties.
Some people think that preferential voting systems such as "ranked choice" would fix this, but I'm not at all convinced. If I was starting form scratch, designing a representative republic in the 21st century, I would have a fixed number of representatives, all "elected" at large, and individuals could change who is representing them at any time. Representatives would be proxies for individuals, and if you find yourself in disagreement with your representative over an issue that's important to you, you could pull your proxy from him and give it to someone else instantly. Anyone could stand for a seat in the legislative body at any time, and all they would need to be seated is a sufficient number of people to assign them their proxy.