You've probably heard about the political trainwreck we're going through here in the US. There are many causes for what's going on, but a lot of the blame goes to the extreme polarization in US politics today. As Nate Silver notes, the degree of polarization in the Congress is higher than at any point in the 80 years. According to Gallup, 60% of Americans, a third political party is needed to break the ongoing political roadblock, but there's never been an enduring third party in this country. The reason? The winner-takes-all voting system:
Personally, I'm a fan of the Australian system: proportional representation voting ensures minor parties get some seats in parliament (and often have significant influence as the deciding bloc in coalitions), and compulsory voting means that campaigns (and policies) are targeted at the centrist majority instead of aimed at driving the single-issue extremes to the polls. And given the current state of politics here in the US, I'm warming to the idea of an all-powerful monarch that can just reboot the entire system when there's no way out of the gridlock.
That's all for this week. (Catch up on previous Friday posts here.) See you Monday!