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178

I mean, we've had exclusively Democrat or Republican governments for well over 150 years, I'm not sure how else you'd measure "total and perpetual dominance".


122

David Easton (a major figure in modern political science) defined governance as the 'authoritative allocation of values', meaning that a government decides what values the community it serves will hold as important, productive, and meaningful. Governance in this sense is the answer to the question: "How do we as a nation allocate our collective time and ...


89

One reason why the UK has more parties than the US is simply that it is cheaper to compete in the political game. General election campaigning is effectively limited to four weeks before the election date in the UK, not two (or more) years. The maximum expenditure permitted by an individual candidate is either £10,000 or £16,000 depending on the number of ...


86

Duverger's law says that for a given district in a plurality (first-past-the-post) system, the number of parties will tend towards two. In the United States, there is an office with a national district, the presidency. As a result, the total number of parties tends toward two. If a third party becomes large enough, it takes over one of the other parties....


83

In short, because Democratic Party in USA is roughly split between two factions (I'll label them "progressive" and "establishment" just for the sake of labeling). FiveThirtyEight covered this split in great detail in the last couple of months (as well as a split in Republican party); but for the purposes of this question, Sanders represented the "...


83

Let's imagine that this were to actually happen. Major members of the two parties realized that what you said was true, and that if they could cooperate then they would totally and completely dominate the political system, and could do whatever they wanted, no matter what the electorate said, and no matter how bad it was for those governed. They would soon ...


83

A good explanation might be confirmation bias. Confirmation bias in a nutshell is the psychological phenomenon that people generally tend to trust information which supports their views and distrusts information which contradicts their views. And this trust or distrust does of course extend to those who provide that information. And it just so happens that ...


82

Multiple, proportionally weighted, representatives per district. Gerrymandering is only an issue because a 50.001% majority for a precinct and an 80% majority are considered equivariant. We also consider 2 politicians as having equal vote on bills regardless of district size. In America; Montana has 994k people per congressman, Rhode island 1st district has ...


79

The standard terms of left and right politics originate from the seating arrangement of the French National Assembly of 1789. They are often considered overly simplistic for today's complex political landscape. In the 1789 at the French National Assembly the First Estate (noblemen) sat on the right side and the Third Estate (revolutionaries) sat on the left ...


79

Why are “the rich” more able to identify the party which represent their interests than “the poor”? Mostly, because your assumption is just that, an assumption, and is an incorrect one at that. I won't go down the rabbit hole of disputing your Marx-influenced class based assumption that somehow, left wing parties[1] represent interests of "the poor" ...


74

Because the two main parties absorb emergent third parties Any time any third party starts to get serious traction in the United States, it eventually will find one of the major parties shifting its platform to absorb those voters into its coalition. Unlike most of the other parties in America, the Democrats and the Republicans are both in the business of ...


72

There are so many false assumptions in your question. But one that wasn't addressed by the other answers is this: There are a lot of people who vote based on their moral principles. Whether rich or poor, one can believe that the proper role of government is to help to poor. Or one can believe that charity should not be compelled by law. One can believe that ...


70

Does the American public know, that their perception of left and right is is skewed and right-shifted in comparison to many other Western countries? The American public is mostly oblivious to the domestic politics of countries other than their own, although there is some vague familiarity with the leading political parties of Canada, Mexico and the U.K. ...


66

The idea that the DNC "rigged" the primaries is false. I voted Bernie in the primary, too, but it is very important not to take the claim in the WikiLeaks graphic at face value. This July 2016 New Republic article debunks the claim: No, the DNC Didn’t Rig the Primary in Favor of Hillary: Wikileaks’s tweets conjured dark and menacing conspiracies, ...


64

George Washington said: However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very ...


58

A safeguard WAS put into place. We call it the Electoral College (although it is not named as such in the Constitution). It failed miserably at that goal. The original vision when the Electoral College system was devised had three aims: To prevent political parties from dominating politics. To prevent a populist from getting elected to office. To "...


56

The modern US military is self-selecting — a professional army, not a conscripted one — so I doubt this effect would hold true historically. But as a rule, the political Right tends to value military service as a symbol of deep patriotism. As a consequence, those who lean politically Right who want to serve the nation will be more likely to think of the ...


55

Why are masks political? Because the handling of the pandemic has become a political issue. The President took a clear position. In a bipartisan, hyperpartisan climate, loyalists of the President must be seen to publicly back him, whatever the facts. Opponents to the President must be seen to publicly attack him, whatever the facts. The fact that one side ...


52

This is a rather simple mathematical exercise. If you allow me total freedom to draw districts within the current requirements, I can place anyone in any district I want provided they have equal population in the end. Connectedness in two dimensions is not enough of a barrier to stop this. In that case, my best bet is to fill as many districts as possible ...


51

Institutions and constitutional arrangements are important as they provide a buffer against temporary excesses, but the ultimate check is civil society, really. Otherwise look at Hungary, Turkey, etc. No amount of paper institutions is going to prevent a slide into something like that. Unless enough people say no. There have been a lot of papers on ...


47

How political parties view things is not necessarily commensurate with reality. After all, they have a political agenda to push. In this case the view of (federal) judges—Supreme Court Justices or otherwise—as dyed-in-the-wool partisans is not really borne out by the reality. The type of 5-4 split decisions that attract so much attention are in fact a ...


45

Short answer: everybody hates somebody, and by extension that person/group's cherished pet cause. Seriously. Consider the following conversation: Person A: Hey there gun owner, did you know that you support school vouchers? Person B: I do? Why? Person A: Because the people trying to take your guns away hate them. Meanwhile, in a parallel universe: Person ...


41

There are many in the United States who lack a basic understanding of Socialism in even a few of its many forms. The most damning indictment is when a person uses Communism, Nazism, and Socialism as though they are synonyms. It would be lost on them to attempt to explain nuances between Social Democracy and Democratic Socialism. There are numerous programs ...


40

Because US Democratic party is not left wing, it's just slightly more to the left than extremely right wing Republican party. This is an important point, one that is worth expanding. The ideology of the Democratic Party is closer to that of European Centre-Right parties like the UK Conservative Party and the German CDU than it is to the European Centre-Left,...


38

Note: This answer was written when the question was on Worldbuilding SE, the site for building consistent fictional worlds. The German System (simplified): Germany uses a form of Mixed-member proportional representation: A number of seats are allocated to individuals in first-past-the-fencepost districts. At the same time, voters cast a second vote for ...


36

It's from a combination of factors. The following is the perspective from the United States: Conservatives are, on the whole, more aligned with business and/or industry Since industry is most likely to be adversely affected by the consequences of regulations to reduce global warming (emissions restrictions, for example) there is an incentive to deny global ...


36

Traditionally, yes, but not much anymore One way would be to look at how often members of one party vote the same as members of another party. In this 2015 paper published on PLOS One: The Rise of Partisanship and Super-Cooperators in the U.S. House of Representatives, Andris et.al. do just this with data from 1949-2018: We define a network of over 5 ...


35

To quote from my own answer on History SE, the terms "left" and "right" have no objective meaning in today's global politics (unlike their historical usages covered by other answers) - they are 100% subjective, AND extremely varied across polities even when attempted to be used objectively. To give some examples of complete inconsistencies: In post-USSR ...


34

Mask vs Mask Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like N95 masks are always effective against airborne transmitted diseases (when properly used). They were designed for that reason. Any other kind of mask widely available to consumers is less effective than N95. That doesn't make it useless against transmission, but it does mean that when people talk about &...


32

Mediaeval Iceland style: Throw out the geographical restrictions entirely. Anyone who gets the backing of a certain number of people becomes a representative entitled to speak and vote at the meetings. Where those people live doesn't matter. Who the representative is doesn't matter. There are no fixed-time elections, any person can move their backing to ...


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