Rethink two-party system

 
Updated 5/23/2022 12:08 PM

In the May 12 Michael Barone column "Redistricting proving to have little impact," the assertion is made that partisan redistricting is a marginal and unavoidable factor in our political system. However, given the fact that only 27% of Americans feel as if their congressman is the political actor who best represents them, I think that we ought to rethink one of the cornerstones of how we choose our representatives -- the two-party system.

We should focus on shifting policies toward empowering third parties that currently have no real chance of winning elections on a relevant scale. One way to do this is to shift to a system where part of the House is chosen through proportional representation -- a system where citizens cast votes for their preferred parties and legislative seats are proportionally apportioned based on the national vote.

 

An approach like this promotes multiple parties having significant shares of policy-making power. Take, for example, Mexico, where 40% of the lower house is chosen through proportional representation. They have a multi-party system where, even if one's set of ideologies is outnumbered in their district, they can still vote for the party with whom they align on the national scale.

Adopting such a system would help to ensure that people feel represented in politics and don't feel as if their voices have been silenced due to gerrymandering -- we don't simply have to accept partisan gerrymandering as an unchangeable part of our politics.

By offering voters multiple relevant options in congressional elections, citizens would feel a greater sense of political efficacy, Congress and the government at large would enjoy greater legitimacy and, most importantly, we would further advance the principle of representative democracy that is central to our republic and its ideals.

Evan Brown

Mundelein

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