By Myron Mathis Columnist
Sometimes I wonder what American Politics would be like if we didn’t have a two-party system. One thing I believe we could take from the British political system is to have multiple political parties playing an integral part of our political process. Why not have a system just like what we have now, but instead of voting for two representatives of two parties we vote out of, say, five political parties for every level in government? In Congress, if Party A gets 40 percent of the popular vote, their representatives hold 40 percent of the congressional seats. If Party B gets 30 percent of the popular vote, the same; and so on.
One may be thinking that there might be more of a divide in political affiliations, hindering progress even further. Not necessarily. Think about it this way: the way our political infrastructure is now, the minority party in Congress is forced to work with “the other side of the aisle” to get something accomplished. If there were multiple parties it would be easier for three parties to make a coalition controlling 65 percent of the vote, making it easier to push bills through Congress and actually achieving the government’s goal of empowering the American people and making their lives better.
This concept is not as far-fetched as it initially seems. Granted, the republican and democratic parties are the only predominate parties at the moment, but we do have the “Tea Party,” movement, Libertarians, the Constitution Party and the Green Party. Voters in recent years have rarely stepped back and listened to their political adversary in order to try to understand their opinion, instead acting with hostility and outright loathing for the other party. Debates between political enthusiasts have gone from “Your point is wrong and mine is right,” to “Your party is the one messing everything up, not mine.”
Polarity in the political arena is good for winning votes from one’s respective party but does little to nothing to accomplishing something for the better of the American people as a whole. In the words of the late President John F. Kennedy, we should “ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”