We need ranked choice, instant runoff voting. It won’t happen nation-wide. We need to do it state by state like we did with equal marriage rights and legalizing marijuana. I also think it won’t happen from the legislatures; we’ll have to do it with initiatives.
I don’t think so. There never has been a real major third party in the U.S. before now. Maybe with instant runoff voting it can happen, but before that, I don’t think so.
What’s happened twice before is that a new major party arose only after one of the two previous major parties went belly up. The first time was when the Federalists went kaput during the “Era of Good Feelings” under Monroe (1817-1825) as the Jeffersonian Republicans AKA Democrats established a one party system with adopting some Federalist ideas. In the 1824 election all the major candidates were from the same party with the winner, John Quincy Adams, being the son of a Federalist president but clearly a Republican AKA Democrat as he was the Secretary of State of Monroe. After this the party split into the supporters of Adams, the National Republicans, and the supporters of his main challenger, who won in 1828, Andrew Jackson, calling themselves just Democrats. Then the National Republicans adopted the name Whigs during Jackson’s administration.
The other time a new party rose up to become a major party was after the Whigs collapsed over slavery due to their disastrous Compromise of 1850. They lost big in 1852 and by 1854 were gone. It was not coincidence that the first convention of the Republican Party, adopting the original name of the Jeffersonian Democrats, was in the same year. When the Republicans formed there was only one major party left, the Democrats. (Another party formed then too, the American Party AKA the Know Nothings, but they lost out the competition to the Republicans of which would be the new 2nd party.) By 1856 the Republicans were the new 2nd major party and by 1858 they dominated the legislatures and governships of the north and the Congress. Of course by 1860 they won the presidency.
One other time a new party formed and almost became a major party. In the 1890s the Populists were growing like crazy, winning races in the states. But they were cut off at the knees in 1896 when the Democrats adopted a lot of their platform, especially freeing up money by using silver as well as gold, which was the main point in the “Cross of Gold” acceptance speech of their nominee, William Jennings Bryan.
So I see two options. Either the Democrats go kaput leaving space for a new 2nd Party or the Democrats repeat 1896 and adopt a growing new 3rd Party’s platform, preempting their going kaput.
Either way, it seems to me the thing we on the Left need to do to get an alternative to the Fascist Party and the Collaborator Party is to stop supporting the Democrats (unless the specific Democrat is a Leftist.)
I know this sounds like treason to the LOTE folk around here, but the issue is marching towards oblivion with either a bully shouting obnoxious things as she or he leads us there or marching towards oblivion with a liar giving wonkish rhetoric about pragmatism as she or he marches us towards the same place. Until we stop following both, we won’t be able to march away from oblivion.