Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Time again to waste incumbents with wasted votes?

Partisan bickering over the federal debt ceiling makes me nostalgic for this moment in American political history, which I witnessed as a resident of Minnesota and helped effect in 1998 as a voter disgusted with both major political parties:

Has the time come for a truly durable third party? Thomas Friedman speaks longingly of the prospect that we might yet witness the rise of the radical center. Nate Silver speculates that popular frustration with the two-party system may have reached a historically significant high-water mark:
A credible independent bid for the presidency is always a long-shot, but might be more viable under these conditions. Or we may simply see a genuine anti-incumbent wave — a much-discussed phenomenon that has rarely occurred in practice — with significant numbers of elected officials in both parties losing office. It is not out of the question that Democrats could lose the White House but take back control of the House of Representatives.
I have long wished that the United States could find a way to break free of its suffocating political duopoly. It's high time to get past first past the bloody post. There's no time like the present, or the 2012 elections, to waste incumbents with wasted votes.


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