Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Two underappreciated benefits of a two party system

1. The Arrow Impossibility Theorem is off the table as a problem to worry about. You have to be comfortable with a republic over a plebiscite, of course.

2. Two parties are more likely to fight over the median voter. More parties are less likely. If we're going to prioritize any voter it should probably be the median one.


  1. Actually the second one isn't under appreciated but it's worth noting.

  2. Wouldn't it be better if the parties prioritized polices that are in the general interest rather than catering to the median voter? Just a thought...

  3. In my experience more parties do just fine in catering to the Joe Schmoe. In Finland the three biggest parties (social democrats, agrarians and center-rightists) somehow manage to look very similar when in the Parliament, because while they all have their own constituencies, the swing votes are usually the average suburban taxpayers with a mortgage and gas prices to deal with. The social democrats are never going to go as left as they would like to, and the right-wingers are never going to work exclusively for the high bourgeoisie - the equilibrium is very much in favor of the median voter. And when they do things that the median voter doesn't approve of (Greece bailouts etc.), the populists, socialists and others will take advantage of it.


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