Feb 24, 2011

(How Much) Will Europe Help Support Movements for Electoral Reform in the USA?

In our increasingly interconnected world, the follies of US politics spill over quite a bit into the rest of the world. So the question is what will those who have pushed for electoral reform in their own country do to help foster electoral reforms in the US?

Clearly, it's not easy to go from a political system that only uses winner-take-all first-past-the-post to the sorts of system in place in Europe, but we don't need to push for that to get reforms that will make a difference. The use of 3-seated state assembly elections in Illinois is an example of how a seemingly minor electoral reform can have widespread impact on the rest of the political system. This is because when it handicapped the rivalry between the Republicans and Democrats in Illinois, it gave other surrounding states more freedom to experiment and these experiments then typically spread to the other states in the USA. They spread because the ruling parties were afraid they might lose power if they did not adopt them...

So I'm sure there already are efforts afoot, but I get a lot of traffic at "A New Kind of Third Party" from other countries, especially the Netherlands where there's been some significant changes in the electoral system in recent years. I guess it's easier to find a receptive audience for electoral reform blog-posts among folks who already have studied and debated electoral reform issues a good deal. God knows that's not the case yet in the states, but that's gonna change!

dlw

2 comments:

David Weller, OSL said...

At All Things Reform, a voting rights activism blog, I get about 1/5 of my traffic from outside the U.S. The proportions change, but Canada, Western Europe, Russia, sometimes the Far East, Australia and South America.
My recently refined topic blog hasn't received any comments from them yet. But, I think they can offer some experience to the conversation.

DLW said...

My foreign traffic is a higher percent than that... This is probably because I'm such an abstruse writer that only folks who already get a good deal of the electoral reform debate can get my points....

dlw