Would having more third parties be a good thing?

Jan Kok on why he'd prefer more parties in US politics:

  1. I want my favorite alternative party to grow in influence and win more elections. If voters are not "forced" to vote for the D or R (only), but can freely vote for alternative party candidates, then all the alternative parties will get better vote results, attract more attention, and be able to grow.
    But: What's good about having lots of alternative parties grow in strength?
    Aren't you satisfied with the Crips and the Bloods?
  2. In general, competition is a good thing. Give voters more choices!
  3. In the 2004 election, essentially all of the alternative parties stood on the same side (opposite to both major-party candidates) on several important issues: against the Iraq war, the Patriot Act, the drug war, the WTO, NAFTA and for reducing the national debt. Thus, I would have preferred any alternative party candidate over the D or R in most federal races.
  4. More ideas would enter the public debate. Surely some of the ideas promoted mainly by alternative parties are good ideas... With the 2-party domination we have now, the Ds and Rs control the agenda, and the ideas of the alternative parties are mostly ignored.

It is not commonly recognized how hugely US politics has suffered an idea-deficit as a consequence of the fact that it shuts out third-parties. That is because most people do not realize how many third parties there have been and how diverse they have been. There have been 800 political parties in US congressional-election history.

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