Saturday, August 22, 2009

Poli Sci Prof Shugart analyzes the unintended effects of "presidentialism"

Matthew Shugart, a political scientist at UC San Diego with whom I've become acquainted, has a new book he co-authored regarding the way the very concept of a president affects party politics and tends to "personalize" politics. At least that is what I am gleaning from a quick skim of the volume. Assuming I have accurately summarized this, the book is analyzing the institutional behavoir and challenges presented in our non-parliamentary system, among other systems, in a fascinating way.

I have long believed a multi-party parliamentary system would have a salutary effect on our political discourse by providing a platform for a Labor and Libertarian sort of politics (Although I'm definitely settling for instant run offs as an initial compromise!). In the US, as Gore Vidal (among others) have noted, we have only one party: The Property Party, with the two wings called Democratic and Republican. That the Republicans have become the Crazy Party does not appear to have undermined the Propertied Class' interests to any significant extent.


At August 24, 2009 at 2:46:00 PM PDT, Blogger MSS said...

Thanks for the plug. And the summary is fair.

Of course, muliparty and parliamentary would be better. In fact, multiparty OR parliamentary would be better.

But how to get there from here?

There has been an extensive thread at my blog debating whether "instant runoff" is even a positive step towards broadening the ideas and interests that are represented in our 2-party presidential system.

I am a skeptic about IRV for House or state legislatures. However, it is entirely possible that it is the best we can do. If we can even do that well.


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