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A quick digression here on parties and the two-party system.
*Partisan hat off*
*Political science hat on*

Those of you who argue that two-party systems mean some interests are not represented are right. This is a good thing, depending on what you want from the system. /1
Traditionally, parties in a "first past the post" system are forced to *aggregate* interests, not divide them. So, because you only have two (or in some cases, "two and a half" parties, like in the old German system or the UK now and then), the parties must be more moderate. /2
Now, if you believe in centrism and moderation, that's great. Parties do a valuable thing. If you want very narrow and specific issues, you'll prefer a parliamentary system with proportional representation. The Founders rejected that - for good reason. /3
Parliamentary democracy is not weak, like many of you seem to think. It's *extremely powerful* because the executive always has a majority. A parliament can decide not to have any more parliamentary elections. Because why? "Parliamentary supremacy." By design. /4
The U.S. system keeps government weak by keeping it divided. And the party system forces each branch to appeal to as many people as possible and force them to compromise on issues rather than create single-issue parties. You may not like this. Many don't. /5
The way you effect change in parliaments with multiple parties is to collapse the govt, and empower small parties to be kingmakers. (Israel, Italy, others). If you'd like to have a "Beer Lover's Party" as they did for a time in Russia, proportional representation is for you. /6
Two party systems are less representative but more stable; multiparty systems are more representative but less stable.
Personally, I think in a giant country like ours, fewer parties are better. But that's only if people believe in compromise. Not sure that's true now. /7
But once a willingness to combine issues and compromise goes out the window, tinkering with electoral rules and design can't save you. I have no strong feelings on RCV or any of that, but I think mostly they're band-aids that solve little if we are no longer civic-minded. /8
As will all things in politics, there are exceptions. But as long as the winner of a district is the "first past the post," you'll have, mostly, a two-party dynamic. I think that's better than the alternatives, in general. Thank you for coming to my Parties 101 Ted Talk. /9
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