Where Elections Should Turn

By David Jackson
Published December 9th 2005 in The Washington Post
David Broder ["A Pox on Both Parties," op-ed, Dec. 1] presented a clear explanation of the causes for public distrust of both major political parties. But the situation is much worse than he admitted, because the answer to his concluding question, "When both parties have lost public confidence, where do voters turn?" is, unfortunately, "nowhere."

Partisan redistricting, the fundraising advantage of incumbents and the plurality electoral system for members of Congress so favor a two-party duopoly that the third, fourth and fifth parties millions of Americans might love to see have no chance of victory.

One part of the solution is proportional representation, in which parties would gain seats in Congress in relation to the percentage of votes they receive. But since neither major party wants to lose power, we probably will not see a much fairer electoral system anytime soon.


Bowling Green, Ohio