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Political Party Deficit
Growing up in the
United States I learned the importance of the two-party system in providing
an alternative to the single political party of the Communist regimes.
I had heard that Germany had a few more political parties and suggested
to someone once that the Republican and Democratic Parties should each
split up into two, to better represent their separate constituencies.
The person I spoke with looked at me in horror and objected, "But
that would destroy the two-party system!"
I searched the Web and gathered information about the representative democracies of nine countries of Europe, North America, and Japan. For each country I tabulated the number of inhabitants, number of representatives to the upper and lower houses of parliament, and the number of political parties. Here's a chart of what I found.
A picture is worth a thousand words, so I made a bar graph.
It may be argued that since the American Senate and House of Representatives are the legislative bodies of the Federal Government, I should count the number of representatives in each state's houses of parliament. But the number of political parties would still be only two.
The other countries in this study have approximately ten to twenty million constituents per political party. The United States has a 140 million constituents per party. (I am not counting the minor parties because at the scale of the Democratic and Republican parties, they are insignificant.)
How can a country as large and diverse as the United States be served adequately by only two political parties? I believe that it can't, and thus I am in favor of destroying the two-party system.
 Since the members of the House of Lords are not elected, they do not directly represent their constituents. If they were counted, this number would be 3,010,000. The members of the Bundesrat, the upper house of Germany's parliamnet, are appointed by the regional governments. But since these governments are elected by the peope, the Bundesrat counts as an elected body.
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