Let me begin by saying that I am all for a multiparty political system and that I am all for breaking the hegemony of the two party system that has proven to be so divisive for our country. I am convinced that the only way to accomplish both of these goals is by implementing ranked choice instant runoff voting in which voters can rank their preferences of candidates and in which instant runoffs are done using those preferences if no one’s first choice receives over 50% of the vote. This process allows every one to vote their first choice every time without hurting their second choice or helping their least favorite choice.
Ranked Choice Instant Runoff voting allows more voices to be heard in the political process, encourages more candidates to run for office, cultivates civility in campaigns, allows more parties to gain political traction, and increases overall voter participation. This is the way forward to a vibrant and less divisive multiparty democracy.
Having said all this, one might think that I would welcome the announcement this week of a new national political party that is actually supportive of Ranked Choice instant Runoff Voting – the Forward Party – led by Andrew Yang, Christine Todd Whitman, and David Jolly, among others. The Forward Party encourages people not to vote right or vote left, but to vote forward. The question is, “Without Ranked Choice Instant Runoff Voting in place, vote forward to what?”
In our current political context, the formation of the Forward Party is a significant gift to the Republican Party. Implement Ranked Choice Instant Runoff Voting and then create the Forward Party and as many other parties as you want, but it is extremely risky to create another national party at a time when every vote that is not for the Democratic Party is in effect a vote for the very demise of our democracy.
I think it is dangerous for another national party to form at this critical time in the fight to save American democracy. If the Forward Party gains any significant traction before Ranked Choice Instant Runoff Voting is a reality, it will very likely enhance the power of the Republican Party by enabling Republicans to win more elections with a plurality rather than a majority of the vote, thereby helping perpetuate minority rule for decades to come. In our current political landscape, the Forward Party will take more votes away from the Democratic Party than it will from the Republican Party, which will be a major victory for the forces of autocracy in the United States and around the world.
The formation of a new “centrist” national political party increases the odds of the Republican Party being able to establish minority rule for decades to come and has the potential of wreaking havoc on, furthering weakening, and potentially destroying our already deeply flawed American democracy. Let us move forward to Ranked Choice Instant Runoff Voting before we move towards the formation of the Forward Party – for the sake of the survival of our extremely vulnerable democracy.
IF YOU FIND THE WRITINGS AT ONE WORLD HOUSE BY MARK DAVIES HELPFUL OR INSPIRING, YOU CAN SHOW YOUR SUPPORT BY MAKING A MONTHLY CONTRIBUTION USING PATREON.