To the Editor:
I appreciated your article on third parties. The frustration of the people with the two major parties is often expressed as a desire for new parties, but it is futile.
Americans look at Europe and see multiple parties working so they think, “Why not here, too?” The error here is that European nations have parliamentary systems, while we have our “two-party” system. In a parliamentary systems, if your little party gets 2 percent of the vote, you get 2 percent of the seats in parliament. At least you get to voice your opinions, even if nobody cares.
In our two-party systems, 2 percent gets you a big fat nada.
Parties like the Greens, Libertarians, or whatever, sound like viable options, but they are really just wasted effort.
There is, however, a way for third parties to make a meaningful difference. They can go the caucus route. Just for example, look at the Freedom Caucus or Black Congressional Caucus. They could call themselves little parties and waste their time, but instead they choose to operate within the existing two party-system, and as a result they hold significant power. Maybe someday the Constitution will be altered to allow multiple parties like in Europe, but I doubt it. Until then, if you are unhappy with the Dems and GOP, form a caucus.