Brendan Nyhan does God’s Work by shooting another 3rd Party Fantasy. What amazes me is how veteran reporters don’t even understand the basics of Political Science 101-
I always love the groups that plan to overtake the 2 Party system with “The Internet!” Usually, this is going to involve some sort of internet primary to select the candidates and then (A LOT) of internet fundraising. Usually these groups turn out to be a scam.
If you want 3rd Parties, you need to replace our current system with some form of proportional representation. The classic example of this would be the Netherlands, where when they wrote their constitution in the 1870s, they made sure Protestants, Catholics, liberals, and socialists would have some form of representation in government. Of course, this idea is about as popular as an STD (just ask Lani Guinier).
Of course, the biggest problem I’ve noticed with 3rd Parties comes from a conversation I had with my cousin. He said Michael Bloomberg should run for President on a 3rd Party Ticket. I said “great, you willing to knock on doors in Ohio for him?” He replied he wasn’t. Nothing can substitute the machinery you need to run for office. Not even the cocked up fantasies of hack reporters…
Just ran across your blog, and will return to it from time to time. The video is useful.
I tried to explain at somewhat more length what it takes to maintain a political party a couple of years ago here: http://kitchenmudge.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/why-dont-the-greens/