In the presidential elections of America in 2024, there will be more candidates than parties. The latest joined in the race of the Presidential elections is the Senator of West Virginia, Joe Manchin, who retired and announced that he is eligible to run as a candidate for the Presidential race. He will be the nominee of the No Labels group that denounces the extremes of the right and left.
Suppose Joe Manchin runs as a candidate for the President. In that case, he will race against Joe Biden but also against the Democratic incumbent, Donald Trump, to regain power in the White House and bid for the Presidency of Robert F. Kennedy Junior. The dissatisfaction of the American people with the two-party duopoly is not something new and is significantly growing.
According to a recent report, more than 45% of Americans called themselves independent rather than Democrat or Republican. The Independents share a few things in common apart from the alienation from the two other major parties. Under the proportional representation in America, a handful of significant parties will be more numerous than the tiny ones.
The Republican party would segregate into a Trumpy populist party and a libertarian party with several significant issues in free abortion rights, free trade, mass immigration, and gay rights. There might be the smaller religious right parties filled with evangelical protestants.
The Democratic Party might split up into three different groups. One will be the socially left party; some might join the libertarian party. The other one is the social democratic faction, which might comprise organized laborers, attracting most world-level blacks, some Hispanic voters, and some white former Republicans.
The last is a radical left party based on nonprofits, universities, and civil service. In the case of multiparty America, shifting coalitions over trench warfare might become the rule. If proportional legislation rules were adopted for Congress and state legislatures, the US president would have continued to be elected by plurality voting.
In such a case, a multiparty system would also motivate the President to elect other party members than their members to the cabinet. This would enhance the legitimacy and reward other parties for support on particular issues. Even in the future, the multiparty system in America would be locked inside the jacket of the two parties encouraged by first past the post plurality voting.
The defenders of the two parties would have warned the voters that if they voted for any independent candidate or a third party, they would waste their votes. In the worst-case scenario, they might also help select a significant party candidate they like the least. The warnings in such a case are accurate.
The danger that the independent candidates and the third parties might split the major parties’ election is, indeed, in the case of plurality voting. Many Democrats blame Jill Stein, a Green Party Candidate in the 2016 elections, for snatching away most of the votes from Democrat Hillary Clinton and helping Donald Trump win the Presidency.
The presidential run of Ralph Nader is also sometimes blamed by the Democrats for throwing the electoral college and, therefore, the entire Presidency to the Republican George W. Bush in 2000. However, there are limits to political strategizing. If voters despise the mainstream parties and persuade them to pick one as the “lesser evil” party, the system might not work.
Voting is about expressing personal opinions and values, not just determining who would continue to hold the President’s seat and the cabinet appointments. For such reason, a vote for a protest candidate with no or less chance of winning might make sense to some voters with no other option but to send a message to the elite politicians.
Sometimes, the parties reform their policies after receiving a message to attract back the protesting voters. On environmentalism and social issues, President Joe Biden, as a president, has been to the left of Hillary Clinton in 2016. It is possibly to keep many progressives from rejecting Biden for a more left-wing candidate in the elections of 2024.
After Ross Perot won 19% of the popular votes in 1992, more than any third-party candidate since Theodore Roosevelt in 1912, The Republicans in Congress and the Democrats under Clinton signaled their commitment to fiscal reduction, a significant part of Perot’s campaign.
Whatever happens in the elections of 2024, we can expect more rebellions against the two-party cartels of America in the upcoming years, now that the Republicans and the Democrats can only claim one-third of the American voters as reliable partisans. When combined with the electoral college system of America to elect the President, the winner takes all the plurality voting rules.