As a nation, what really locked us into only two parties is the caucuses. See, before that, everyone who wanted to run could run. For any party they wanted to affiliate with. Now that we have the caucuses, we have all this added expense of a two-year contest, plus only one person per party can be on the ballot. Additionally, parties have to apply to get their candidates on each state’s ballot. This means smaller parties save money by only going after big-ticket EC states. Why? Because the states are winner take all. On top of all that, usually only the most adamant party members vote in the primaries, meaning each party’s candidate is more likely to embody the “far” portion of the party’s views, not centrist. But then centrist is what’s needed to get elected by and lead bi-partisanly. But even more of an issue is that the EC reps are party-geeks, meaning they’re also more likely to be “far” on the party’s views, so when a popular loss is an electoral college win, chances are the college reps will not follow the “real” winner.

  1. The Caucuses die. These multi-million dollar events for thousands of people at donor expense, are total feel-good junk that solidifies party entrenchment, and in no way improve the country.
  2. The popular vote needs to be taken into account.
    • The proposed “National Popular Vote” legislation is a good start. It amends the Electoral College at the State level, with a majority of the swing states appointing their electoral ballots to the majority vote winner if there’s another EC-only winner.
    • Except it doesn’t address the Founding Fathers’ reasoning for having this caveat in the first place.
    • One thing that would help is that each State can use their rights to assess and possibly update their election handling.
  3. States make it easier for candidates & parties to get on the ballot
  4. States also make it harder for voters to select straight-party tickets.