There're more than two parties here, but little attention is given to them. I remember when I took a civics class, a full ballot of all parties that had attempted to run during the 2000 presidential election was shown to us in the text book. I counted five or six parties on it, and could only verify that I knew three of them.
1. A voting system which makes third parties mathematically viable. Runoff or other proportional voting methods would go a long way.
2. More than one politically viable third party. The Independents are sort of a dumping ground, and the Greens are fielding bleeding heart hippy-type liberals that would be pants dealing with the system, rather than practical savvy-type liberals. And the other third parties aren't even on the map. Leaving just the Libertarians, which are, quite frankly, scarier than the Republicans.
I would love to have proportional voting, especially any type of preferential voting. Then you actually could vote for the candidate you want, because you could also make a hedge bet against the candidate you don't want at the same time, thus eliminating the problem of the spoiler effect.
or the idea of coalitions. Minor parties might never win the presidency, but they could make a showing in congress, and larger parties could ally with them, if they needed a majority.
Which would work great for most day to day issues, but the third parties could put their boot down on issues the majors don't want to touch, especially on major issues that are non-partisan, and both parties support.
For example, the greens, libertarians, and justice parties, could band together and but their feet down against things like the patriot act, SOPA, PIPA, and other things that tend to unite independents in one corner, and the mainstream in another.
At the same time, the greens and libertarians can still quibble over the budget and government spending.
I also think it'd breed more civility. People would need "agree to disagree" with people they know they'd need to be united with on other issues.
I also want a federal amendment for ballot initiatives like many states have now.
I think both are in line with the original goals of the constitution, and progress in line with previous amendments.
I can't see a coalition happening, honestly. If the Republicans and Democrats can't agree, even when the Democrats are implementing Republican ideas, there's zero reason why any other right vs. left groups would. The right-wing in general is too entrenched at this point.
Mmm. I agree on principle, but honestly ballots are abused enough already either on things so confusing that even if you're sure where you stand it's still hard to tell how to vote, or stuff that has no place being put to a vote to begin with.
Actually, the more realistic result would be that Dems would become the new right, Greens would become the new left, and the Republicans would become the new nobodies.
Though admittedly that would require the Greens actually fielding a realistic candidate. We could end up in a horrible scenario where the Dems are still the left and the Libertarians are the new right.