Major Parties: Publicly Funded Private Groups

2008 Wahkiakum County Public Primary Ballot
2008 Wahkiakum County Public Primary Ballot

By Krist Novoselić

Ask most Republicans and they’ll talk your ear off about private initiative and how government can stifle innovation. However, their own party does not practice what it preaches.

Our right of association is protected in the 1st Amendment of the Constitution. People have a right to come together and amplify their voices. This is at the heart of what constitutes a political party and is different from the express constitutional rights reserved by the federal government itself. That said, the Republicans and Democrats—two private groups that are not articulated in our founding document—have become part of government.

My point is that we have state parties in the United States. This is a result of policy choices and not necessarily the effect of interpretations of the constitution. Continue reading Major Parties: Publicly Funded Private Groups

The Rules Matter: U.S. Parties

By Krist Novoselić

In my last post, I wrote about the U.K. election and how the first-past-the-post (FPTP) rules produced distorted results. This happened because a multitude of parties overwhelmed what should be, with FPTP, a two-party system. Still, we must ask why there are so many parities drawing so many votes in the U.K.?

In most of the free world, political parties are private groups. I offer that in the U.S., state controls on association stifle free association and have institutionalized the two major political parties. The result is a system tilted in the favor of political elites. Continue reading The Rules Matter: U.S. Parties

The Rules Matter

The United Kingdom is crying out for a multi-party democracy. No matter how the majority of voters feel, the UK’s First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) system—similar to how we vote in 47 states for our US House— is trying its best to still be a two-party system.


On May 7th, elections were held for the UK’s House of Commons. This was an extraordinary election because it glaringly shows how the UK’s voting system fails to express the realities of modern British politics. I will briefly look at the election result. I also mention the 2011 Alternative Vote referendum and its implications with the 2015 election. My point is that the rules matter with who wins and who losses. British electoral rules are terribly skewed. Continue reading The Rules Matter