Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Son, With Whom I am WELL Pleased

My boy, Dan Lee, has a nice paper coming out in PRQ.

"Anticipating Entry: Major Party Positioning and Third Party Threat"

Daniel Lee
Political Research Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract: Observers of U.S. elections have reason to believe that third parties are
not relevant political actors since they rarely win many votes or influence which major party wins an election. Researchers should use dependent variables besides vote choice and vote share to find third party effects that are a normal aspect of the American two-party system. A spatial model of elections motivates the hypothesis that a higher likelihood of third party entry induces greater major party candidate divergence. An empirical test that uses candidate positioning data in the 1996 U.S. House elections provides evidence of this third party effect.

So, here is the answer to the question, "Why run as a third party candidate?" We don't have to WIN to make a difference. And just the fact that a third party COULD enter conditions competition between the two state-sponsored parties.

The point is that when a reporter says, "But you can't win!", here's your answer. Opening the system to competition helps CITIZENS by making the big parties more responsive. And the article is fully peer-reviewed.

(Nod to Kevin Lewis)


John henry said...

I've long thought that there is room for a non-party 3rd party.

As I envision it, there would be a 3rd party but it would probably not run candidates of its own. Rather, it would raise direct money for candidates bundling it so the candidates knew where it came from.

Perhaps encourage donors to candidates to make all contributions in amounts ending in $XX.76 so that in campaign finance records and in the candidates minds the mindset of the donors would be clear.

The 3rd party could also raise funds for itself to pay administration costs as well as run independent ads for chosen candidates.

Candidates would be from both major parties and would be chosen as those best reflecting the views of the party.

For legal reasons, the 3rd party might note even be a "party". It might be better to be an "Association" or a "Club" to avoid all the reporting requirements of a true political party.

Just some dreams I have as I lie awake at night trying to fall asleep.

John Henry

Anonymous said...

The story of Preston Tucker at first sounds like a failure. We know now what his attempt to compete against the big three auto makers in Detroit did to advance safety, design, comfort, dependability, and a host of other things that the big three were not even thinking about prior to 1950.