Political Scientists Ray LaRaja and Brian Scaffner Say Laws that Weaken Political Parties Help Cause Polarization

Ray LaRaja and Brian Scaffner, political science professors at the University of Massachusetts, here argue that strong political parties reduce polarization. They also conclude that federal campaign finance laws, especially the McCain-Feingold law which still hobbles political parties, are partly to blame for weakening parties, and therefore increasing polarization. Thanks to several people for the link.


Political Scientists Ray LaRaja and Brian Scaffner Say Laws that Weaken Political Parties Help Cause Polarization — No Comments

  1. I tend to agree with Ray LaRaja and Brian Scaffner but their analogy also seems like “shifting chairs on the Titanic”.

    While I support a more libertarian approach on money in politics which is more opposed to the control of money in elections, the real problem of polarization is the type of voting system being used in almost 99.9999% of USA-style plurality voting which is a “yes vs no” system.

    If you really want to reduce polarization, bury any yes/no, veto/pass, “my way vs NO WAY” election system six feet in the ground and walk away forever on every level all the way down to one person independents.

    Go to multi-winner districts of names and decisions, the more the better. Allow people to spend as much money as they like, because when electing a 100-member committee of equals (for example), one person spending a million dollars is still out-numbered 99 to one and so they can’t control everyone. Even if that person who spent money did get a substantial number of people to the team, I say “the more the better!”.

    Every person is an individual no matter if rich or poor.

    Voting and doing a good job is simply information; numbers which can’t be bought. So as the word gets around about people or decisions, eventually the best items will rise to the top as the word spreads because pretty much everyone wants government to continually self-improve vs total failure.

    The 9th USA Parliament has been using advanced voting systems for 19 consecutive years and it works great! Won’t you join us?

  2. Sad, how many current day Libertarians forget that Libertarianism arose originally as a rejection of the premise that blood lines and landed, inherited wealth ought to vest in a class of people certain rights which are denied others.

    Is influence of our political processes a “right?” Would removing limits on political contributions have the effect of reserving to only the wealthiest among us the right to influence who runs, who gets elected, what policies are implemented? If it would not, why are presumably smart people wasting their millions of dollars?

    Let’s put I-70 up for auction as a private speedway. There are other highways the less well off among us can use.

  3. ANTI-Democracy minority rule pack/crack gerrymanders control the USA Congress, ALL 50 State legislatures and many local regimes.

    Too many brain dead polisci profs to count — who should be marching in the streets against the gerrymander monarchs / oligarchs.

    P.R. and nonpartisan App.V.

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