With the impending collapse of the Republican Party, I find myself thinking about our current form of government. Most notable was a call for a moderate Republican-moderate Democrat coalition to steer the Congress through to 2016.
I have often heard friends lament that the United States lacks a Parliamentary system of government. By this use of “Parliamentary,” I think they mean “more than two parties.” Most of them do not understand the deeper workings of the system and they probably wouldn’t be happy with a Prime Minister AND President. (Some might be in favor of a Constitutional Monarchy. I remember actual calls for Ron and Nancy to become our first King and Queen.)
Their understanding runs to this: in other countries there are many political parties and they all have a chance at power. Nobody has to settle for the lesser of two evils, as they have a smorgasbord of parties to choose from.
What they may not understand is coalitions. With many parties competing, no one party can consistently win a majority and can only hope for a plurality. As a majority is needed to form a government, it is then time for coalition building.