Since the Revolutionary War, the United States has proudly distanced itself from Britain in every way possible. From a new system of measurements to driving on a different side of the road to different spellings, the United States has gone to all lengths to defy the norms of Britain and the scope of its empire which, incidentally, is the majority of the international community. Yet, one regard in which the U.S. should seek to replace its systems with those of Britain is in government.
The British Parliament is a much better legislature than the U.S. Congress could ever hope to be because it avoids bipartisanship. A coalition model would improve U.S. Congress in two important ways: facilitating comprimise and the rise of third party candidates.
The United States’ political model as it stands today is an all or nothing system. Votes for third party candidates are meaningless as these candidates will never win for the time being at least. The only choice is the increasingly extreme Republican and Democrat parties. Although election results indicate that only about 5% of Americans support third-party candidates, the reality is likely quite different. In fact, the percentage of third party aligned eligible voters who do not vote is likely higher than this 5% mark. Many seemingly apathetic non-voters are actually aligned with third parties and do not vote because they feel that their votes would have no impact. Thus, such a system would both encourage greater political participation and ensure party representation proportional to popular sovereignty.
Including third party candidates in Congress would naturally facilitate compromise. At the moment, Congressmen overwhelmingly vote not by what in their perspective would be in the best interests of the country, but by what their party lines dictate. A coalition government would end this dreaded system because it would most likely deny either of the two big parties majorities. It would therefore force Congressmen of different parties to work together to formulate bills and ensure that Congressmen vote outside of their party lines.
Creating a coalition Congress may seem like a big change for the U.S. as it could fragment political representation. This would likely stalemate Congress temporarily until both parties could begin to compromise for the good of the country. Additionally, the two-party system has always worked well for the United States. It has managed to curb the power of either party which has been necessary because of the large number of stanchly aligned Americans. This is a consequence of a coalition government. After all, this means that even if one of the major parties adopted a platform that could be damaging to the nation, it could get representation of at least 30% in a coalition government due to the extreme right and left wing American. However, these drawbacks are minor compared to the great benefits of third party representation and compromise that a coalition legislature would facilitate.