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The Network Theory Behind the Two Party System

This article is mainly about how the 2016 election is reducing public support for the two party system, as demonstrated by a recent poll that stated that voters would support a referendum that allows anyone to participate in election primaries.  This directly doesn’t have any relation to network theory, however it does explain why only a two party system could form under our system of voting.

Let’s start with an example where we have 5 different political platforms, with 5 seperate group supporting their own platform.  No matter how the election goes, there will always be a party that is in last place.  Because of this, it is illogical for these voters to vote for their party candidate, instead they should vote for the candidate that second best matches their interests.  Essentially, each party can be considered as a node of positively connected people, while opposing parties have purely negative connections between each other.  As we learned in class, this network configuration is unstable.  As predicted by network theories, the political parties in last place tend to merge (ally) with one of the other parties that they least disagree with, until there are only two very large parties left.

 

Could 2016 election spell the end of the two-party system in Colorado?

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