Re: PHIL: The (im)moral state

Warrl kyree Tale'sedrin (
Wed, 25 Mar 1998 21:26:56 +0000

> From: Arjen Kamphuis <>

> At 14:00 24-03-98 -0500 Michael Lorrey <> wrote:
> >Of course that means that most people
> >left there have a greater herd tendency than people here.
> Nothin' like a good 'ol generalisation to explain how the universe hangs
> together I say! That explains nicely why most european countries have five
> times as much political parties as the US that participate in national
> elections.

Actually, a far better explanation for this phenomenon lies in the
dynamics of parliamentary systems as compared to an
independent-executive system, and the dynamics of proportional
representation versus district-level winner-take-all.

>From my limited exposure to European politics it appears that in most
European nations about 2/3 of politicians -- and of
voters -- are part of two near-permanent coalitions, with about half
the balance being a swing group between these two coalitions and the
other half being "fringe". The executive is usually either a
relatively centrist member of a party that a permanent coalition
member, or one of the larger swing parties. This is independent of
the number of parties involved, and isn't really that much different
from the US political situation except we don't label the politicians
in the swing group as separate parties.
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