The last two years have shown us that the domination of a binary choice in political parties in Great Britain and the United States has to end. The seemingly unbreakable hegemony of two slightly different moderate parties has been criticised for ages but hardly anything has ever happened to break it.
The Current Situation
In the United Kingdom there’s little room to wiggle between the establishment of the Labour party and the Conservatives. The Liberal Democrats tried, the Green Party is an occasional thorn in their side and the Scottish National Party has occasionally taken a few jabs at the big kids.
In the United States the status quo is even firmer set in stone. The Republicans and the Democrats hold their voters in a stranglehold of fear. “Don’t split the vote!” is their mantra. Go for the Libertarians or the Green Party and you wire precious percentages from an established party, ultimately handing the presidency or a senate majority to ‘the other side’.
The problem with these tendencies is that the smaller parties don’t break the binary. They’re simply smaller players on the same side. There is no disruptive factor that would steal votes equally from the blue and the red side of things. Same thing in England: vote Green and you always take away from Labour. What both nations have been desperately waiting for is a proper alternative; a serious contender to take over the hegemony instead of brushing up the crumbs.
What’s Going to Happen
This disruption can not be expected to come from small, alternative parties. Change has to come from within. Because not only does the two party system hold their voters in a gridlock, they also limit themselves. Which politicians in their right mind would campaign for a party that most likely won’t even make it to the soft seats of parliament? In order to make a decent chance, so many men and women water down their ideals and filter out the radical edges of their vision? But a change can be felt.
Let’s start in the USA, where we can see a most unique presidential election coming up. We have Donald Trump representing the GOP and Hillary Clinton for the Democrats. Trump is despised by a large part of his own party and Clinton only captured the nomination because the elite members of the Democrats, whilst a significant part of the voters preferred left wing senator Bernie Sanders. Bluntly put: Trump is not a Republican and Hillary is not a Democrat, but yet here we are.
Things are not much different across the Atlantic. The Labour party is currently in the mids of a leadership crisis. Socialist and current leader Jeremy Corbyn is beset from all sides by centrist factions and supporters of former Prime Minister Tony Blair. On the other side we have the Tories where recently David Cameron had to step down over the loss in the revolutionary Brexit referendum. The Tories lose voters to the far right, and have to consider steering away from their European ambitions and allow Boris Johnson and his followers to take a more nationalist course.
The answer to this fractured party lines is simple and ultimately unavoidable. Labour and the Conservative party in the UK and the GOP and the Democrats in America will have to split. The power of the working class will continue to grow in the next couple of years. Both Bernie Sanders and his comrade in the old motherland Jeremy Corbyn will have to represent the will of the Worker Unions. Corbyn has to get rid of the Blairites and make Labour a real worker’s party again. Sanders has a tougher job ahead of him, but with the support he has from the younger generation he will definitely succeed. Tear away from the Democratic Party and together with his supporters and other politicians that share his views, start a Socialist Worker’s Party of America. This party will appeal both to the traditional left as well as working class GOP supporters.
Why It’s Ultimately a Good Thing
The aforementioned divide between the Conservatives in Britain is only going to get worse. This will lead to a split that unites the right wing of the Tories with the likes of UKIP and BNP and create a new party between moderate Tories and the LibDems for a more modernist Pro-Europe party.The Republicans meanwhile, cannot avoid the inevitable either. Meanwhile, Donald Trump and his cronies will lead the way for a creation of an ultranationalist party in the US. It will drag many from the Alt-Right movement in to become a frightening new wave of fascism. The remains of the GOP will divide in a traditional conservative group based on Christian faith and family values. The rest will join the Libertarians and rise to a bigger movement advocating the ideals of the Tea Party.
These tendencies are not always good. Not good for the country and not good for the people. It will fracture the political landscape and cause chaos and divide at first. It might fuel people’s cynicism and political apathy at first; but in the end it will be something that has to happen and ultimately help people to refine their ideals and create a better, more refined political landscape where there is actual choice.
It will also help to isolate and identify the harmful right wing tendencies in both countries, and prevent people from being tricked into voting for neo-fascist disguising themselves as members of centrist parties. With the radical left united and untainted by the reformist ways of liberals and moderate social democrats; it can form a sound opposition against those toxic groups and work together to make both the United States, Great Britain and the rest of the world a better place.