Andrew Yang discusses how extremism is fuelled by the two-party system

Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang harshly critiques America’s closed-party primaries and two-party political system. Yang, who announced in October he was leaving the Democratic Party after 20 years to become an independent, said the process has created incentives for catering to the most partisan constituents.

” We can all look around and see that the duopoly does not work,” Yang said to CBSN’s “Red & Blue” anchor Elaine Quijano during a Monday interview. The political incentives do not focus on getting any work done. Instead, they blame the other party and play ‘you win, I lose’ back-and-forth — even though the people are winning.

Yang stated that many Western countries, including Sweden, Germany, and the United Kingdom have political systems with multiple parties. He claimed these systems are more responsive to people’s will and less likely to be subject to authoritarianism.

” If you have two parties and one party falls to poor leadership, there aren’t incentives for the other to step up. This is why founding fathers didn’t want us to have two parties.

Yang also opposed closed-party primaries in which a voter must register as a Democrat, or Republican in order to vote in the respective party’s primary.

” If you are navigating a party primaries on either side of the aisle, then you’re probably not speaking to many Americans,” he stated. You’re not speaking to people with the most common points of view within our society.

Yang referred to New York City’s most recent mayoral race. It does not have open primaries.

” It shut out Independents and Republicans from the Democratic primary which, as we all know, determined who will be the next mayor,” stated Yang who failed to run for the Democratic nomination this year in the mayoral race. Eric Adams won the primary election and the race for mayor.

Yang stated that the switch to open primaries would allow for ranked-choice and “realign” the incentives to favor the majority over a minority.

“We need to include people from every political perspective, and right now closed-party primaries are distorting the incentives for our elected leaders, where they need to placate and please the 10% most extreme partisans on either side, which is one reason why it’s not working at all,” he added. We can clearly see it becoming increasingly polarized, and that not much is being done. “

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