Monday, February 27, 2006

Greenspan: Third Party May Be Imminent

Via Political Wire: the Wall Street Journal reports today (subscription wall, unfortunately) that in a recent speech, recently-retired Fed chairman Alan Greenspan predicted the rise of a centrist third party in America. According to the report, Greenspan said that the Democrat and Republican parties are:

"controlled by their extreme wings, even though the voting public is far more centrist... He described the leadership of the parties as 'bimodal', meaning clustered at the extreme ideological ends, whereas the voting public was 'monomodal', meaning clustered near the middle.

Such situations, he said, create an opening for a third-party candidate who appeals to the center. That, he said, could prompt the candidates of the other two parties to move back to the center, for fear of losing. He said the U.S. political system makes it difficult for a third-party candidate to win."

I don't have access to the full WSJ article, so if any reader out there does and wouldn't mind forwarding it I'd be much obliged. I think now that it's in print it may well get picked up by other news outlets, because this is quite an important story. In the short term Greenspan is quite right - even if a third-party candidate appears, it will be very difficult to win outright given the electoral situation. But if a third party candidate emerges during the primary campaigns, he or she could make things very interesting for those choosing the Republican and Democratic candidates.

Note: Also posted at TMV.


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